Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has blamed the air return made by a Qatar Airways aircraft at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on a bird strike.
Sam Adurogboye, spokesman of the agency, said this in a statement, disclosing that one of the engines of the aircraft was affected in the incident which happened on February 9.
A bird strike is a collision between a bird and an aircraft which is in flight or on a takeoff or landing roll.
One of the passengers on board the plane had said the pilot was already cleared for take-off when suddenly a loud sound was heard.
But Adurogboye said the incident did not create any damage, adding that the aircraft recommenced the operation hours later.
“The Qatar Airways Airbus A330 with Registration no. A7 – AED, Flight no.1408 scheduled operation from Lagos to Doha, received a push back to take off from the MMIA at 14.45hrs UTC,” read NCAA’s statement.
“On board were 256 passengers and 10 crew members.
“At 16.18hrs UTC, the pilot-in-command (PIC) made an air return to MMIA. He took this decision after the aircraft suffered bird strike in flight.
“The bird strike hit the No.1 engine. On its safe return to MMIA, diligent inspection was carried out on the aircraft. However, finding disclosed no damage.”
Adurogboye also commended the pilot for adhering to the standard and recommended practices (SARPs) by undertaking an air return.
He assured Nigerians that the agency would continue to “ensure robust safety oversight” of the industry for safe and secure air transportation.