Tragedy was on Tuesday afternoon averted in Lagos as an Aero Contractors’ plane made an air return shortly after takeoff from the Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA 2). Reason: The plane, with 141 persons on board, suffered a burst tyre.
The incident was confirmed by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
A statement by the General Manager, Public Affairs of the NCAA, Mr. Fan Ndubuoke, disclosed that the aircraft which took off at 3pm from Lagos to Abuja, developed technical problem.
It described the air return as “normal procedure.”
On return to the international wing of the MMIA, some of the passengers were transferred to another Aero aircraft while the others demanded a refund of their fares.
Another group of the passengers rescheduled their flight for Wednesday.
Ndubuoke disclosed that the NCAA would further examine what actually happened during the flight but assured the public of the agency’s commitment to safety and security.
Aero Contractors, in a separate press statement, said that the tyre burst occurred just as the airplane was lifting off.
The company said that the pilot did the right thing by not trying to abort the take-off. He controlled the plane into the air and followed all trained procedures, adding that the pilot brought the plane back to a safe landing.
“At no time during all of these were the passengers lives at any risk,” it added.