Crash-landed Overland Aircraft Has Been In Service for 21 Years


By Akachukwu Amaka

overland_crashsceneIt would be recalled that on Saturday 29th, it was reported that an Overland Aircraft with 59 passengers on board veered off the runway on course of its landing at the Ilorin Airport Lagos.  According to reports that have surfaced, it is said that the aircraft in question has been in service for 21 years. The plane was acquired since May 1993, according to information on the plane’s history which was obtained by SaharaReporters.

The plane, an ATR 72-202, was first flown on May 18, 1993. It was originally registered to Air Tahiti with registration number F-OHAT. The plane later became part of the fleet of Air Corsica in France and left their 1999. The aircraft was subsequently registered in Brazil with a low-budget local airline, TRIP in Campinas, São Paulo State. It was removed from fleet in 2006.

According to investigation given, the aircraft was later sold to Azul, another Brazilian low-cost carrier based in Barueri, also in the state of Sao Paulo.

The turboprop aircraft arrived in Nigeria in 2013, 20 years after it was first flown, as Overland Airways had purchased it.

The aircraft had taken off from Abuja when it veered off the runway after landing in Ilorin, the capital of Kwara State. Aviation engineers told SaharaReporters that the plane’s nose gear had collapsed upon landing and skidded off the runway.

While we are all glad and rejoicing that nobody was hurt in the cause of the mishap, we must also critically examine the reasons why the aviation sector neglects their duties when it comes to thoroughly examining and enforcing the scrap of substandard planes. In all fairness, the government has done quiet an amount of changes compared to how badly the aviation sector was; but a lot more needs to be done.

Air is supposedly one of the safest means of transportation generally in the world; but that cannot be said when it comes to Nigeria. Many people get scared of flying especially when it comes to our domestic airlines due to the lack of proper maintenance. Not only are we dealing with how badly and depleted some of the infrastructures at the airports look, some of the airlines used in conveying passengers are outdated and should be grounded from flying.

Presently, the domestic sector in the Nigerian aviation sector depends mainly on two airline operators for its services; not to say there are no others which many people hardly hear or know about. One of the major problem that causes the lack of inefficiency by these airline operators stem from the fact that there are no varieties in the Nigerian domestic airline sector; the ones existing lack competition; hence they over use their aircrafts for too long without adequate and proper maintenance and most importantly lack proper customer care services.

The government needs to lend adequate support to other investors who are interested in starting up business in the domestic airline sector. There is need for other competition. That would help those existing to sit up and take adequate and proper measures.

POSER: What do you think the government should do to ensure that these airline operators provide quality services to their customers?

Why do you think these airline operators keep purchasing and using old and outdated aircrafts?

Share your opinions with us….

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