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Cablegate: Another Near Crash of Chanchangi Airliner

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS LAGOS 000413

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE

DAKAR PASS TO FAA ED JONES
DOT PASS SMCDERMOTT, CWHUNTER, KSAMPLE
FAA PASS FRAWLS III
BRUSSELS PASS TSA GMOORE
HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER PLEASE PASS TO TSA

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: EAIR ATRN NI
SUBJECT: ANOTHER NEAR CRASH OF CHANCHANGI AIRLINER

REFTEL: 04 Lagos 2595

CHANCHANGI BLAMES LANDING ACCIDENT ON WIND AND RAIN;
PASSENGERS SAFE
--------------------------------------------- -------

1. (U) On March 12, Chanchangi Airlines (Nigeria)
experienced its second crash landing in the last three
months (reftel). Chanchangi officials blamed high
winds and a rain-flooded runway for veering the B727-
200 some thirty meters off the Abuja airport runway.
The Saturday flight from Katsina to Abuja's Nnamdi
Azikiwe International Airport carried roughly 110
passengers, including the Finnish Ambassador and other
dignitaries, none of whom was injured in the incident.
We do not know if any Amcits were on board.

LANDING DETAILS UNCERTAIN AS NCAA INVESTIGATES
--------------------------------------------- -

2. (SBU) The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA),
which is investigating the accident, has not released
an official statement about the cause of the mishap.
Captain Edward Boyo, founder of Aviation and Allied
Business magazine and its associated annual conference,
and CEO of Landover Air Services, asserted to us that
Chanchangi's latest landing problem may reflect broader
management or system weaknesses since the winds alone
that day were not strong enough to blow the aircraft
off the runway. Indeed one NCAA official publicly said
the likely cause of the incident was pilot error,
though Chanchangi Airlines strongly denies this.

CHANCHANGI UNSAFE?
------------------

3. (SBU) Comment. Another local aviation expert, who
requested anonymity, told us that Chanchangi Airlines
is "not up to speed on anything," a conclusion that
cannot be discounted given recent mishaps. In the
meantime, the Nigerian aviation authorities probably
need to improve their monitoring of Chanchangi and
other domestic airlines. End comment.

BROWNE

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