Several delegates to the ongoing National Conference escaped death by the whiskers on Monday when the Overland Airways plane they boarded had its wing damaged while airborne.
According to an eyewitness account, the Overland Airways plane, with registration number 5NBPE, which took off from the Ibadan, Oyo State airport, had its wing damaged as it was approaching the Niger State airspace and had to make a detour to the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos.
The delegates were returning to Abuja to resume plenary at the ongoing National Conference.
Other delegates on board of the plane were a former President of the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Comrade Lanre Ogundipe; Senators Gbenga Kaka from Ogun State and Hosea Agboola from Oyo State and Demola Akinlabi, an officer in the Accountant General of the Federation’s Office.
Others were the Oyo State Commissioner for Information, Prince Gbade Lana and a Federal National Population Commissioner, Abdul-Lateef Gbadamosi and former governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja.
The incident was confirmed by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) which said that a domestic flight 1170 operated by Overland Airways with an ATR-42 aircraft diverted from Ibadan enroute Abuja to Lagos early Monday, following a reported cracked windshield.
According to information gathered, the pilot while airborne noticed some cracks on the windshield and subsequently requested to divert the aircraft to Lagos (being the base of the airline) to allow for change of plane for the passengers.
A statement issued by NAMA added that the plane, which was airborne around 9.42 a.m, diverted by, landing in Lagos at 9.43 a.m.
The agency said 42 passengers and six crew members were onboard the aircraft as of the time of the incident .
“There is no cause for alarm as the diversion was precautionary and this comforms with the basic safety norms of the industry,” NAMA declared.
Wind shear according to aviation terminology is a microscale meteorological phenomenon occurring over a very small distance, but it can be associated with weather features such as squall lines and cold fronts.
It is commonly observed near microbursts and downbursts caused by thunderstorms, fronts, areas of locally higher low level winds referred to as low level jets, near mountains, radiation inversions that occur due to clear skies and calm winds, buildings, wind turbines, and sailboats.
Wind shear has a significant effect during take-off and landing of aircraft due to its effects on control of the aircraft, and it has been a sole or contributing cause of many aircraft accidents. – Nigerian Tribune.