Tuesday, 7 August 2012

How fire destroyed Dana plane’s black box – Investigator

An investigator with the Accident
Investigation Bureau, Mr.
Emmanuel Dialla, on Tuesday
gave an insight into how post-
crash fire of June 3 in Iju-Ishaga,
Lagos State, rendered the Flight
Data Recorder – one of the two
black boxes – of the Dana Air’s
plane useless.
The data recoverable from the
FDR normally assist an
investigator of an air accident to
identify the cause of crash.
But the AIB, the statutory body
empowered to investigate air
accidents, has said the FDR of the
Dana plane melted despite its
fire-resistant casing.
Dialla, who is the Director of
Engineering, explained why this
happened during the
proceedings of a Coroner’s
inquest into the death of the 153
persons on the plane and those
on the ground.
The inquest which is taking place
in Ikeja, Lagos is presided over
by Mr. Oyetade Komolafe.
While being re-examined by AIB
counsel, Mr. Babatunde Irukera,
Dialla said the long exposure of
the FDR to the inferno melted its
magnetic tape and thus rendered
it useless for data recovery.
Dialla said, “The FDR did not
survive the fire. When the
protective case was opened, we
discovered the magnetic tape
had melted.
“The FDR can be subjected to up
to 1,000°C for 30 minutes. But in
this case, it was exposed to the
heat for about 24 hours.
“The temperature was about
600°C. Even if the temperature is
low, a long exposure to heat can
destroy the tape.”
Also testifying at the proceedings
on Monday was the General
Manager, Airworthiness Unit of
the Nigerian Civil Aviation
Authority, Mr. Kolade Ajiboye.
He said the oversight function of
the NCAA in regulating the
aviation industry does not
involve daily inspection of planes
at their point of flight.
Oyetade adjourned further
hearing till Wednesday (today).

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