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JUST IN: Investigators reveal Dana Air received warning before plane’s nose-gear incident

Investigators have disclosed that the crew of a Dana Air Boeing MD-82, which veered off the runway while landing at Lagos, received a nose-gear fault warning during their approach. The incident occurred on April 23 as the aircraft was arriving from Abuja.

According to the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), the crew received a cockpit warning light indicating a nose-gear issue as they approached Murtala Muhammed International Airport. 

In response, the crew conducted a fly-past to allow air traffic control to visually inspect the nose gear’s status.

Despite attempts to cycle the landing gear and execute an emergency checklist, the warning light persisted. 

Observations from the control tower during the fly-past suggested that the nose-gear was extended. Following the fly-past, the crew completed a go-around, realigned with the approach, and proceeded to land on runway 18L.

Preliminary findings from the NSIB indicate that the ground spoilers did not deploy automatically upon landing. 

The captain, who described the landing as “soft,” manually deployed the speed brakes and engaged reverse thrust before lowering the aircraft’s nose.

“At this point, the crew stated that severe vibration was accompanied by a loud noise from the nose-gear area,” the investigation reported.

As the aircraft decelerated to 80 knots, the nosegear collapsed, causing the captain to lose directional control. 

The aircraft veered to the left, exiting the runway nearly 2,100 meters from the threshold. It continued through a grass verge, crossed a paved link taxiway, and came to a stop 2,343 meters from the threshold, about 36 meters from the runway centerline.

The weather conditions at the time included a 5-knot wind from the north, resulting in a tailwind for runway 18L, and the runway surface was damp.

After the engines were shut down, passengers were instructed to evacuate through the forward service door due to safety concerns on the side of the main entry door. All 89 occupants, including six crew members, escaped without injury.

The MD-82 (registration 5N-BKI) sustained damage to its lower forward fuselage skin, nose-gear doors and lights, with the galley drain deformed and an antenna broken.

The NSIB says it will continue to investigate the incident to determine the underlying causes and recommend measures to prevent future occurrences.

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