It was yet another harrowing experience for some airline passengers today in Nigeria when a flock of birds struck a Dana Air flight between Lagos and Port Harcourt, causing it to lose an engine.
None of the 100 passengers and crew on board were injured. The aircraft had departed Lagos for Port Harcourt at 11 am, and made an immediate return back to Lagos when it was hit by birds on take off.
After waiting a few hours in the airport, the passengers were put on another flight to Port Harcourt.
The affected aircraft has been grounded while the inspectors of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority of Nigeria (NCAA) are inspect it to learn the extent of the damage.
Dana Air spokesman Mr. Kingsley Ezenwa said in a statement, “At Dana Air, the safety and comfort of our guests will remain a top priority to us and we will stop at nothing in our commitment towards offering a safe and reliable air transport.”
“Our guests have however been re-protected on another aircraft to ensure that their itinerary is not entirely disrupted. The aircraft is currently being evaluated by our engineers to determine the effect of the bird strike on the affected engine.
Bird strikes are a major menace in the Nigerian aviation industry, responsible for over $180 million in annual losses across the country’s airports and airfields.
Speaking on behalf of its members in Lagos, the Chairman, Airline Operators of Nigeria, Noggie Meggison said that the operators lost 30 engines to bird strike incidents in 2016.
Meggison blames inefficiencies and negligence of aviation agencies as the main reason for the high number of air accidents involving birds. Despite the fact that reports of such accidents and incidents were published, government had not learnt from the past mistakes, he said.