Air Peace is in the news. Not because they are giving out free tickets or rewarding frequent flyers, nope. They are making headlines because their plane nearly crashed. Again.
We are still reeling from the shock and heart break of the unnecessary loss of lives on Monday during Shiite protests in Abuja, Tuesday comes with another shocker. How much can one take? I mean, whom did we offend?
I don’t know about you but a hate flying, I’m not claustrophobic or anything, but from when the plane taxies and picks up speed to the moment it starts its initial climb, I always feel like my end is near.
I literarily say a prayer, confessing all my sins, including the ones I’m yet to commit. If you’ve ever sat at the back and you experience the molue effect, God help you, ni. Let’s not even talk about when turbulence hits, JESU!!! (in Burna Boy’s voice), I’m dead already. I had cold shudder just reliving the moment.
Now imagine how the 133 passengers on board the Air Peace aircraft felt when their plane nearly crashed.
What actually happened
There are many versions, but I’ll go with the account of an actual survivor. @Ariellafitness took to Twitter to narrate the incident. This person even had the presence of mind to make a video inside the plane. Hian!!. (if na me, I don already dey heaven’s gate)
Air Peace, Air Peace , Air Peace, how many times I call una?
Early this year, 15th May 2019, an Air Peace flight from Port Harcourt to Lagos experienced a hard landing that damaged the engine pod and landing gear. No casualties were recorded.
On the 22nd of June 2019, an Air Peace plane carrying 93 passengers from Abuja to Port Harcourt skidded off the runway when landing at Port Harcourt Airport. Thankfully, no one was hurt but the passengers disembarked in the bush. The authorities were quick to blame the rain, as it had been raining when the skidding off occurred. We thanked God and moved on.
Barely a month later, before we could drink water and keep cup, another one happens.
This time, the nose gear (front tyre, to the lay man) breaks off as the Pilot lands the plane. Literarily. Whom do we blame now? Rain, birds, the devil or our village people?
The Pilot, Captain Simisola Ajibola, did all she could to ensure the safety of the passengers, from demanding to land on the International runway when she noticed the change in weather , to bringing the plane to a safe landing after the nose gear broke off. It could have ended in a disaster.
That woman deserves a medal and a place on our national Hall of Fame right next to Dr. Ameyo Stella Adadevoh.
Let’s be guided in this country
Now, after the good work of the Captain, it took emergency services 52 MINUTES to arrive the scene. Imagine what could have happed within that time. A hypertensive passenger don go finish. There were children in that plane.
An electric spark, fuel spillage etc. A whole range of things could have gone wrong and precious lives would have been wasted because someone refused to do their job. It’s like we have forgotten the fatal Sosoliso incident in Port Harcourt.
Whomever is in charge of emergency services at the International Airport should be fired. Period.
It’s not like the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) is not aware of the antecedents of the management of Air Peace.
They have admonished them serval times for failing to report accidents and serious incidents and for overwriting cockpit voice recorders to hide evidence.
Question is, why just admonishments, can’t they be fined or banned from flying for a while? Or is it until a fatal crash happens before a drastic measure is taken?
Now they say they are investigating this current matter. Make we dey look.
Some of us may be a little pissed about this near fatal incident, let’s just not be unfortunate sha because what goes around, comes around. (Note to self: start seriously thinking of relocating to your village.)
I dey Gate.