The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has launched a probe to unravel the cause of sudden loss of cabin air pressure on an Air Peace Airline’s Lagos-Enugu bound aircraft last week Friday, says spokesman for the agency, Mr. Sam Adurogboye.
“The investigation will be thorough and will include the review of the videos making the rounds in the social media on the oxygen mask failure incident that reportedly occurred in the airline’s Lagos-Enugu service last Friday,” Adurogboye said.
This comes even as the spokesman for Air Peace, Mr. Chris Iwarah, dismissed reports alleging that the aircraft had experienced a near-crash incident following the loss of cabin pressure, describing the claim as an unfortunate misrepresentation of facts.
Iwarah told journalists on Monday that “the aircraft experienced a change in cabin pressure en-route to Enugu and its flight crew had to do the normal technical manoeuvre by descending to a level comfortable enough for passengers on board.
“Change in cabin pressure is a common occurrence in aviation across the world, including the UK and America.
And where there is a change in cabin pressure, the oxygen masks will automatically drop from the panel for use by passengers on board the aircraft. And this exactly was what happened last Friday,” Iwarah added.
He, however, said the airline cabin crew did observe cases of some passengers who did not properly fit their oxygen masks.
“A few others, perhaps out of panic, pulled too hard on the oxygen masks, causing the equipment to snap. This led to the unfortunate claims that there was no flow of oxygen from the masks.
For the avoidance of doubt, the oxygen generators are part of the items of interest during C-checks. So, it could not have been right that there was no flow of oxygen.
“The claims of a near-crash were a regrettable misrepresentation of facts which really should not be. The aircraft was ferried from Enugu back to Lagos in less than an hour of safely landing at destination. Certainly, no pilot or crew would fly an aircraft that is not airworthy,” Iwarah added.
Adurogboye in a statement said at the conclusion of the investigation, the recommendations would be fully implemented. “But the NCAA wishes to assure all passengers that all aircraft operating in Nigeria are airworthy (fit to fly).
Our Ramp inspections have been strengthened accordingly with the seasonal increase in the volume of passengers,” he added.