Arik Air says a glitch in its aircraft’s auxiliary power unit was responsible for the aborted Jos and Kaduna-bound flight on Saturday.
Passengers on the Boing 707 flight taking off from Lagos had panicked when the incident occurred at 3:15 pm.
Adebanji Ola, Arik communications manager, said the pilot made the call to abort the flight because the Jos station “does not have air starter unit (ASU) to restart the engines after shutdown on the ground”.
The airline noted that the incident took place before during taxiing before the pilot embarked on the take-off run.
He said in a statement: “The Jos and Kaduna bound flights out of Lagos on Saturday, December 8 had an Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) glitch which occurred during taxiing.
” In the event of an APU becoming unserviceable, once aircraft engines are shutdown on the ground for disembarkation of passengers, engines cannot be restarted without an ASU. This explains the precautionary measure by the Captain to return to ramp.
“By the time an alternative aircraft was secured to operate the flight en route Jos to Kaduna, it was too late to proceed to Jos as the Yakubu Gowon Airport is a day light operated airport. Consequently, the flight to Jos was cancelled. Arik was however able to operate the flight to Kaduna.
“Arik has since apologized to our Jos bound customers and a suitable arrangement has been made to fly them to Jos. We need to state that the glitch occurred during taxiing and the Captain had not embarked on the take-off run. The steps taken were purely precautionary.
“Arik will only operate a safe and secure flight, as the safety of our customers and crew is paramount to us.”