Max Air operated flights without functional Cockpit Recorder, FDR: AIB

* Preliminary Report says Airline lacks approved Safety Management System

Isola Moses

Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has published a report which showed that Max Air may have acted in contravention of civil aviation safety regulations by flying an aeroplane with an unserviceable cockpit voice recorder (CVR).

Independent reports that the AIB report released in regard to the CVR of the Max Air aircraft Boeing 747-400, with the registration number 5N-DBK, which had a serious incident at the Minna Airport, in Niger State, September 7, 2019.

The Bureau also disclosed that the airline lacked approved Safety Management Systems (SMS), as required by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs), which is a serious infraction in the global aviation industry.

The source says these revelations were disclosed in the AIB preliminary reports on two serious incidents, which occurred in the country in September and November, 2019.

The aircraft flew with 578 souls onboard; 560 passengers and 18 crewmembers, which had on September 6, 2019 arrived King Abdul Aziz International Airport (OEJN), Jeddah, Saudi Arabia from Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, at 17:10:00 as inbound flight NGL2091, the report stated.

The same aircraft, it further explained, departed OEJN for Minna Airport, in Nigeria, as flight NGL2092, to airlift returning Hajj pilgrims with 8hrs, 13mins fuel endurance onboard.

The AIB said that immediately it was notified of the serious incident by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), it instantly retrieved the Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and CRV, but regretted that there were no relevant data in the CVR due to its non-serviceability.

“The Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) were retrieved and downloaded at the Flight Safety Laboratory of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) Nigeria.

“There were no relevant data recorded on the CVR as it was not serviceable as of the time the aircraft was dispatched.

“Data pertinent to the incident flight were captured on the FDR, which include localiser deviation, glide slope devistion, pressure altitude, radio height and vertical acceleration. Max Air does not have an approved Safety Management System as required by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations,” it affirmed.

According to the AIB report, the incident, which affected one runway edge light, slightly damaged the aircraft.

Meanwhile, as regards the Accident Investigation Bureau immediate safety recommendations, it called on the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to ensure that the navigational aids installed at all the operating airports in the country are calibrated in accordance with the Aeronautical Information Publication (AIP) Supplement S 38/2019 dated September 10, 2019.

It also recommended to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to always ensure that there is effective control of birds and wild life during airport operating hours at the Minna Airport.

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