November 29, 2023

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AERO, MAX Air, earn commendation for safe air returns

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Max Air’s aircraft, ground staff and passengers

The Cockpit crew of Aero airline that conducted a safe air return at the Omegwa airport, Monday, in Port Harcourt, has earned the commendation of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA.

The Director-General, NCAA, Capt Musa Nuhu commended the Captain for what he described as the professional manner he handled the bird strike while on takeoff at the Port Harcourt International Airport, PHIA, Omegwe heading for Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja.

Aero flight number NIG 382 at takeoff had 91 souls on board which comprised 85 passengers and six (6) crew who experienced a bird strike on one of its engines at the most critical stage of the flight hence, the pilot could not immediately abort the flight but had to attain a safer level before making the air return.

Capt Musa Nuhu, DG, NCAA recounted that, “Boeing 737-500 aircraft with the registration number: 5N-BKR belonging to Aero Contractors departed Port Harcourt to Abuja, but, during takeoff, it had a bird strike and the pilot continued the take-off, made a circuit and returned to land”.

He said that was a clinical approach to the danger posed by the bird strike. Capt Nuhun enthused, “that is what is supposed to be done. Pilots are trained for that. At the point he had the bird strike, he could not abort the takeoff. So, he continued with the takeoff and returned to base”.

The DG said the immediate check conducted by the engineers revealed that the blades were already damaged with other minor collateral damages that needed be fixed and certified before the aircraft return to service.

Capt Nuhu, however, commended the customer care of the airline as it ensured within a reasonable period of time that the passengers were flown to their destination with another aircraft.

In a similar vein but of different circumstance, Max air with flight number, VM1645, on Tuesday, at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, MAKIA, Kano, also conducted an air return on its flight with dignitaries which included the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Aminu Ado Bayero.

The Max Air Cockpit crew also decided on a timely air return while on takeoff, and within ten minutes, the pilot alerted the control tower for clearance for an emergency landing which was granted and the Pilot smoothly landed.

Passengers were deplaned and the engineers conducted a careful check on the aircraft. In no time the smug was identified and accordingly rectified.

The aircraft took to flight again but some passengers out-rightly cancelled their trip, while others including His Royal Majesty, the Emir of Kano flew in the aircraft to Abuja.

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