The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) says, it has constituted an audit team of inspectors to determine the root causes of the many incidents involving the Boeing 737 aircraft in the Azman Air fleet and recommend action plans to forestall recurrence.
NCAA had last week grounded all Boeing aircraft in the fleet of Azman Air after a burst tyre on landing at the Lagos Airport.
In a statement, General Manager Public Affairs, Mr. Sam Adurogboye says, a comprehensive audit of Azman Air will be conducted in the areas of operations, airworthiness, training, licensing, financial health and any other areas determined to be necessary during the exercise.
“There is an urgent need to break the accident chain before a completely avoidable national tragedy occurs as no responsible Civil Aviation Authority will fold its arms and wait for the next incident to occur, perhaps a fatal accident, before taking action”, he said.
According to the NCAA spokesman, the airline committed several infractions that was not reported to the Authority as required.
“During a routine ramp inspection on 10th February 2021, at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, NCAA inspectors found an Azman Air maintenance engineer carrying out replacement of the right-hand main landing gear wheel assembly (nos. 3 and 4) of their Boeing 737-500 aircraft with registration 5N-SYS, without referring to the manufacturer’s maintenance manual”.
He added that, over period of about 6 weeks, Azman Air Boeing 737 aircraft operating scheduled passenger flights were involved in three separate incidents, resulting in damage to the aircraft in each case but with no loss of life.
“This is a violation of the Civil Aviation Regulations, for which both Azman Air and the engineer have been sanctioned but are yet to pay the fine”.
Explaining further, he added that, on the 11th February 2021, Azman Air flight AZM 2318 operated with the same Boeing 737-500 aircraft with registration 5N-SYS, departed Kaduna for Lagos. During take-off, a component of the aircraft was observed to have fallen off the aircraft and Air Traffic Control (ATC) notified the Captain, who elected to continue the flight to Lagos. Upon arrival Lagos, the Captain failed to make entry in the aircraft technical logbook.
“Azman Air maintenance team on ground Lagos were notified of the detached part and carried out an inspection, which identified the missing part as the no 3 Main Landing Gear (MLG) heatshield.