|The Boeing MD83 aircraft that crashed in Lagos|
On Sunday, June 3rd 2012, Dana Air Flight 9J 992, flying from Abuja to Lagos had a fatal accident. The Boeing MD83 aircraft, with Registration Number 5N-RAM, had 146 passengers onboard: one hundred and nine (109) men, twenty-six (26) women, five (5) children and six (6) infants. A Dana Air Flight Engineer, two (2) Pilots and four (4) Cabin Crew were also aboard the flight. All of them perished... Nigerians wept!
The flight captain had a record of 18,500 flight hours and had already flown 7,100 hours on Boeing MD83 aircrafts. The First Officer had flown 1,100 flight hours, 800 of which on the MD83 aircraft. Both pilots’ licenses are current and are verifiable with the NCAA. Well, to me, they seem qualified enough to take a plane off the ground and put it down safely.
The aircraft had totalled over 60,000 flight hours and, with total cycles of over 35,000. Its last 400-hourly check (A-Check) was on May 30, 2012 while the statutory annual maintenance (C-Check) is not until September 2012. The Certificate of Airworthiness issued by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCCA) after the last C-Check was still very valid as at the time of the incident. SO WHAT WENT WRONG???
What was responsible for the Dana air crash? Now that's one big question that even top officials of the aviation ministry in Nigeria couldn’t attempt to answer. Nigerians, particularly families who had loved ones on that flight are still waiting to know what led to that fatal fall. I’ve promised myself to quit the blame game so I’ll throw stones at no one. The wait continues…
Following the crash, the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) of the airline was ceased and flight operations suspended. Barely three months after the crash, the federal government of Nigeria has cleared Dana Air to fly again. There’s been outrage in some parts of the country…
See below the Press Statement I received from Tony Usidamen, Head of Corporate Communications at Dana Group and signed by the Airline’s Chief Executive Officer, Jacky Hathiramani.
PRESS STATEMENT ON THE LIFTING OF THE SUSPENSION ON DANA AIR OPERATIONS BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
Lagos, September 6, 2012 – The management and the over 558 staff of Dana Air wish to express our deepest appreciation to the Federal Government of Nigeria over the lifting of the suspension of the airline’s operations with effect from Wednesday, September 5, 2012, following government’s satisfaction with the air-worthiness of the airline after a rigorous technical, operational and financial audit.
We also wish to thank all Nigerians and our esteemed guests for your prayers since the tragic accident of Sunday, June 3, 2012. Our thoughts and prayers will always be with the families that lost loved ones; we remain committed to assisting them in every way possible and also fulfilling our obligations to them fully, as stipulated by the law.
The provision of safe, reliable world-class air transport services has always been our focus at Dana Air and we will continue to adhere strictly to safety procedures as required by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Act and all other relevant local and international regulations, as we resume flight operations shortly.
Chief Executive Officer
Immediately, the clearance was approved, there’s been condemnation from Labour, rights activists, lawyers and relations of the Dana crash victims, who said it was premature. Among those who criticized the decision, yesterday, were legal icon, Mr Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), Mr Femi Falana (SAN), Dr Osahon Enabulele (president, Nigeria Medical association, NMA), President-General of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, Comrade Peter Esele, and Mr Achief Olajide (a relative of a victim).
What’s your take on this issue, are you in support or against the Federal Government of Nigeria’s decision in letting Dana fly again? Well, while you try to make your opinion count, the management and staff at the airline are more grateful to the Federal Government for letting DANA FLY AGAIN. Period!