An official of Dana Airlines who does not want to be named has just confirmed to Channels Television that the ill-fated Dana Air flight 0992, MC Donnell Douglas (MD 83) was faulty shortly after it left Lagos and stopped over in Calabar.
Also, the Special Adviser, Technical to Minister of Aviation, Mr. Victor Oche Elias, has revealed that the pilot of the ill-fated plane, had alerted the aviation authority of the airport, on the emergency situation 11 nautical miles to landing.
It was further disclosed that the pilot’s May-Day cry was given priority, but the plane could not make it, as it crashed 4 nautical miles to landing.
The Dana official alleged that the Indian owners of the airline threw caution to the wind and insisted that the plane must fly in a bid to maximise profit, thereby sending the plane over to Abuja to pick passengers, when it should have being returned to Lagos for further repair.
She also claimed the flight has had persistent history of faults with its hydraulics in recent times and it was not supposed to have flown.
According to the official, “the plane has being giving faults for a very long time. There was a case when it was on ground in Uyo for over six hours, because of delayed flight, it had a bolt. And then in Abuja it happened a few days ago, then some people went with the aircraft but they could not come back, because it had a fault there and it couldn’t leave Abuja.”
“The same engineers that fixed it and then they sent crew to bring it with passengers to Lagos.”
Confirming that the plane that crashed on Sunday, was not supposed to leave Lagos at all, the Dana official stated that “yesterday, it (Dana Air flight 0992) was not supposed to leave Lagos at all, but it left and then got to Calabar, gave fault and it was fixed and then they took it to Abuja, when they should have returned to Lagos but because they didn’t want to part with the little money they will make, they took it to Abuja, loaded full passengers, and then it couldn’t get to Lagos. ”
“It has being having faults over time, continuously, hydraulics or one thing or the other. That aircraft kept having problems and they were not ready to park it” she alleged.
She added that the management of the airline does not return aircraft with faults back to the station, as it should have, but “they make it complete its normal route to where ever it is supposed to go before they bring it back to Lagos” she said.
MC Donnell Douglas MD 83 was sold to Dana Airline in 2009 by a US-based Alaska Airlines, ahead of the airline commencing its services in Nigeria.