A Lagos bound Boeing 737-800 aircraft with over 100 passengers operated by Aero Contractors today suffered bird strike at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano at take-off.
As a result the aircraft was forced to make an air return to base barely 15 minutes after takeoff.
Abelnewsng.com learnt that flight N2142 was originally scheduled to depart Kano Airport at 8.45 am but later departed the airport at 09:30 am, made a return to base at about 15 minutes
Sources close to Kano Airport told the online news platform that the incident may have damaged the airplane as the right engine sucked in the birds.
A passenger onboard , who spoke on condition of anonymity said that the Pilot-In-Command of the flight made an air return when he heard a bang on the right hand side of the aircraft.
The passenger added that most of the passengers were not aware of the incident and that the pilot returned the aircraft to base safely before telling the passengers what happened., adding that the pilot was very professional in his approach .
Meanwhile, passengers on board the aircraft are now allegedly stranded as all the other airlines such as Max Air and Air Peace operating into the ancient city from Lagos and Abuja were fully booked and that it would be Wednesday when they are expected to operate the
The passenger feared that they may be stranded in Kano till Wednesday , alleging that from the look of things Aero is not making effort for another flight..
Besides, a source close to the airline told our correspondent that the aircraft had been ferried to Lagos empty for repairs as recommended by civil aviation regulations.
Earlier, the Managing Director of Aero Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood, could not be reached to react to the issue.
The Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA),,Capt. Musa Nuhu,who confirmed the incident said that the authority had been notified of the incident, adding that any airline could suffer a bid strike incident.
On fears that the airline may abandon its passengers, Nuhu pointed out that Aero would not abandon the passengers in Kano, but that it would make an alternate arrangement to fly its passengers to Lagos.
Contacted, the General Manager, Public Affairs, Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria (AIB-N),Mr. Tunji Oketunbi, who also confirmed the incident said that its investigators have been dispatched to the scene to access the situation.
However, Aero in an online statement said, “Aero Contractors regrets the inconveniences suffered by our passengers on flight N2 142 which occurred this morning 21st March, 2021 on the Kano to Lagos flight due to a bird strike on the engine while taking off.
“For precautionary and safety reasons, Aero Contractors had to make arrangements to ferry the aircraft back to Lagos to enable our engineers undertake a check on the engines and secure the approval of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) before returning it to service.
“When the Captain heard the sound of the bird strike, he made a safety and professional decision to return back to land in Kano, despite all the engines being normal and within limit.
“After close examination, with the approval of the NCAA and Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), the aircraft was ferried back to Lagos for further examination.
“We are currently doing everything possible to bring our passengers back to Lagos.”