Nigerian Flying Coffins

Sunday, October 13, 2013
By George Hatcher

It is no wonder that Nigerians worry that planes are flying coffins, after the Associated Airlines Embraer crashed on October third. It’s the one that flew the remains of former governor of Ondo State Olusegun Agagu into the ground on October 3, killing 15 people on board. Should I ignore the irony that the passengers of the flight were taking the remains of the governor home when they all joined him in death? It is still too early for the complete analysis of why the plane crashed, but early reports are saying that there was an engine failure that led to the accident.

As the right engine developed problems, the first officer urged Captain Abdulraman Yakubu to abort the flight.

Captain Abdulraman ignored the copilot. He ignored the alerts that the take-off flaps were not activated. The black box indicated the captain was flying.

If he had aborted the flight, the passengers might still be alive. Thirty-one seconds after take-off, the aircraft stalled and nosedived.

But let’s not all jump on the pilot. Because the plane wasn’t airworthy to begin with.
The plane made its last flight on August 30 and had been grounded for about 33 days before the ill-fated flight on October 3, 2013. Someone needs to do their job and, dare I say it again….Maintenance, maintenance, maintenance!

It’s no wonder Nigeria suspended Associated Airlines. “The suspension is to make room for maintenance and operational checks.”

The Director General of NCAA said:
“Associated Airlines operations have been suspended by the NCAA. Let me say for the purpose of clarity, I said their operations, I mean all their operations of Associated airlines have been suspended by the NCAA. I did not say any certification was cancelled but all operations.”

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