…Not Type Rated Too
Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) final accidents and incidents report has said that the late former Governor of Taraba State, Danbab a Suntai , who piloted Cessna 208B Caravan aircraft with registration Marks 5N-BMJ ,which crashed on October 25,2012 was not only unqualified to fly the airplane but he was not also type rated on the machine.
The release of the Suntai accident report and five others is coming six months after it released four reports
According to AIB report Cessna 208B Caravan with nationality and registration Marks 5N-BMJ belonging to Ministry of Works and Transport, Taraba State Government, occurred at Kwanan-Waya Village, Yola South Local Government Area, Adamawa State .
In the report, AIB disclosed that Suntai, who obtained his Private Pilot Licence(PPL) at the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) was not qualified to pilot Cessna 208B Caravan.
The pilot, AIB report said has no relevant endorsement to fly Cessna Caravan 208B and that the pilot does not have instrument ratings and night flight privileges.
This was disclosed to aviation journalists by the AIB Commissioner, Engr. Akin Olateru, while releasing the six final reports at the agency’s corporate headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport(MMA),Lagos.
According to AIB Causal Factor, “The Bureau could not conclusively determine the cause of this accident; however, the investigation identified the following factors: the pilot was not certified, qualified and not competent to fly the aircraft. the decision of the pilot to operate a Visual Flight Rule(VFR) flight after sunset and inadequate oversight by the regulatory authority.”
The body also made two safety recommendations to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency(NAMA) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA).
One of the safety recommendations is that NAMA should take appropriate action to relocate the existing control tower at Yola Airport in order to enhance the aerial view of the approach path of runway 35 from the Tower.
The agency directed NCAA in its safety recommendation should ensure all pertinent regulations with regards to the operations of the aircraft and certification of all relevant personnel and facilities of the Ministry of Works and Transport, Taraba State Government are appropriately complied with.
AIB’s report stated that its findings further revealed that :
·The pilot is qualified to fly Cessna 172 and has total logged flying hours of 58 hours and 40 minutes.
· The pilot has no relevant endorsement to fly Cessna Caravan 208B.
- The pilot does not have instrument ratings and night flight privileges.
- The pilot reported an incorrect estimated time of arrival (ETA at Yola as 10:01 UTC as against the time 17:19 UTC.
- The pilot reported the number of persons on board as 06 to the CT as against 04 actual persons found after the accident.
- The flight was conducted after the sunset time in Yola on the day of accident.
- The Control Tower was notified about 5N-BMJ departure by phone call from Jalingo after the aircraft was airborne.
- The Bureau was unable to interview the pilot as he was flown out of the country for further medical treatment.
- The pilot has completed training and obtained a Private Pilot Licence.
- The aircraft engine had an occurrence of engine overheat/over temperature in December 2011. It was removed and sent to an approved engine workshop in South Africa (Vector Aerospace) for complete repair and overhaul.
- The engine was reinstalled on the aircraft in April 2012.
- The ambulance parked at the Yola fire station was unserviceable at the time of the accident.
- The ARFFS team arrived the crash site by 19:52 h (1 hour and 20 minutes after the initial notification) and discovered that the aircraft’s occupants had been rescued from the wreckage by the locals.
Recalled that Cessna 208B the 5N-BMU aircraft which Suntai was piloting crashed on October 25, 2012, into a farmland in Namtari village, a suburb of Yola, capital of Adamawa state.
Of the four persons on board, Suntai was the last to be rescued because he was said to be trapped under the plane. He later died on June 28,2017.
Other reports released are: Diamond DA40D aircraft operated by International aviation a college (IAC) Ilorin with registration number 5N-BRD, which occurred at Ilorin International Airport on November 25, 2013, accident involving Bristow Helicopter, Nigeria Limited Sikorsky S76C Helicopter with registration number 5N-BQJ which occurred at 777NM offshore from Murtala Muhammed Airport on February 3,2016, serious incident involving an Air bus A33-223 aircraft operated by Delta Air Line with registration number N858NW, which occurred after take-off from runway 18R Murtala Muhammed International Airport,Lagos on February 13,2018.