Almost five years after the Dana Air crash in Lagos in which 153 passengers were killed, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) on Monday in its final report blamed the crash on the pilot, Capt. Peter Waxtan.
In the report, issued at the organization’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, AIB Commissioner Akin Olateru said Mr. Waxtan acted inappropriately in his use of the checklist.
Olateru also said that the crew’s inability to appreciate the severity of the power-related problem, and their subsequent failure to land the MD 83 aircraft at the nearest suitable airfield, led to the crash, which also killed 10 persons on the ground.
The report said that two engines of the aircraft failed one after the other, but noted that engine number one lost power 17 minutes into the flight, and thereafter, on final approach, engine number two lost power and failed to respond to throttle movement on demand for increased power to sustain the aircraft in its flight configuration.
He added that lack of situation awareness, inappropriate decision making, and poor airmanship by the pilot led to the tragedy.
According to the report, “The safety recommendations previously made in the preliminary report published on 5th September 2012 were, four in number wherein three were targeted to Dana Airlines and all were accepted and closed.
“One was to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), accepted and closed. There were four Safety Recommendations made in the published reports; one of which is to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) targeting Pratt & Whitney the engine manufacturer.
“One to Dana Airlines; one to NCAA (with 3 safety recommendations in one) and one to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) on quality assurance management.”
Olateru also released to the public three other accidents reports involving helicopters. One of them involved an OAS Helicopters (Nig.) Limited, which happened at Oke-Oba Hill, Ikonifin, Osun State, on 29th July, 2011.
Olateru said the bureau was notified of the accident in the evening of the same day, and dispatched investigators to the crash site the following morning. He recalled that the helicopter, 5N-BKA, had departed OAS helipad Maryland, Lagos at 0925hrs for Ilorin and had its initial contact with Ibadan at 0939hrs.
AIB said of its investigation that the pilot did not adhere to Visual Flight Rules of clear-of cloud and obstacles while maintaining ground contact at all times led to Controlled Flight into Terrain.
The report further stated that the pilot of the helicopter was not instrument-rated and lacked route familiarisation, being a foreigner.
The third report was that of a serious incident involving the Presidential Implementation Committee aircraft on Maritime Safety and Security with at the Benin Airport in Edo State on July 5, 2012.
In its report, AIB released the serious incident involving Bristow Helicopters’ Sikorsky S-92 with registration number 5N-BOA at MMA, Lagos on the 27th February 2013.
The report said that the effectivity of the aircraft was excluded in the Alert Service Bulletin ASB No. 92-20-002A issued by the manufacturer.
Also, the Technical Directive (TD)-S92A-29-99 did not include Check/Inspection of the right hand side of the Upper Deck.