By LAWANI MIKAIRU & DANIEL ETEGHE
Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Monday, grounded a British Airways flight which was scheduled to depart Abuja by 8.14am to London Heathrow after the aircraft developed a snag in one of its engines before take-off from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Speaking to newsmen, the Acting Director General of the NCAA, Dr. Joyce Nkemakonam said that the aircraft had a snag and was subsequently grounded by the agency.
He said: “The aircraft had a snag and the airline notified NCAA and it was subsequently grounded”.
Investigation conducted by Vanguard revealed that the aircraft door had been shut and modalities to commence flight set in motion when it was announced that one of the engines was not operational. After several futile attempts to restart the aircraft, there was a loud noise from the right engine while smoke was also noticed as the passengers were asked to disembark from the plane, according to sources.
Vanguard further learnt that after several attempts the pilot and engineers were given the option of working on the problem within 40 minutes or abort the flight and reschedule.
The aircraft was later seen being towed to the tarmac and the flight cancelled.
When contacted, the Country Manager of British Airways, Mr. Kola Olayinka said that the airline’s Abuja-London flight was stopped due to operational reasons.
Mr. Olayinka further pointed out that the parts to fix the snag were being flown from London and will be arriving the country this night.
He said: “British Airways confirms that its Abuja-London flight was stopped due to operational reasons. At the moment, the parts to fix the problem are being flown from London tonight, and the flight will operate tomorrow to new timings.”
“All British Airways passengers have been looked after according to our Operational Standard Procedures. British Airways flight 083 scheduled to depart London tonight is operating normally.” he affirmed.