Dana: Investigators may send plane’s engines to US Oyetunji AbioyeHeadlines Tuesday, July 24th, 2012
July 24, 2012 by Oyetunji Abioye 5 Comments
Following the loss of the data contained in the Flight Data Recorder (the Black Box) of the crashed Dana Air plane, the Accident Investigation Bureau is considering flying the two engines of the aircraft to the United States for specialised mechanical tests.
The action, it was learnt, was aimed at getting clearer clues into the cause(s) of the “dual engine failure.”
According to aviation experts, FDR remains the most reliable and easiest way to determine the cause an air crash.
AIB, in its preliminary report, attributed the Dana plane crash to failure of the two engines but AIB could not establish the causes of the failure.
However, it was gathered on Monday that the proposed tests being considered by the investigators might likely explain the causes.
The team investigating the crash includes officials of the AIB, United States’ National Transportation Safety Bureau and two American aviation companies, Boeing and Pratt and Whitney.
Sources close to the investigators said the two engines might be sent to Pratt and Whitney’s facility in Connecticut, USA for tests.
According to the Ministry of Aviation sources in Abuja, the move is perhaps one of the most viable options left for the investigating team to unravel the causes of the dual engine failure experienced before the crash that led to the death of 153 people on board and 10 people on ground.
The sources also said rather than fly the complete engines to the USA, the team might send the necessary components.
A top official in one of the aviation agencies said the plan was in line with the standard practice in accident investigation.
The official, who spoke under condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the Dana crash, said, “Although the data in the FDR could not be recovered, the team can still know the cause of dual engine failure. One of the things they may do now is to send some parts of the engine abroad for the tests.
“The tests will help them to know if those parts were working before the plane crashed. Through these tests, they can know what led to the dual engine failure. There are several ways of conducting accident investigation. This is just one of them.”
Meanwhile, a former Rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, Captain Adebayo Araba, said he was not sure if the crashed Dana plane’s FDR went through the required modifications over the years.
He believed that if the FDR had gone through those modifications, it could have withstood the intense post-crash fire.
According to Araba, all aircraft manufacturers have over the years modified their FDR to withstand any severe condition including fire.
He said, “No one knows the quality of the FDR of the crashed plane because all aircraft manufacturers have modified FDR of all planes and I doubt it if this went through any form of modification. The taking of the report to the United States National Transportation Safety Board will authenticate the report because it is the highest investigative body when it comes to aircraft accident.”
He added, “It is possible for the FDR to crash if the aircraft is an old model. It is possible Dana did not go through all those modifications being an old aircraft.”
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