‘We’ll ensure continued safe flight operations’ — NSIB, NCAA to probe Max Air aircraft incident

BY Bunmi Aduloju


The Nigeria Safety Investigation Board (NSIB) and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) have expressed readiness to conduct a thorough investigation on the Max Air aircraft incident.

An aircraft operated by Max Air reportedly crash-landed on Sunday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, (NAIA) Abuja, after one of its tyres burst into flames.

The aircraft was said to be arriving from Yola, Adamawa state, when the incident occurred.

Commenting on the incident in a statement on Monday, Musa Nuhu, NCAA director-general, said the outcome of the investigation would help the agencies to make appropriate recommendations to prevent a recurrence.


“A Max Air flight NGL1649 a B737 aircraft with registration 5N-MBD departed Yola for Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, with 144 passengers and six flight crew on board,” he said.

“During landing at Abuja airport the aircraft lost some tires, the flight crew brought the aircraft to a safe stop on runway 22 at 2:57 pm local time.

“All persons on board were evacuated safely and the airport emergency services including the rescue and fire fighting services response was excellent.”


The NCAA boss confirmed that the Abuja airport was shut down due to the disabled aircraft on the runway, as NAIA is a single-runway airport.

Nuhu said a notice to airmen (NOTAM) was issued by NAMA accordingly.

“All relevant agencies including NCAA, FAAN, NAMA, and NSIB swung into action collaboratively to ensure the prompt removal of the disabled aircraft from the runway and reopening of the airport for flight operations,” he said.

“Several flights — both domestic and international — were stranded at Abuja airport, while incoming flights were diverted to other airports.


“The damaged wheels of the aircraft were replaced and the aircraft taxied on its power from the runway to an assigned parking position.” 

Nuhu said the runway was inspected and swept for damage and debris by officials of NCAA, Federal Airports Authority (FAAN) and Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), after which it was declared safe.

The airport was subsequently reopened for flight operations after 8 pm, he added.

“It has come to the notice of NCAA of sensational media reports of the incident, classifying it as a crash landing thus creating panic and concerns amongst the traveling public,” he said.

“The media are urged to seek clarifications and or information as to make accurate reports of any situation.

“The traveling public should be rest assured that NCAA and other aviation agencies will spare no efforts to ensure the continued safe flight operations in Nigeria as has been the case over several years.”


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