An Arik Air plane, Boeing 737 with the registration number 5N-MJD narrowly escaped crashing on Friday when the aircraft lost one of its two engines mid-air with over 100 passengers on board.
The aircraft enroute Jos from the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, was already 60 miles away from Lagos when the pilot discovered that the plane had lost one of its engines during the flight which left passengers in a state of panic. Consequently, he was granted emergency landing status when he contacted the Lagos control tower.
On landing in Lagos, the aircraft reportedly could not taxi out of the runway and it took the intervention of the Airport Rescue and Fire-Fighting Services (ARFFS), a department in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), to tow the aircraft to the hajj and cargo terminal area of the airport in order for the passengers to disembark from the aircraft.
The flight radar shows that the aircraft circled back to Lagos shortly after departure due to the incident
Sahara reporters say a source in the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) said the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) was yet to report the incident to the bureau for further investigation.
But Premium Times report that an Arik Air spokesperson, Adebanji Ola, has said the aircraft did not lose an engine.
According to Mr. Ola, it was not an engine loss. He said that as a standard operating procedure and safety precaution, when the captain heard a noise, he made an air return.
On Sunday, Mr. Tunji Oketunbi, the spokesperson of the Accident Investigation Bureau, said the agency was yet to be made aware of the incident. “Up till now, I’ve not been able to establish that they reported it to us,” he said.
Last week, the Civil Society Network Against Corruption called on the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to investigate Arik Air described Nigeria’s biggest airline, for allegedly endangering passengers lives and violating safety rules.
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In a petition signed by CSNAC’s chairman, Olanrewaju Suraju, and forwarded to the aviation authority, the coalition said it gathered from sources within the aviation industry that the airline is committing variety of illegalities by encouraging its pilots to ignore regulations, among others.