Air tractor overshoots runway, crashes at Rukubi airstrip, pilot unhurt

  • NCAA, AIB yet to get report 24 hours after

An air tractor, AT 502 has overshot the Rukubi airstrip in Nassarawa State. The  aircraft for agricultural activities crashed into a fence while taking off from the airstrip.

The incident occurred Tuesday morning at about 6.30am when the plane was going for early morning spray of farmlands belonging to Olams Farms in Nassarawa State.

A source who called Woleshadare.net from the scene of the incident and who pleaded anonymity said the aircraft over-ran the runway of the air strip and was forced to come to a stop by a fence, said the incident caused a big damage to the wings of the airplane.

The source said there were holes on the wings and nose cone of the aircraft occasioned by huge impact after the incident  but stated that the pilot, Captain Shiraj Navare, an Indian escaped unhurt.

The AT-502 is the most popular size Air Tractor, with well over 1000 of our 502 series aircraft manufactured since 1987.

Agricultural single engine turboprop aircraft. Includes 502A, 502B and 504 variants. Also variant 502XP (Xtra Power) based on the 502A airframe.
It was very doubtful if the operator reported the incident to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and/ or the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) as mandated by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCAR).

General Manager, NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye said he had called an NCAA official in the region to inquire about the incident.

His words, “I have called our official in that region and he said no such situation, but he promised to check further.”

Business-savvy operators fly the AT-502B to make their operations more productive and profitable. One of its features is big 500-gallon (1.893 L) payload, which means you’ll make fewer trips out and back; including fewer landing and take-offs. More acres of farmlands are sprayed in less time which gives better profitability.

It would be recalled that lack of reporting incidents and crashes by airlines, especially light airplanes on special projects in remote areas of the country led to the revolution of accident reporting and investigation when the AIB launched a new mobile App that would help it enhance accident investigation and one that could help report incidence/ accidents wherever and whenever they occur.

The App, termed, “I Report”, means that travellers can from wherever they are post pictures, videos and text messages of very unpleasant incidents that could assist the investigators to have first-hand information on how incident or accident occurred before the arrival of accident investigators to the scene.

Commissioner, AIB, Akin Olateru, an aircraft engineer said recently that the App underscore the innovation brought to the agency not only in repositioning the agency but to take it to a height that would make accident/incident investigation less cumbersome.

In a brief explanation to our correspondent about the software, Olateru said the Application would make the job of accident investigators faster and easier, adding that anyone who is at the scene of accident or incident can easily send pictures and videos of the incident to the application.

Throughout aviation’s comparatively brief history, technology has helped in properly investigating the causes of accidents/incidents and has been essential to improving flight safety, to the point that aviation is one of the safest ways to travel.

Looking at the pictures of debris of many accidents, the fact that they are able to draw useful lessons from such destruction is testament to the efforts of air accident investigators worldwide.

Wole Shadare

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