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Accident Investigation Bureau Reveals Cause of Tragic Dana Air Crash in 2012



The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) on Monday said the June 3, 2012 Dana Air crash was caused by engine failure and inappropriate decision making by the crew.

The AIB Commissioner, Akin Olateru, disclosed this while presenting final reports on the crash and three other serious incidents.

The Boeing MD-83 aircraft with registration number 5N-RAM which was going to Lagos from Abuja crashed in the densely populated Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos State.

The plane crashed into a two-storey building at Iju-Ishaga killing all 153 passengers on board, including six crew.  There were also six confirmed ground fatalities.

Olateru said the bureau had carried out investigation on the incidence in accordance with International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Annex 13 and had issued four interim reports before arriving at the final report.

“The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of the United States of America (USA), representing the State of Design and Manufacture of the aircraft, appointed an accredited representative along with a team of experts from Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the Boeing Company and Pratt & Whitney USA. The operator (Dana Air) co-operated with the investigators and provided assistance as required. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) was kept informed of developments,” he said.

He said one of the probable causal factors, according to investigations ,was that the Engine number one of the aircraft lost power 17 minutes into the flight, and thereafter on final approach, engine number two lost power.

Olateru said that it thereafter failed to respond to throttle movement on demand for increased power to sustain the aircraft in its flight configuration.

“Other causal factors were the inappropriate omission of the use of the checklist, and the crew’s inability to appreciate the severity of the power-related problem, and their subsequent failure to land at the nearest suitable airfield. It was also caused by a lack of situation awareness, inappropriate decision making, and poor airmanship,” he added.

The commissioner said the AIB consequently made eight safety recommendations to the FAA, NCAA, Dana Air and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) which had been accepted and closed.

He also presented a final report on the accident involving OAS Helicopters with Registration number 5NBKA which crashed at Oke-Oba Hill, Ikonifin, State of Osun on July 29, 2011 killing three persons.

He said that the causal factor was the non-adherence of the pilot to Visual Flight Rules of “clear of cloud and obstacles” while maintaining ground contact at all times led to Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT).

According to him, the contributory factors were as a result of the pilot not instrument rated and also unfamiliar with the route.

Olateru further presented report on the serious incident involving Presidential Implementation Committee on Maritime Safety and Security (PICOMSS) with Registration 5N-BKS at the Benin Airport on July 5, 2012.

He said there were no fatalities in the incident which was caused by the decision of the crew to continue the glide approach in spite of repeated landing gear warnings with the power lever below 25 per cent rather than initiating a Go-around.

The AIB boss also presented a report on the serious incident involving Bristow Helicopters Ltd., Sikorsky S-92 with registration number 5N-BOA in Lagos on February 27, 2013.

He said the eight passengers and crew members were deplaned without any injuries following a fault developed by the aircraft midair.

Olateru reiterated that the purpose of investigation was for prevention of reoccurrence and not punitive, adding that the proceeding was not conducted for the purpose of determining the rights or liability of any persons.

He said that the cost of investigating an accident or serious incident was very huge, noting that the AIB only had less than N16 million to investigate accidents in its 2017 budget.

“We use this opportunity to plead for our minister to use his good office to see the possibility of creating a special fund for accident investigation. The bureau needs funds for the purpose of exploring preventive measures for accident or serious incident and for its readiness in cases where an accident or serious incident occurs,” Olateru said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.


  1. Sweetness

    March 14, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    This is really sad to relive…. Terribly disheartening that the captain decided to go on with the flight after loosing one engine, 17mins into the flight that normally takes 50 to 55mins. Landing somewhere much closer to abj could have averted this tragic incident, better still going back to abj…. Better to be late for appointments, than to die, pointlessly…. May the souls of the dead continue to rest in peace. Amen.

    • Anne

      March 14, 2017 at 9:36 pm

      May I not be a victim of mistakes. Investigation is good. 153 people died, 4years after.

  2. mee

    March 14, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Wao!!! i sure wished they did not have to die. really sad to relieve indeed.

    But is it normal for this report to take 5years?

    • Ose

      March 14, 2017 at 7:15 pm

      My thoughts exactly. The first thing that came to mind was after 5long years……REALLY? Thats a tragedy and its just a disservice to those who lost their lives and the rest of us who still fly.

  3. Corolla

    March 14, 2017 at 7:40 pm

    RIP Ayoola Somolu, Maimuna, and Dunni Doherty.

  4. udochi

    March 14, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    Sleep on Prof Celestine Onwuliri.. body unscratched, with hi crucifix and scapula… but unfortunately withou his life.

  5. Victoria

    March 14, 2017 at 10:01 pm

    After how many years. It’s just said and my own prayer is for no one ton loose their loved ones

  6. lucy

    March 15, 2017 at 1:02 am

    This was really painful to read and to remember, Dear Nigerian leaders , let us value the lives of all humans equally. I have never heard of any mishap or near mishap on the jets used to carry our politicians. Heaven is watching and one day everyone will account for their actions.

    May the souls of the departed continue to rest in the bossom of our Lord . Amen

  7. Tootsie

    March 15, 2017 at 4:52 am

    Stupidity! I couldn’t read the article. I lost a dear cousin of mine in that crash. Still mourning his death, and this does nothing but bring back horrible memories. RIP Godwin Eke!!!

  8. isaid!!

    March 15, 2017 at 11:01 am

    May their gentle souls continue to rest in peace amen. I hope the lessons have been learnt.
    The crashes before the Dana plane nko? The family of the dead would need closure too.

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