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AIB completes wreckage hanger facility for investigations


Dr. Felix Abali

Dr. Felix Abali

Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has completed the construction of a Wreckage Preservation and Reconstruction Hangar facility, to ease accident investigations and analyses in the country.

The facility, located at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, would ensure that accident investigations are no longer taken overseas nor delayed longer than necessary.Besides, the AIB has unveiled a flight safety laboratory in Abuja, which can be used to download and analyse data from flight recorders, either from accident or non-accident aircrafts.

Equipment in the laboratory include Metacut 251, Micracut, Ecopress 100, Forcipol IV, Digiprep Accura, Eloprep, Optical Microscope and Testometric. Commissioner of AIB, Dr. Felix Abali, said with the facility completed, expectations are already high that management of mishaps that had hitherto proved difficult would now be enhanced, adding that the facility would also facilitate the improvement of the quality and timelines of accident investigation.

Abali said: “The facility will also be deployed for ease of pathological service, just as it will enhance the improvement of the quality and timelines of accident investigation.“The wreckage hangar is completed now and our members of staff have been trained on how to handle it. So, as it stands, we have a wreckage hangar that will further aid our investigations. This was one of the things that we used to go to abroad to do and it cost a lot of money and time.”

He added that the wreckage hangar facility, among others, would warehouse parts of accident aircrafts, after they must been torn apart for detailed analysis.Commenting on the facility, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Finum Aviation Services, Engr. Sheri Kyari, said that its construction was a good development for the Nigerian aviation industry.

Kyari said the hangar, if properly equipped would ensure the security of material evidence, help in investigation and identify any components that contributed to an accident thereby making recommendation to prevent recurrence.Kyari added that the facility could also serve as a facility to store very vital materials relating to aircraft accident for further researches.

He explained that with the recent unveiling of the flight safety laboratory for the analysis of aircraft accident by the bureau, this has reduced the time spent on accident investigation.He stressed that the combination of the wreckage hangar facility with the laboratory, would further reduce the investigation time on accident most especially if the black boxes are retrieved as fast as possible from accident scene. He, however, advised the management to ensure that its investigators were properly trained on the equipment to be able to handle them.

He said: “I think AIB has been doing well in terms of improving accident investigation in the country by training its technical personnel. The most appropriate thing for the management to do is that once they have new equipment and tools, they should train people to be able to handle them and they should not forget simulation training for them too.

“They can simulate with disuse aircraft to make them current on the equipment. Also, apart from this, I think if there are accidents within the sub-region, AIB can send its personnel to such a country by participating as observers.”Already, educational institutions like the University of Ilorin have indicated interest to partner with the bureau on the usage of the facilities for its students.

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