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Families of Dana plane crash victims seek constant review of pilots’ competence

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Families of victims of the June 3, 2012 Dana air crash calls on the NCAA to constantly review pilots competencies

Families of victims of the June 3, 2012 Dana air crash have called on the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authorities to constantly review the qualification, experience and competence of pilots flying the Nigerian airspace to ensure safer skies.

A statement by the families to mark the seventh year anniversary of loss of their loved ones noted that the Dana air crash could have been averted if NCAA had done a background check on the pilot to review his competence, given that the United States (U.S.) Federal Civil Aviation had received negative evaluation from his trainers.

The families, under the auspices of Safer Skies Foundation, also pointed out that further review noted that the background check on the Captain was shamefully inadequate, the line training given to him was hurried and there was no evidence that his deficiencies were corrected before the crash.

The Foundation stressed the need that technical crews must be subjected to continuous checks to ensure safety in the Nigerian airspace, adding that safety audits must be regular, implementation ensured and the information made public.

The statement, signed by the Chairman of the foundation, Paul Okwulehi, said: “The aviation industry in any country should not be a secret cult, there is the need to ensure safe skies.”

He also said that the unprecedented air crash could have been a rescue mission if appropriate mechanisms were put in place to rescue the victims.

“We use this opportunity to request governments and regulatory authorities around the world to make safety the primary consideration in the return of Boeing 737 MAX aircraft model to service around the world,” he said.

However, on the plan by the Federal Government to downgrade the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu, from its international status to a local airport following safety concerns from airlines, the foundation advised that all elements confounding safety be removed and at the same time further upgrade the airport to retain its international status as Abuja, Lagos and Kano international airports as a deliberate strategy to grow the Nigerian economy.

Okwulehi said there would be visits/prayers at the cenotaphs in Abuja and Lagos on June 3 to mark the anniversary while a panel discussion on making the skies safe would be held on June 27.


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