Stephen Ukandu Umuahia
The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has suspended Max Air Boeing 737 over safety concerns.
This is coming barely 24 hours after the publication of a report by an investigative journalist, David Hundeyin, on how the aircraft narrowly escaped mishaps due to contaminated aviation fuel.
The letter suspending the aircraft was signed by the Director, Operations Training & Licensing, Captain Ibrahim Bello Dambazau for Director General, Civil Aviation.
According to the letter, the aircraft recorded four incidents within this year alone.
The occurrences were recorded between May and July this year in Abuja, Kano and Yola.
It read in part: “The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) hereby suspends Parts A3 (Aircraft Authorization) and D43 (Aircraft Listing) of the Operations Specifications issued to Max Air Ltd. with regards to the operations of the Boeing B737 aircraft type in your fleet.”
“With the above suspension, you are to immediately suspend the operations of all Boeing B737 aircraft in your fleet.”
Below are the reasons adduced by the NCAA for the suspension:
“1. Loss of Number 1 Main Landing Gear (MLG) wheel during the serious incident involving a Boeing 737-400 aircraft, registration marks 5N-MBDwhich occurred between Take-off at Yola Airport Adamawa State and on landing at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja Nigeria on 7th May, 2023;
“2. Fuel Contamination of the main fuel tanks of aircraft B737-300, Registration Marks; 5N-MHM, leading to the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) shutdown on ground Yola Airport on the 7th of July, 2023;
“3. Aborted take-off of Boeing 737-400 aircraft, registration marks 5N-MBD, which occurred at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) due to high Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT) indication on the 11th of July, 2023;
“4. An air return by aircraft B737-300, Registration Marks; 5N-MHM to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) due to duct overheat indication in the cockpit on the 11th of July, 2023.
“The letter also disclosed that, with the development, a team of inspectors has been constituted to conduct an audit on Max Air and the outcome of the audit if satisfactory will determine whether the suspended aircraft type will return to operation or not.”