Nigerian Airspace Management Agency and Max Air are at each other’s jugular after the airline’s Boeing 747-400 loaded with 560 passengers and 16 crew members returning from Saudi Arabia landed on one of its engine sides at the Minna airport on Saturday.
While the airline claimed that NAMA’s Instrument Landing System at the airport was “epileptic with unreliable signals,” the agency said the ILS had no issues and was in other.
Five hundred and sixty-nine Nigerians on board the aircraft with registration number 5N-DBK narrowly escaped death.
Max Air’s Director of Operations, Capt. Ibrahim Dilli, stated, “The Instrument Landing System at the airport was epileptic with unstable signals. Our pilots executed an approach using their wealth of experience and knowledge on the terrain and environment to a safe landing and stopped on the runway, during which one of the engines slightly brushed the runway due to complex landing manoeuvres occasioned by the strong downdraft.”
However, NAMA General Manager, Public Affairs, Khalid Emele, reacted that the ILS was successfully calibrated early this year and that there had been no report of non-alignment by the equipment from pilots since then.
“Other operators that have used the facility after the incident have not complained about the ILS malfunctioning. NAMA has made available alternatives to the ILS like the Performance Based Navigation and Very High Omni-directional Radio Range/Distance Measuring Equipment approach procedures,” said he.
Meanwhile, the Accident Investigation Bureau is probing the incident.
AIB’s commissioner, Akin Olateru, sa
“As the investigation agency, AIB needs and hereby solicits your help .We want the public to know that we would be amenable to receiving any video clip, relevant information any member of the public may have of the serious incident that can assist us with this investigation,” he said.