Preliminary investigations into the Allied Air Cargo plane crash at the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, suggests a possible pilot negligence for the accident. A confirmation of the initial findings of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), of the Ghana civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), would be known only after the black box of the cargo plane had been assessed by the technocrats in the United States of America.
The black box of the plane has been flown to the United States to ascertain the real causes of the accident. Transport Minister, Alhaji Collins Dauda told graphic.com.gh after receiving the report of the AIB in Accra on Thursday that the initial findings revealed that there was “an unstable approach” which led to the plane overshooting the runway on landing. He said he had been made to understand that “an unstable approach” involved the failure of a pilot to align an aircraft to the runway and also approach at the right speed.
Alhaji Dauda said if the pilot had been able to align the aircraft to the runway and also at the right speed, he would have been able to de-accelerate and, thereby, prevented the accident. “But as it is now, we have to wait for the findings of the examination of the black box to confirm or determine the probable cause(s) of the accident,” he added.
On the night of June 2, 2012, the Boeing 727 cargo plane with registration number SN-BJN overrun the runway, destroying the Instrument Landing System (ILS) of the Kotoka International Airport (KIA). It broke through the airport perimeter wall and killed 10 people on board a 207 Benz Bus which was heading to the 37 lorry station from the Burma Camp area. An Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) was subsequently set up by the government to investigate and determine the probable causes of the accident.
Alhaji Dauda said the GCAA had also initiated moves to replace the ILS which was destroyed by the aircraft. He said the AIB had also approved the removal of the wreckage while investigations continue.
“Everything is under control as the government is doing the best it can to forestall a repeat of such disaster in the future,” Alhaji Dauda stated.
The five-member committee that was inaugurated to establish the cause of the cargo plane crash is under the chairmanship of Captain Alex Grant Sam (retd), one of Ghana’s first four pilots. The committee was given 30 days to submit its report. It was also expected to determine the extent of damage caused to property, as well as related safety issues. It will also make appropriate recommendations to the government for implementation to avoid a recurrence. Other members of the committee are Mr Ben Boutu, a former Director, Safety Regulation; Mr Ben Sakpaku, a former Deputy Director, Safety Regulation; Mr Eric Ewusi, Safety Regulation, and Mr Kenneth Kofi Kwawukume, a former Deputy Director, Air Traffic Services, all of the GCAA. The inauguration of the committee is in line with the provisions of the GCAA Act, Act 678 of 2004, and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
Image Courtesy: Nana Kofi Acquah