The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority has commended the pilot of Aero Contractor Flight for acting professionally in returning to base after it encountered a bird strike on take-off at the Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA), Omagwa, River States
The Director-General of the NCAA, Musa Nuhu said that the aircraft, a Boeing 737-500 with the registration number 5N-BKR, was heading to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja before the incident on Monday afternoon.
Nuhu explained that the pilot made a circuit and returned to base within eight minutes after the incident, maintaining that the action of the pilot was in order.
The aircraft had departed PHIA for Abuja with 91 souls on board; 85 passengers and six crewmembers at 2:06 pm and returned to base at 2:14 pm.
According to him, the incident led to the damage of the aircraft’s blade, stressing that the airline’s engineers were currently fixing the damaged part of the aircraft.
Nuhu explained further that Aero Contractors brought another aircraft to airlift the passengers to Abuja within 90 minutes of the incident, stressing that the damaged part of the aircraft was undergoing repairs in Port Harcourt.
He said: “Boeing 737-500 aircraft with the registration number: 5N-BKR belonging to Aero Contractors departed Port Harcourt to Abuja, but, during takeoff, it had a bird strike and the pilot continued the take-off, made a circuit, and returned to land.”
Nuhu added that no life was at risk because of the incident.