Air mishap averted on Ilorin-Lagos route

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BY Kenneth Ehigiator

Smarting from the helicopter crash that claimed the lives of former Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa, former National Security Adviser, General Andrew Azazi, and four others last Saturday in Bayelsa State, the nation would have witnessed yet another disaster but for providence, as an Overland Airways flight from Ilorin to Lagos suffered technical problems on take-off.

A source told Vanguard that the flight, OJ 1188, had difficulties stabilising in the air as the landing gear failed to retract after take-off from Ilorin Airport, Sunday.

The pilot was said to have continued the journey to Lagos, with the flight witnessing turbulence as the landing gear failed to retract.

A passenger on the flight said the aircraft wobbled its way into Murtala Muhammad Airport with its landing gear hanging dangerously throughout the flight.

Vanguard could not confirm the incident from the operator of the airline, Capt. Edward Boyo, last night as calls put through his mobile number remained unanswered.

However, Director-General of Nigerian Civil Authority, NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren, who confirmed the development, said the aircraft on take-off at Ilorin Airport, hit an object which made it impossible for the landing gear to retract after take-off.

He said the pilot was, however, able to manipulate the aircraft to land safely in Lagos, without injuries to the passengers.

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