Aircraft Had an Alledged History of Problems
Dana Air Director of Flight, Captain Oscar Wason, speaking on Sliver Bird Television in Lagos, stated the following:
“I don’t know what could have been responsible for the crash, but this morning we found remnants of birds in one of the engines,” he added. “We have bird strikes and it might have been that a mass of birds went through the engine and caused it to lose power.”
But others are saying the airline is being less than honest, and that the aircraft suffered a multitude of issues leading up to the disaster:
‘Though Bird strike is a plausible explanation, the quality of Dana Air plane is fueling yet another speculation that the crash occurred because the plane was faulty a theory Dana Air is vehemently denying. However, the plane’s history does not look good. The Twin-Engined McDonnell Douglas MD-83 was purchased new by Alaska Airlines in 1990. Alaska Air then sold the Aircraft to North Shore Aircraft LLC in May 2007 in order to fly a fuel-efficient Boeing 737s but leased it back for about a year. In August 2008, the aircraft was retired from the Alaska fleet and returned to the owner.
During its service at Alaska Air the MD-83 developed a number of faults. According to public records, it is known that the aircraft experienced a mechanical fault and the crew made an emergency diversion due to smoke and an electrical smell in the cabin on November 4th, 2002. This was determined to have been the result of overheated light ballast. The aircraft was also involved in an evacuation following landing in Long Beach, CA (LGB) on August 20th, 2006, due to smoke in the cabin. That incident was later determined to have been the result of a chafed wire bundle that had discharged. However, Alaska Air is claiming the plane was still air worthy at time of retirement.
As of the time of purchase, the aircraft was already above the age limit allowed in Nigeria but Dana Air still went ahead to purchase it.’
A report from allAfrica.com also says a Dana official, who did not want to be indentified, claims the plane was ‘faulty’ and that Dana Air knew it:
‘The Dana official who spoke to Channels Television in Lagos, alleged that the Indian owners of the airline threw caution to the winds and insisted that the plane must fly in a bid to maximise profit, thereby sending the plane over to Abuja to pick passengers, when it should have been returned to Lagos for repair.
She also claimed that the flight has had persistent history of faults with its hydraulics in recent times and it was not supposed to have flown. According to the official, “the plane has been giving faults for a very long time. There was a case when it was on ground in Uyo for over six hours, it had a bolt. And then in Abuja it happened a few days ago. Some people went with the aircraft but they could not come back, because it had a fault there and it couldn’t leave Abuja.”‘