O 727 acidentado, prefixo 5N-BCF é visto aqui em Porto Alegre, em 31 de agosto de 2002, em foto de Marcelo Magalhães.
According to him, the Boeing 727-200 with registration 5N BCF which took off from the Kaduna Airport with 155 passengers on board, landed at Murtala Mohammed Airport about 9.15am and fell into a drainage tunnel while taxing after landing due to flood on the runway.
The about 170 passenger capacity B727 Chanchangi aircraft with registration number 5N-BEU which flew in from the Rivers State capital, Port Harcourt, was said to have suddenly developed fault in its nose gear which got its front tyre stuck, a condition that is unhealthy for safe landing
On sensing this, the pilot, Capt. Bode Olabiyi reportedly alerted the control tower which subsequently cleared him for an emergency landing.
The control tower was also said to have alerted all the necessary emergency agencies, including fire fighters which promptly responded before the plane made the emergency landing at about 4.30 pm.
On landing, the nose of the aircraft which had only been partly damaged had all the passengers safely evacuated.
Although some of the passengers looked horrified by the incident, THISDAY saw many of them throwing their hands up apparently in supplication to God for escaping unhurt.
Speaking to airport correspondents shortly after the incident, Chanchangi airline's Lagos Manager, Alhaji Muhammed Tukur, confirmed that the incident was as a result of the fault arising from the nose wheel. He, however, thanked God for averting the tragedy.
The airline's Chief Pilot, Capt. Abdullahi Garbati, who also addressed newsmen at the scene of the incident praised the professionalism displayed by the pilot which not only averted tragedy but also saved the aircraft from damage.
The implication of yesterday's incident is that landing and take off of aircraft at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos will be impossible until the Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau (AIPB) conclude its report on the incident.
This is because the 19 L runway at the domestic wing of the airport is the only one used for local and international flights since the 19 R at the international wing is currently being resurfaced.
Since resurfacing commenced some months back, the 19 L has served both local and international flights.
However when THISDAy called on the Murtala Muhammed Airport Manager, Engr. Obi Anadu on phone last night, he stated that "we are on the runway doing some work".
His response was apparently an indication that the Chanchangi aircraft was being moved from the runway to pave way for traffic in and out of the country.
Anadu who also confirmed the Kenya Airways incident said it was observed that smoke was coming from the front tyres after the aircraft had safely landed. He added that fire fighters were on hand to bring the situation under control.
No major air mishap has been recorded in the nation's civil aviation sector apart from the one involving a light aircraft used by an oil company which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean early this year while it was on a medical evacuation mission in the Niger Delta area.
The most recent major air mishap was the May 4, 2002 EAS crash in Kano which killed over 100 passengers, including a serving Sports Minister, Ishaya Mark Aku as well as the wife and son of one time Federal Capital Territory Minister, General Jeremiah Useni (rtd).
Early this year what initially appeared to be an air crash into the Goshen Beach in the Ajah area of Lagos turned out to be a hoax after several fruitless search and rescue efforts.