Tragedy was averted Sunday when a Boeing 737 plane with over 100 passengers belonging to Aero Contractors had a burst tyre at the Murtala Muhammed international Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
The aircraft, which departed the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja around 9a.m. had a burst tyre on landing at the Lagos airport.
According to a report by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), one of the over 100 passengers onboard the plane was a former Minister, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, tweeted: “Upon landing in Lagos, our Aero aircraft lost a tyre. The pilot did a great job of breaking to a halt. My phones flew under seats.”
Eyewitnesses and the airline said in spite of the loss of the tyre, which was not the nose wheel, the aircraft landed safely with a total of 104 passengers and crew.
After the incident, the aircraft was towed to the apron of the domestic terminal, known as MMA2, where officials of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) commenced investigation into the incident.
Reacting to the incident, Coordinating Spokesman, Aviation Parastatals, Mr. Yakubu Dati, said: “An aircraft Boeing 737-500 with registration No 5N-BLC, operated by Aero Contractors landed safely at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, following the loss of pressure in one of the tyres, today (yesterday) December 29, 2013.
“ The aircraft, which landed at 10.50a.m. had a total of 104 passengers and crew members on board.
"The aircraft has since been towed to the apron and Accident Investigation Prevention Bureau, AIPB has commenced investigation into the incident.”
He assured all air travellers of their safety and cautioned against magnifying such an incident out of proportion as no one was hurt; nor did the loss of tyre affect the landing procedure of the aircraft.
Aero’s media consultant, Simon Tumba, in a terse message, said: “The tyre has been replaced and Aero is awaiting the clearance of NCAA (the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority) to resume services with the aircraft.”