Nigeria Escapes Another Air Disaster

Following the poor condition of its aviation industry, Nigeria barely escaped another air disaster yesterday.
Two passengers were seriously injured when Virgin Nigeria aircraft made a flight return at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos after the pilot of the airplane, with registration number 5N-VND, which was on its way to Kano enroute Abuja noticed that the aircraft developed hydraulic problem. The incident happened at about 5.00 pm yesterday.
As the pilot taxied back through the runway 18 Right of the international wing of the airport, the passengers saw an on-coming aircraft and panicked and stampede ensued which led to the sustaining of injuries by many of the passengers.
A source who spoke to journalists said that the injuries sustained by some of the passemgers were purely out of fear and stampede and in the process of escaping from what they feared was impending mishap.
The injured passengers were rushed to the hospital within the airport by ambulance owned by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria[FAAN].
Among those seriously injured was one Chief Ahmed Onibudo and another man from nothern Nigeria whose name could not be ascertained. All efforts made to get the relevant authorities to speak on the matter failed as no one was willing to talk.
In another development, Aviation experts from aircraft manufacturing firm, Boeing, has urged Nigerian airline operators to ensure that their pilots avoid the wind shear phenomenon wherever possible, because it is a major source of air crashes in the industry.
Speaking during a two-day workshop on flight operations organised by Boeing, in conjunction with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the experts said if the rules were adhered to, occurrences of wind shear cases would significantly be reduced.
Wind shear is a sudden change in wind speed and direction, which has resulted in many accidents world wide.
Accident investigators into the Sosoliso plane crash of December 10, 2005, which occurred in Port-Harcourt, killing many school children among over 100 victims, attributed the accident to wind shear among other reasons.
Captain Mike Taylor, one of the Boeing experts, said the only sure way of surviving wind shear was to avoid it. Taylor said pilots should endeavor to avoid the phenomenon once it was potential in some areas as indicated by pre-flight weather reports, adding that delays of such flights were preferable.
He said where pilots ran into winds shear, they needed to take quick decisions within a matter of seconds, which would determine whether it would survive or not.

Another expert, Captain Gary Hudson, also admonished pilots to consider go-rounds whenever they noticed problems at the point of landing, as such decisions could end up saving many lives.
Captain David Campbell, another of the experts, admonished pilots on how to handle landing on wet and slippery runways with minimal risk.

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