Re: [NIgerianWorldForum] RE: [NaijaPolitics] Akpabio, Nine Others In Near Air Mishap
- If what is reported here is true, the reporter should be fired. For one thing, a good pilot or flight officer will not discuss an event of this nature in the manner reported. There is so much speculation and guessing, one wonders how much is fact and how much is political statement. How does the governor qualify to discuss the technicalities of aircraft movement and be the one reporting it? Something is not right about this story.On Nov 1, 2009, at 12:28 AM, Chiwuikem Ihediwa wrote:
Corruption, Corruption and more corruption. People are dying and still more corruption. That is what Gowon, Obasanjo, IBB and others fought for. They got it. Nigeria corruption, do I need to say more? For those going home this December, flying in Nigeria can kill, do your due diligence.
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From: ibeku@yahoo. com
Date: Sat, 31 Oct 2009 20:33:53 -0700
Subject: [NaijaPolitics] Akpabio, Nine Others In Near Air Mishap
Akpabio, Nine Others In Near Air Mishap
•Air Hostess Collapses As Pilot Battles
With PlaneBy Innocent Anoruo, Production Editor
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Obong Godswill Akpabio, and his aides on Friday evening, narrowly escaped what would have been the worst air disaster in recent times.
The chartered aircraft, Hawker 900 series belonging to Garventon Air Services, which conveyed the governor, almost collided with another aircraft taking off from the Port Harcourt airport. The governor took off from the nearby Margaret Ekpo International Airport in Calabar.
In the aircraft, among others, were the Permanent Secretary, Government House, the Director of Protocol and the governor’s security details.
The incident shook the occupants of the craft including the pilot and crew, and as at Sunday evening, the governor and his team were yet to overcome the shock.
It was gathered that the air hostess collapsed when the pilot battled with the craft to avert a collision with the other aircraft.
Aniekpeno Mkpanang, the Director of Protocol said “the aircraft took off at the Calabar Airport en route Port Harcourt to Lagos. As we were going above the airspace in Port Harcourt, which is the air route, we began to experience a sudden drop of about 5000 feet in a split of a second and from there problems started and we tried to go up and all to no avail. It was madness and everybody on board after that experience fell ill and the air hostess collapsed on the floor of the aircraft.”
Mkpanang who was yet to recover from the shock of the incident narrated further: “Eventually, we thought it was all over. We prayed to God and handed over our souls to Him. The Governor and other passengers are yet to recover from the trauma as I speak to you. When eventually it dawned on all of us that the aircraft had completely lost control by going here and there, up and down, with all sorts of madness, it was all calm.
“Immediately the aircraft gained a little stability, the co-pilot, Mr. Ritman, a white man, emerged from the Cock pit and went straight to His Excellency and said ‘Sir we have just escaped what is called in aviation a near air mishap and there was a near collision with another aircraft.’”
The obviously shaken governor demanded details and was told: “Sir, while we were flying at about 24000ft above sea level, there was an aircraft which was above us which was coming towards Calabar and on the same place in PH, the aircraft decided to descend, and it was descending right inside our aircraft. But we have an equipment called GCAS which is like a radar which would show the pilot the position and distance of other aircraft and their levels around them and it is compulsory for all aircraft to have, but most Nigerian planes are flying blind because they don’t have the equipment.”
Ritman said further that, “even if they have it, it had seized to function because checks on aircraft are not taken seriously and they still allow them to enter the airspace which is wrong.”
The Director of Protocol explained that it was either the aircraft in question did not have the said GCAS or it was out of function, as a result did not see the aircraft conveying the governor.
He said the warning system in their aircraft alerted the pilots immediately that they should take the aircraft down because the approaching aircraft was crashing into it.
“At about 400 metres to our aircraft we made a mad descend because the upcoming plane was a bigger one, and was faster than ours. We were once again advised to go up and in that process, the plane got stalled and we had a free fall until the engine came up again.”
Mkpanang said: “We now radioed the Port Harcourt Control Tower not to allow the plane to land and even if it lands, it should be seized. But the Control Tower told us that the aircraft was on its way to Calabar. We asked them to radio Calabar and to the chagrin of everybody, we were told that they have no communication link with Calabar except through GSM. At this point, the governor shouted and shouted. Thereafter we were able to get Calabar. We learnt the plane was a CBN chartered flight belonging to Allied Air. And for reasons known to the pilot, it took-off immediately it landed.”
Governor Akpabio himself confirmed the incident and said if the incident involved a fully loaded passenger aircraft, the manoeuvre that saved his aircraft would not have been possible because of the weight. That, he added, “would have crash landed and the plane that caused it would not have been known.”
The governor said the incident could be compared to what happened between ADC and Triax airlines. “The submission people have is that the ADC plane was coming to land and Triax was taking-off and it was the same Control Tower that cleared the two aircraft.
Akpabio who reported the incident to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) advised that the aircraft be grounded on arrival in Lagos for proper investigation. He wants the authorities concerned to find out if the said aircraft has the GCAS equipment and if any other aircraft are flying in Nigeria without it.
http://independentn gonline.com/ DailyIndependent /Article. aspx?id=2560
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