AIB Calls on FG to Review Quality of Aviation Fuel Sold in Nigeria
The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) yesterday called on the federal government to re-examine the quality of aviation fuel sold in Nigeria, saying low quality fuel might have been responsible for one of the accidents investigated by the bureau.
This call was made by the Commissioner of AIB, Akin Olateru, when he released the report of two accidents which took place in the country.
At a press conference held at the Bureau’s headquarters in Lagos, Olateru said the fuel samples carried out by the Bureau showed its low standard quality, disclosing that the bureau received different results when it carried out tests of the same fuel when conveyed into the airport and when it was to be fed in the aircraft.
The AIB Commissioner disclosed this while presenting the crash of the helicopter with registration number, 5N-POL, which was operated by the Nigerian Police Force and was registered under the private category with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
AIB also advised that NCAA and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) should launch an independent inquiry into aviation fuel quality in Nigeria because “the resulting report should focus on the vulnerability and risk of each step in the distribution process. This should yield firmer regulatory oversight mechanism that ensures international quality of aviation fuels used in Nigeria.
In the bureau’s release of the accident reports, Olateru said the two reports released involved a Nigerian Police Force Bell Helicopter, a trainer Tambico aircraft belonging to Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) and a ground collision incident two Air Peace aircraft.
AIB said the Police Bell 427 Helicopter crashed at Kabong, Jos South Local Government in March 14, 2012, killing a deputy inspector general of police, John Haruna.
The NCAT Tampico TB9 aircraft occurred on October 6, 2008 and the ground collision of two Air Peace Boeing 737-500 and Boeing 737- 300 aircraft occurred at the domestic terminal of the Lagos Airport. Olateru said the medical certificate of the pilot that operated the police helicopter had expired at the time of the accident, even as the simulation recurrency of the same pilot had also expired at the time of the accident.
Olateru said the final accident report revealed that the co-pilot of the Police Bell helicopter was not type rated on the aircraft type (Bell 427).
He said the engineer that released the aircraft prior to the flight had no type rating and training on the aircraft type.
On the NCAT Tambico aircraft, the AIB said the student crashed the aircraft because of inability to maintain directional control after touchdown.
“The resulting report should focus on the vulnerability and risk of each step in the distribution process. This should yield firmer regulatory oversight mechanism that ensures international quality of aviation fuels used in Nigeria,” he said.
The AIB however urged the Nigeria Police to provide proper funding, conducive working environment, develop and implement a robust training programme for its technical and operational personnel.
Such arrangement, the AIB said, would ensure adequate supervision and approved equipment to enhance safety, urging that NCAA should ensure that the police air wing complied with approved maintenance requirements.
On the NCAT Tambico aircraft crash, the AIB urged the college to ensure that flying instructors checking on students on solo flight must at all times be at the control tower to monitor the progress of the flight.
“NCAT should procure equipment and train relevant personnel to conduct toxicological examination in its aero medical facility,” AIB said.
R-L: Head, Public Affairs, Mr. Tunji Oketunbi, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB); Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer, Capt. Akin Olateru; and Director of Engineering, Mr. Mohammed Wali, at a press briefing on the release of aircraft serious incident and accident report at Air Safety House, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos ....yesterday