The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has stated that the Max Air landing incident which took place at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja Airport on Sunday wasn’t crash-landing.
NCAA, in a statement signed by its Director General, Capt. Musa Nuhu today explained how the incident transpired even as it stressed that classifying the incident as crash-landing would lead to panic among air travellers.
“It has come to the notice of NCAA of sensational media reports of the incident, classifying it as a crash landing thus creating panic and concerns amongst the traveling public. The media are urged to seek clarifications and or information as to make accurate reports of any situation,” the statement read.
Crash landing is a landing where the aircraft receives significant structural damage, e.g. due to a hard landing or a runway veer-off. Not all emergency landings are classified as crash landings – if the aircraft has remained intact (or has received minor damage) using the term would be inappropriate.
The above definition of crash landing was obtained from SKYbrary, a wiki created by the European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation, International Civil Aviation Organization, and the Flight Safety Foundation to create a comprehensive source of aviation safety information freely available online.
Explaining the incident, the Authority said: “A Max Air flight NGL1649 a B737 aircraft with registration 5N-MBD departed Yola for Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja with 144 passengers and 6 flight crew on board. During landing at Abuja airport the aircraft lost some tires, the flight crew brought the aircraft to a safe stop on Runway 22 at 257pm local time. All persons on board were evacuated safely and the airport emergency services including the rescue and fire fighting services response was excellent.”
“Abuja airport was shutdown due to the disabled aircraft on the runway, as Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport is a single runway airport. A Notice to Airmen (NOTAM) was issued by NAMA accordingly. All relevant agencies including NCAA, FAAN, NAMA and NSIB swung into action collaboratively to ensure the prompt removal of the disabled aircraft from the runway and reopening of the airport for flight operations. Several flights both domestic and international flights were stranded at Abuja airport , while incoming flights diverted to other airports.”
According to the Authority, the damaged wheels of the aircraft were replaced and the aircraft taxied on its power from the runway to an assigned parking position.
The runway was also inspected and swept for damage and debris by officials of NCAA, FAAN and NAMA, after which the runway was declared safe. Subsequently, the airport was reopened for resumption of flight operations after 8pm.
“Nigeria Safety Investigation Board (NSIB) and or NCAA will conduct a thorough investigation of this incident to determine the root cause and make appropriate recommendations to prevent any recurrence of such incident,” it added.