An Aero Contractors Boeing 737-500 aircraft that took off from Sokoto to Abuja on Wednesday made an air return back to the Sokoto airport due to technical fault noticed by the pilot mid-way in the course of the flight. Spokesman for Aero Contractors, Mr. Simon Tumba, who confirmed the incident to Daily Sun said “the pilot of the aircraft noticed a yellow signal (an amber light) on the cockpit of the aircraft and felt something was not going on smoothly with the aircraft hence his decision to make an air return to the Sokoto airport.”
“The pilot took a safety and precautionary measure. In fact, standard and recommended practice and procedure were followed in the air return and there was no harm to passengers,” Tumba added.
When the aircraft landed at the Sokoto airport, passengers were disembarked to allow engineers fix the fault. Tumba said passengers were thereafter given the option of continuing with the flight or getting refund to book another airline.
“No passenger was abandoned by the airline,” he added. But one of the passengers, Ismail Sani, however told online site PRNigeria in Sokoto that the Flight No 128 after half-way in its journey was still not stable, prompting the pilot to announce that the landing gear could not return after series of noise from the engines.
Malam Sani, who owns Platinum FM Radio in Keffi, also disclosed that “the aircraft was still airborne as at the estimated time promised by the pilot at 2:30pm, putting more fears on the passengers and the crew members.
“The aircraft finally touched ground at about 2:45pm, accompanied by 2 fire service vehicles and an ambulance at the Sultan Abubakar 111 Sokoto Airport. We were all asked as passengers to disembark from the aircraft and wait at the departure lounge for further briefing.