by Stanley Azuakola
The findings from the Flight Data Recorder (FDR), otherwise known as the black box, of the crashed Dana Air plane of June 3, 2012, would not be ready for at least 12 months. According to officials of the Ministry of Aviation, this is not an anomaly, but in line with global practices in the aviation industry.
The two black boxes of the ill-fated flight which claimed the lives of over 200 persons were flown to the United States of America on Thursday for decoding by experts at the Accident Investigations Bureau (AIB) in New York.
Though the final report would not be released till 2013, a preliminary report of findings might be released before then.
The special assistant on media to the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Joe Obi, said that, ‘The report of the investigation on the black boxes cannot come out before 12 months. There will be preliminary reports, but the final report will be in one year. We will try to see if the investigation can be fast-tracked so that the result can be released early enough.”
Mr. Obi said that the ministry would refrain itself from apportioning blame until the release of the final report. ‘Until we get the result or the findings from the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), we cannot pin it down to regulations or non-adherence,” Obi said.
He said that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has so far performed creditably but is incapable of totally eliminating accidents in the industry. ‘Prior to 2006, we know what was happening. The fact that NCAA has been up to the task does not eliminate accidents. You cannot eliminate accident 100 per cent. This accident is a wake-up call. In terms of regulation of the sector, they have been doing their best,” he explained.
Responding to the issue of old aircrafts flying in the nation’s airspace, the spokesman noted that the president had set up a committee which would look into a broad spectrum of issues. He also noted that there is a consensus by experts in the aviation industry that the age of the aircraft does not matter much as long as the aircraft undergoes routine checks and maintenance.