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Dana pilot for honours – Aviation Minister

By Abayomi Adeshida

 AVIATION Minister, Mrs. Fidelia Njeze, on Friday,  promised that courage demonstrated by the pilot of the Dana Air Flight 9J995 which lost an engine to a bird strike at the Lagos Airport on Monday will be rewarded.                                

Answering questions from Sunday Vanguard at the State House Abuja on whether the pilot and crew of the flight would be considered for national honours, Njeze said, “The fact that the bird strike occurred when the flight was already airborne and the pilot took control of the situation and landed all 97 passengers without a casualty is a clear demonstration of the professional competence of the pilot.

 “I want to assure you here that the pilot has done a noble act and the professional competence he demonstrated will not go without a reward.

 “We are going to reward the pilot for saving from us yet another calamity in the aviation industry and you can be sure that the achievement will be rewarded so that in future, other people would be encouraged to put in their best when the time comes for them to serve the nation,” the Minister stated.

 In a related development, Njeze hinted that the Aviation Accidents Investigation Bureau is collaborating with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to investigate the cause of the failure of the landing gear of a chartered flight at the Abuja Airport penultimate Saturday.  When asked whether the pilot of the flight would also receive any commendation for taking his initiative on that occasion, the minister said, the Accidents Investigation Bureau and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority are still investigating why the front landing gear of that flight failed and took several attempts before the flight  landed.

 “I cannot start talking about rewarding that pilot now until we see the report that would come out after thorough investigations.

 “You know, that case is very different from what happened in Lagos where a plane took off and was struck mid-air by a bird and an engine was lost in the process.


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