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AIB releases reports on Max Air incident, two others

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THE Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria (AIB-N), has released three final reports on serious incidents involving aircraft owned and operated by Max Air and two others.

The Bureau, in a virtual press briefing on May 25, 2022, explained that it had also issued 20 safety recommendations alongside the causative factors of the air incidents recorded.


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The AIB Commissioner, Akin Olateru, who, from Abuja, briefed journalists via zoom stated that the reports included:

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.  The final Report on the serious incident involving a Boeing 747-400 aircraft with nationality and registration marks 5N-DBK operated by Max Air Limited, which occurred at the Minna Airport, Nigeria on September 7, 2019;

.  The final Report on the serious incident involving Cessna Citation 560 XLS aircraft with nationality and registration marks 5N-HAR operated by the Nigerian Police Airwing, which occurred at Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa Airport, Bauchi, Nigeria on October 3, 2018, and;

The final Report on the serious incident involving a Boeing 737-500 aircraft with nationality and registration marks 5N-AIS operated by Azman Air Service Limited, which occurred at Port Harcourt, Nigeria, on January 3, 2019.

The Commissioner said the excessive rudder and aileron inputs at the short finals phase of the approach was the reason for the Max Air incident, which occured when 560 pilgrims were returing from Hajj in 2019.

The other factors, according to him, were an unstabilised approach with no go-around decision, and the decision to continue the Instrument Landing System (ILS) approach runway 05 with erratic localizer signals.

Olateru explained that a Boeing 747-400 aircraft with nationality and registration marks 5N-DBK operated by Max Air Limited left King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Saudi Arabia by 11:34pm on September 6, 2019 for Minna airport.

On getting to the airport, poor weather conditions made the pilot fly manually. The resultant effect of that landing was a clumsy one that made the engine impact the runway, dragging the engine with it as it taxied to its final stop.

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He said, “There were 18 crew (2 cockpit crew, 14 cabin crew and 2 maintenance engineers) and 560 passengers with 8 hours 13 minutes’ endurance.

“The flight crew briefed for RNAV approach. At 3:31:21 h, NGL2092 established contact with Minna Tower and was cleared to Minna VOR (MNA) for ILS/DME approach Runway (RWY) 05. At 3:50:23 h, NGL2092 further reported to Minna Tower that there was an accumulation of storms on the final approach path. They requested to deviate left and extended the downwind of RWY 05. Minna Tower acknowledged and instructed NGL2092 to report when clear of weather.

“The flight crew stated that at about 2000ft, the autopilot disengaged and then they elected to fly manually. At 03:55 h, NGL2092 landed on RWY 05. The aircraft touched down on the right of the centreline of RWY 05 with the left main wheels first and the number one engine nacelle impacted the runway and was dragged along the runway centreline. Minna Tower passed the landing time and issued taxi instructions.”

Olateru made seven safety recommendations regarding the incident.

According to reports, the Boeing 747-400 aircraft with nationality and registration marks 5N-DBK was Max Air’s oldest Boeing 747-400 aircraft. In fact, it was retired this year after a long haul flight between Nigeria and the United States.

It first rode from the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (KAN) to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (ABV) in Abuja on March 29, 2022. It, thereafter, left Abuja on March 30, 2022 for Bangor International (BGR) in the United States state of Maine, where it stayed overnight.

On March 31, 2022, it went to Marana from Maina and retired to the Pinal Airpark afterwards. It had previously spent 20 years with the Korean Air, leaving in February 2016 to join Max Air in July 2016.

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The 5N-DBK is one of three Boeing 747-400s on the books of Max Air. The other two are registered as 5N-ADM and 5N-HMM respectively

The AIB Commissioner revealed that funding had been approved for the development of ARGUE (Advanced Report Generation Utility Engine), a system that is expected to dramatically improve how air accident investigation results are communicated to, and accessed by stakeholders.

Author profile

Experienced Business reporter seeking the truth and upholding justice. Covered capital markets, aviation, maritime, road and rail, as well as economy. Email tips to jolaoluwa@icirnigeria.org

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