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AIB releases report on Air Peace, seeks review of SOP

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Managing Director of Air Peace airlines, Allen Onyema


The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) yesterday released three preliminary reports on Air Peace Airlines’ serious incidences, with recommendations that sought immediate review of Standard Operational Procedures (SOP) across all local airlines.

The reports were focused on two recent hard landings in Lagos and a runway excursion in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.An Air Peace B737-300 plane with registration number 5N-BUK had a hard landing at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on May 15, 2019. Its 133 passengers and six crew occupants disembarked safely.

Though investigations were still ongoing, AIB recommended that the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) should mandate all airline operators to review their Standard Operational Procedures (SOPs) to include the process for isolating power to the cockpit voice recorder to preserve its contents from being overwritten, in the event of any reportable occurrence.

The airline was directed to ensure that flight crew adhered to strict compliance with Company Operations Manual (OM Part A) Chapter 11 (11.4.3) on Preservation of Recordings.

“NCAA should ensure that Air Peace Limited complies with Immediate Safety Recommendations 2019-005 in accordance with Nig. CARs 8.5.1.24. Air Peace Limited should ensure that best handling technique is emphasised during crew training on single channel auto-pilot operation. It should also ensure that its crew adheres strictly to the company’s SOP in carrying out a missed approach/go-around promptly, below 1,000ft AGL in an unstabilised approach,” the report stated in part.

A similar incident involving Air Peace plane marked BN-BUK had occurred in Lagos in June 2019.According to AIB’s preliminary report, the flight crew were certified and qualified to conduct the flight in accordance with applicable regulations and the aircraft landed on runway 18R at 19:34 hours.

“The aircraft was taxied to the apron and the passengers disembarked normally. However, AIB was notified three weeks after the occurrence via a phone call by a passenger that was on the incident flight, and a post-incident inspection of the aircraft showed substantial damage to the aircraft structure and its number two engine cowling. Plus, the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) recording of the occurrence was overwritten.”

Also in June, Air Peace’s Boeing 737-500 overshot the runway during heavy rain. The plane, coming from Abuja with 94 passengers and six crew on board, skidded off the runway to the left by about 1,300m from the Runway 21 threshold. All passengers and crew were evacuated safely.

Spokesperson of the AIB, Tunji Oketunbi, said the preliminary reports were not the final reports, as they contain details of the initial facts, discussions and findings surrounding the occurrences. These include information gathered from witnesses, flight recorders, Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS) data, Flight Data Monitoring (FDM) data, and preliminary inspection of the accident sites and the wreckages.“Therefore, the investigations on these serious incidents are still ongoing and final reports on these occurrences will be released at the conclusion of these investigations,” Oketunbi said.

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