By Mustapha Adamu
Contrary to reports in some news medium, the management of Max Air Limited has reacted to the reports that its aircraft, carrying pilgrims of Niger State crash landed at Minna airport on Saturday.
Reports was making the rounds on Saturday that a plane conveying over 600 pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia haf crash landed at the Minna International Airport.
But, in a swift reaction, the management of the airline company said the aircraft did not crash land, nor skid off the runway.
In a statement signed by Capt. Ibrahim G. Dilli, Director Flight Operations, explained that there was heavy downpour with unstable winds in Minna when the aircraft 747-400, registered 5N-DBK was about to land at the airport from Jeddah, causing the instrument landing system to be epileptic and unstable signals.
According to him, it was by the wealth of experience of the pilots, coupled with the knowledge of the terrain and environment that the plane was able to land safely and stopped on the runway.
He added that during the effort to safe land the aircraft that one of its engine slightly brushed the runway due to complex landing maneuver, occassioned by the strong down draft, stressing that the plane did not crash land and skid off the runway.
“Aircraft was taxied safely to airport terminal and passengers disembarked without any problems. All passengers and crew are safe and sound,” said Dilli in the statement
He further explained that all required reports of the minor incident have been filed, just as officials of the Nigerian Civil Aviation (NCAA) and Accident Investigation Bureau had inspected the aircraft and the runway, adding that they were satisfied with what they saw.
“Max Air reiterates its commitments to providing safe and efficient services within the confines of Nigerian and international aviation regulations,” he said
However, the Niger State Pilgrims Welfare Board spokesperson, Hassana Isah confirmed the incident, but said it was not as bad as it was reported.
Although she said she was not authorised to speak about the matter, it posted on Independent Hajj Reporters that many pilgrims aboard the aircraft did not even know what happened until they disembarked from the plane.
“The story would have been different if there was any lost of life. Many Pilgrims that were boarded in it didn’t even know about the mishap. I spoke with some of the Pilgrims that called and happily told me that they landed safely. Not until later that I heard a different story.
One of the Pilgrim in the aircraft, Muhammed Adamu Soja told Hajj Reporters that he was surprised to read the story in social media that a plane he just disembark from crash landed.
” We landed safely at the airport without noticing anything unusual. We disembark slowly and nobody rush or was asks to hurry as being reported. I was surprised to reads story of crash land in social media.”
“Alhamdulillah, we’re seeing the effects of prayers. May Allah continue to guide and protect us all. And may we all conclude the return journey safely,” she said.
Recall that some newspaper Saturday reported that a plane conveying over 600 pilgrims returning from the 2019 annual pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia crash landed at the Minna International Airport.
The story quoting anonymous sources sais “Evidence of the crash landing of the plane could be seen as part of the tarmac and some materials were damaged when the aircraft skidded off the runway.
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