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AIB, Air Peace Rift: A Tale of Two Halves

AIB, Air Peace Rift: A Tale of Two Halves

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) recently accused Air Peace of failure to report accidents or serious incidents to the bureau at the exact time the incidents had occurred. However, Air Peace disagreed with the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), over allegations of unreported incidents and accidents by the airline, describing it as a misrepresentation of facts.

The Bureau, saddled with the primary function of unraveling the cause of incidents and accidents to avert a reoccurrence, alleged that the airline had formed the habit of non-disclosure contrary to provisions of aviation regulations.

The management explained that on the night of May 15, 2019, an Air Peace Boeing 737-300 with registration number 5N-BUK made a hard landing in Lagos on account of sudden change in weather at the point of touch down.

However, the AIB grossly misrepresented the facts when it alluded that the airline only reported the incident, after the Bureau’s team visited its corporate headquarters in Lagos on June 6, 2019, which was about three weeks after the incident.

Contrary to the press statement issued by the AIB, Air Peace duly notified the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) of the incident on May 16, 2019, before it followed up with a written communication and subsequently filed a Mandatory Occurrence Report (MOR) on May 17, 2019, with reference number APL/QM/279/19.

“The said MOR filed by the airline was received and signed for by the NCAA on the same date. The airline complied with the statutory time-lime for the filing of MOR,” the airline stated.

Air Peace added that it was still in shock over alleged “deliberate misrepresentation of facts” by the AIB, and questioned the motive behind the press statement.

The airline queried: “Was the press statement intended to scare the flying public against an airline that has consistently demonstrated zero tolerance for unsafe practices?”

Although both parties may be right, Air Peace is known by air passengers for not reporting air incidents.  Air passengers who took the Air peace flight one time while highlighting his experience to MMS Plus gathered that the air craft was involved in a near accident which was never reported or announced by the Airline.

Air Peace spokesman, Late Chris Iwarah  in an interview with MMS Plus stressed that Air Peace was committed ensuring the safety of its passengers.  How does this act of not reporting its accident shows that the airline prioritizes the safety of passengers?

Also  reacting to the allegation, the Chairman of Air Peace, Allen Onyema said that when the incident happened, the airline reported to the regulatory agency, NCAA and also wrote to Boeing and the manufacturer of the aircraft’s engine, CPM International.

 “When the incident occurred, we reported it to NCAA. We followed the aircraft manual, which guided us on what to do when such incidents occurred. We wrote to Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer and also wrote to the engine manufacturer, CPM International. We also grounded the aircraft.

“We always report any incident to the NCAA and sometimes, you may not know what to report to AIB because the NCAA is the regulatory authority and the Bureau is in charge of accident investigation.So when incidents like hard landing happen and you inform NCAA, we feel we have followed the procedure.

“Boeing has written back to us and told us what to do. According to the procedure, some inspection is currently being carried out on the aircraft,” Onyema said.

However, this statement by the Chairman does not show that the airline reported to AIB has it only reported to NCAA. If the airline prioritizes the safety of the passengers, it should ensure that due processes are follow to avoid further incidents. When the Airline keeps mute about an incident without allowing it to go through investigation in order to discover the problem and proffer recommendations, then it only puts the lives of the passengers at risk.

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