The AIB in a release on Monday accused the management of Air Peace Airline of non-disclosure of two major incidences involving it’s aircraft for investigations in line with the Nigerian civil aviation law.
The first incident, according to the AIB occurred on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 while the Air Peace Boeing 737-300 aircraft was on approach to Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos from Port Harcourt. The agency in a report by its spokesman, Tunji Oketunbi, said the aircraft was said to have experienced a hard landing as it touched down on the runway (18R) with damages to some of its parts.
“Similarly, and in recent times, an aircraft belonging to Air Peace Limited was also involved in a serious incident which it willfully failed to comply with the provisions of the Bureau’s Regulations,” Oketunbi said of the second incident. In aviation, an incident is a term used to describe a ‘near-mishap’ on an aircraft in operation and it is also used to differentiate a standard safety procedure deployed by a pilot which pilots and airlines are exempted from reporting to regulatory agencies. An incident was also differentiated from as an accident where there is no substantial damage to the aircraft, or the loss of lives of passengers or crew.
In faulting Air Peace non-disclosure of its incidences to the AIB, Oketunbi said “the nature of the damage to the aircraft suggest that, there was a high probability of an accident.” But reacting to the allegation, the Chairman of Air Peace, Mr. Allen Onyema, said the airline reported those incidents to the regulatory agency, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), and also wrote to Boeing Corporation and the manufacturer of the aircraft’s engine, CPM International.
Said Onyema, “when the incident occurred we reported it to NCAA. We followed the aircraft manual, which guided us on what to do when such incident occurred. We wrote to Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer and also wrote to the engine manufacturer, CPM International. We also grounded the aircraft.
“We always report any incident to NCAA; sometimes you may not know what to report to AIB because the NCAA is the regulatory authority and the AIB is in charge of accident investigation. So when incident like hard landing happens and you inform NCAA, we feel we have followed the procedure. Boeing has written back to us and has told us what to do, according to the procedure, currently inspection is being carried out on the aircraft,” Onyema added.