Nigerian authorities: Dana Air MD-83 suffered dual engine failure

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Published: July 16, 2012

A dual engine failure brought Dana Air Flight 992 down in a densely populated residential area, killing all 153 passengers and crew and another 10 people on the ground, according to Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Bureau (AIC).

A preliminary report on the June 3 crash (ATW Daily News, June 5) released by the AIC does not reach a conclusion as to why the MD-83’s two Pratt & Whitney JT8D-219 engines each experienced “a total loss of power” during final approach. It noted an examination of maintenance records and fuel used by the flight showed the aircraft had enough fuel and it was not contaminated. 

“The airplane was on the fourth flight segment of the day, consisting of two round-trips between Lagos [LOS] and Abuja,” the AIC report, completed with assistance from the US National Transportation Safety Board, stated. “The accident occurred during the return leg of the second trip. [Flight] 992 was on final approach for runway 18R at LOS when the crew reported the total loss of power.”

The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) has about 31 minutes of recordings from the MD-83’s pilots, and reveals that they were engaged in pre-landing tasks including deployment of the slats and extension of the flaps and landing gear.

As this was happening, according to the CVR transcript, the first officer asked, “Both engines coming up?” The captain replied, “Negative.” They then radioed an emergency distress call stating “dual engine failure” and “negative response from throttle.”

The aircraft “crashed in a residential area about 5.8 mi. north of LOS,” the AIC report said. “The airplane wreckage was on approximately the extended centerline of runway 18R. During the impact sequence, the airplane struck an incomplete building, two trees and three buildings. The wreckage was confined, with the separated tail section and engines located at the beginning of the debris field. The airplane was mostly consumed by post-crash fire.”

According to Flight Safety Foundation’s Aviation Safety Network, wind at the time of the crash was just 7 knots, visibility was 10 km.-plus and there were “scatter[ed] clouds at 1,400 ft.”

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