Following the several events which trailed the Associated Airline plane crash weeks ago, there are now speculations that the cargo craft may have crashed a few minutes after take-off because the coffin it was carrying shifted.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTBS) after its investigation had reported that the aircraft crashed after it stalled at take-off. Being a cargo aircraft, the sudden movement of its cargo displaced the “aircraft C of G”. The report also indicated that the coffin carrying the remains of former Governor Olusegun Agagu was not strapped.
A source who chose to remain anonymous told Channels Television that the circumstances leading to the crash of a cargo aircraft in Afghanistan, right after take-off, is similar to the case of the Associated Airline plane crash which occurred on 3rd October.
The Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Dele Sasegbon, on Wednesday said that an argument which reportedly ensued between the pilot of the ill-fated flight and the co-pilot indicated that there may have been a load shift.
While speaking on Sunrise Daily, Mr Sasegbon stated that the speculations are not confirmed yet.
Air safety has been ascertained in the past one year, he added.
We have attained a lot of goals that were expected as far as air safety is concerned as the AIB is yet to submit a comprehensive report on its investigations.
However, he attempted to allay the fears of travelers in Nigeria’s airspace, adding that “we have attained total airspace coverage” which means that all activities in the country’s airspace can be monitored.
“As far as I am concerned, progress is being made although it may be slow, he said.
Mr Sasegbon, who said that people have to consider several aspects before adjudging the airspace safe or not, stated that, the first criteria to consider, is that “the aircrafts, flying in our airspace, are safe and we can see them wherever they are.”
“That has been achieved,” he said.
Speaking about the aviation authority’s plans to improve the sector, he disclosed that in the past month and half, the NCAA, has been discussing with other stakeholders about aircraft safety.
We have actually formed the team between the industry and the aviation authority. The team which will begin its work with helicopters has the oil companies in it and is headed by the same.
The team is expected to come out with advisory circulars after the exercise.
However, the said team is not fully established, yet.