Senate turns down Oduah’s explanation on Associated plane crash

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The Senate on Tuesday rejected the explanation of the Minister of Aviation,  Stella Oduah, on the ill-fated crash involving a 23-year-old Propeller aeroplane on the fleet of the Associated Airlines on October 3 and asked her to re-submit a detailed presentation on the incident.

Oduah, who appeared before the Senate Committee on Aviation in company with heads of the various agencies under her ministry, had limited her presentation to the information retrieved from the black box of the aircraft.

The minister had explained that the Accident and Investigations Bureau began investigation and diagnosed the black box in the airport’s  laboratory.

She also showed a two-minute video clips of the conversations between the two pilots, adding that both engines of the aircraft were faulty and should not have been allow to fly.

The minister said the speed of the plane was not enough for the engine to take off and that the co-pilot warned that the bird should not take off but that  his colleague, who was in charge of the flight, ignored the advice.

“As the minister of aviation, the fact that we got preliminary report in our laboratory without waiting for the final report, showed that we have put in place preventive measures,” she said.

In a power point presentation, Oduah gave graphic and pictoral details of the state of the various airports in Nigeria and how her administration had been able to carry out a comprehensive transformation of the sector.

However, after listening to Oduah’s over one hour presentation, the Deputy Senate Leader, Senator Abdul Ningi,  who represented Senate President David Mark,  said Oduah’s explanation fell short of addressing the circumstances that surrounded the crash.

Ningi said the  minister should come up, at another date, with details about the processes that led to the take-off of the aircraft on the fateful day, especially those whose responsibility it was, to have alerted relevant agencies on its condition.

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