•The Flint Aero jet after crash-landing
The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) said yesterday that it had commenced investigation into the circumstances that led to the crash landing of a chartered aircraft whose passengers included the Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu.
The HS 125 aircraft operated by Flint Aero with registration number 5N-AMM, crash-landed in Ibadan, Oyo State on Friday evening.
Investigation by this paper revealed that the airport does not have the requisite Instrument Landing System (ILS) calibrated for flight operations for the aerodrome, reports The Nation.
Industry experts are worried about the parlous state of air navigation equipment at airports across the country, describing it as a threat to air safety.
Speaking at the Aviation Stakeholders’ Forum yesterday, Chairman of United Nigeria Airlines, Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, disclosed that the ILS at many airports are not working.
Confirming the state of facilities at Ibadan Airport, a senior official of NAMA said the aerodrome had no ILS.
In his remarks, the Director General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu, said most of the airport facilities do not meet the minimum international requirements.
In his remarks, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo berated the National Airports Management Agency (NAMA) for its obsolete and inadequate air navigation facilities.
He said the federal government was getting concerned about the state of air navigation equipment at airports, saying many pending contracts involving obsolete equipment by NAMA would be cancelled.
Keyamo said the accident involving the aircraft could be associated with poor landing equipment by NAMA.
Worried by the development, Keyamo said the Federal Government has evolved measures to ensure proper coordination among the agencies.
Part of the measures, Keyamo said, would to ensure that areas of overlapping of functions among agencies are streamlined.
To resolve the myriad of challenges affecting the industry, Keyamo said experts and industry players will meet soon to draw a roadmap for the sector.
The private jet, which also had some of the minister’s aides on board, was said to have departed Abuja Airport for Ibadan at about 6:41pm and crash-landed in a bush close to the runway of Samuel Ladoke Akintola Airport while trying to land at about 7:21pm.
It was gathered that all the three cabin crews and seven passengers on board were rescued from the damaged aircraft.
A preliminary report on the incident issued yesterday by the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) noted that the aircraft was still in the bush at runway 22.
“At about 0825hrs of 03/11/2023, an aircraft with registration number 5N-AMM that conveyed the incumbent Minister of Power, AbdulWaheed Adebayo Adelabu, and his entourage crash-landed along runway 22 and skid off the runway into a nearby bush.
“The control tower reported on radio that he lost communication with the just landed aircraft and immediately called on the ARFFS, the AVSEC and other needed airport officials reported almost immediately to the scene.
“The 3 cabin crews and the 7 Passengers were all rescued from the damaged aircraft.
“All efforts to get details from the pilot proved abortive.
“Also at the scene were the NAF airport commandant and his team.
“As at the time of filing this report, the aircraft was still in the bush at runway 22 while the security personnel of both AVSEC, ARFFS, Airport Safety team and NAF team were on standby for cover,” the report said.
NSIB’s Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, Dr. James Odaudu, said the probe by the body would unravel the cause of the accident.
The aircraft operated by Flint Short Aero had established radio communication with the Control Tower of Ibadan Airport at about 18.56 hours seeking extension, which was granted by personnel of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) before the aircraft crew descended for landing.
The aircraft, sources hinted, landed short of the threshold with about 50 metres.
Sources at the airport hinted that investigators of the NSIB were already on ground at the site of the accident to obtain first hand information on the immediate and remote causes of the crash.
Investigation by this paper revealed that the airport runway was shut down in the early hours of yesterday on account of the accident.
Hundreds of passengers, it was learnt, were stranded at the airport, unable to connect to their destinations because of the accident.
Adelabu in good spirits, says aide
Adelabu yesterday allayed fears about his safety following Friday’s incident near the Ladoke Akintola Airport in Ibadan, Oyo State.
A source close to the Minister told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan that Adelabu was in good spirits and not perturbed by the incident.
The private aircraft which had the minister and some of his aides had crash-landed near the airport late Friday evening.
“The Minister feels the incident is not something to worry about. It was actually a minor thing, and that is how he has taken it,” an aide of the Minister, who asked to stay anonymous, said.
He told our correspondent further that the minister was particularly not worried by the incident because it did not involve any of the passengers leaving with any injury.
“Everyone on board the aircraft when the incident happened actually alighted without any problem, and we have no cause to worry,” the aide said.