A retired ambassador, Abiodun Bashua and Nigerian-born Canadian scholar, Professor Pius Adesanmi, have been confirmed to be among the 157 passengers onboard an Ethiopian airline that crashed with no survivor.
The Ethiopian Airline, ET 302, enroute Nairobi from Kenya, crashed after few minutes of take off with all onboard dead in the early hours of Sunday, March 10, 2019.
In what was apparently his last post on Facebook, Prof Adesanmi, on March 9 at 12.56, posted a picture of himself in characteristic smile, holding his Canadian passport and wrote: “If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me – Psalm 139:9-10”
What is the problem with Max 737?
Loss of the Ethiopian Airlines Boeing 737 Max 8, just a few minutes after take-off, is likely to stir disquiet over the re-engined type which emerged during the probe into a Lion Air Max 8 accident.
Ethiopian Airlines has five Max 8s in its fleet and the aircraft involved (ET-AVJ) was only delivered to the carrier in mid-November last year.
Some two weeks before the Ethiopian delivery a Lion Air Max 8 – which itself was less than three months old – crashed into the sea some 12min after taking off from Jakarta on 29 October.
Indonesian investigators have yet to establish conclusions about the Lion accident but have already found that the aircraft started experiencing flight-control problems within 2min of becoming airborne, with fluctuating altitude and automatic nose-down trimming as it attempted to climb to its cruise level.
Investigators determined that the jet had suffered a number of airspeed and altitude indication problems over the three days prior to the crash, and that the ill-fated flight had shown up inconsistencies with the aircraft’s angle-of-attack sensor readings.
Within a few days of the accident Boeing issued a notification to 737 Max operators pointing out that, in manual flight, erroneous angle-of-attack data could cause the pitch-trim system to trim the horizontal stabiliser nose-down unless the crew intervened to activate stabiliser trim cut-out switches.
The US airframer emphasised the symptoms of erroneous angle-of-attack information – which included possible airspeed and altitude disagreement – and stressed the procedures for dealing with nose-down stabiliser trim.
Boeing says it is “aware” of the emerging information about the Ethiopian accident and says it is “closely monitoring the situation”.
There is no immediate evidence that the Ethiopian aircraft, operating flight ET302 to Nairobi on 10 March, suffered similar problems to the Lion Air jet, although it also came down shortly into its initial climb, having taken off some 6min earlier from Addis Ababa’s runway 07R.
Meteorological data from Addis Ababa around the time of the accident indicates good visibility and no adverse weather conditions.
Ethiopian has 30 737 Max jets on order. It received its first at the beginning of July last year. The airline already operates a fleet of 737-800s and -700s and recently took delivery of its first converted 737-800SF freighter, Flightglobal reported.
Tribute messages are pouring in in their numbers as Nigerians across the social media have both been morning and sending their condolences to the families of the Prof Adesanmi, Amb Bashua and other victims of the ill-fated airline.
Folks: I just confirmed that one of our best, Pius Adesanmi died in that Ethiopian airliner that crashed. It is a sad day!
— Omoyele Sowore (@YeleSowore) March 10, 2019
The world has lost a fine intellectual, one of a rare breed of thinkers and good governance advocate. It’s confirmed, people, we lost Professor Pius Adesanmi in that Ethiopian Airlines crash. 💔 pic.twitter.com/J68sgftB1b
— Gimba Kakanda (@gimbakakanda) March 10, 2019
— SEGA L'éveilleur®🚨 (@segalink) March 10, 2019
A really really tragic day. Rest In Peace Prof @pius_adesanmi . I was hoping against everything that this wouldn’t be true. This is a bad day. A bad day for Nigeria. A really bad one for Africa. We have lost an irreplaceable gem. Thank you for sharing yourself with us Prof. pic.twitter.com/wNA8lbFlNE
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) March 10, 2019
Ha Pius @pius_adesanmi, social media makes it seem like we are always in each other's company, but the last time we met was in 2015. That was a good day. We @AdeolaFayehun @victorsozaboy and @kolatubosun were blessed by your wit and laughter.
But not today. Today is a bad day. pic.twitter.com/DlKh9xteP0
— Ayo Sogunro (@ayosogunro) March 10, 2019
My very dear friend PROFESSOR PIUS ADESANMI was in the crashed Ethiopian Airlines plane… My God, why Pius, that prodigiously brilliant gentleman!!! Rest in Peace, a great son of Africa… pic.twitter.com/kyB2Cs8CRD
— Dele Momodu Ovation (@DeleMomodu) March 10, 2019
— Káyọ̀dé Ògúndámisí (@ogundamisi) March 10, 2019