Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has immediately halted the operations of all domestic carrier Max Air’s Boeing B737 aircraft.
The suspension was communicated to the airline in a letter from the regulatory body. Dated July 12, 2023, and labeled NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/363, the letter titled ‘Suspension of Parts A3 and D43 of the Operations Specifications Issued to Max Air with Immediate Effect’ was signed by the Director of Operations, Training, and Licensing, Ibrahim Bello Dambazau on behalf of the Director General of NCAA, Musa Nuhu.
As a consequence of this suspension, all domestic flights operated by Max Air will be put on hold until the ban is lifted. The letter cited several incidents involving the airline’s Boeing B737 aircraft as the reason for the authority’s action.
It stated that the loss of a wheel from the Number 1 Main Landing Gear (MLG) during a serious incident involving a Boeing 737-400 aircraft with registration marks 5N-MBD. The incident occurred on May 7, 2023, between take-off at Yola Airport in Adamawa State and landing at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Nigeria.
Additionally, the letter referred to fuel contamination in the main fuel tanks of another aircraft, B737-300 with registration marks 5N-MHM, resulting in the shutdown of the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) at Yola Airport on July 7, 2023.
The directive mentioned an aborted take-off of a Boeing 737-400 aircraft with registration marks 5N-MBD at Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) due to high Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT) indication on July 11, 2023.
The regulator also noted an air return of an aircraft with registration marks 5N-MHM to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) on July 11, 2023, due to a duct overheat indication in the cockpit.
The regulatory body has formed a team of inspectors to conduct an audit of Max Air. The Authority has emphasized that the audit’s findings must be satisfactory before considering the restoration of the operational privileges for Max Air’s aircraft type.
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