How Medview Aircraft Lost Cabin Pressure At 32,000ft, Descended Rapidly Into Lagos


How Medview Aircraft Lost Cabin Pressure At 32,000ft, Descended Rapidly Into Lagos

Medview Airline has reacted to the fears expressed on the safety of its operations saying the loss of cabin pressure on its Lagos-bound aircraft late Tuesday was professionally handled by the pilot in line with global standard safety procedures.

Chief Operating Officer of the airline, Mr. Michael Ajigbotoso told journalists in Lagos on Thursday that the airline’s Boeing 737-500 aircraft with registration mark 5N-BQM from Abuja had developed problems with its cabin pressurisation system while descending from 32,000ft altitude into Lagos.

“When the captain noticed a warning sign of cabin depressurisation while descending from 32,000ft altitude into Lagos, he quickly briefed the passengers and he referred to his checklist and applied the necessary procedure to mitigate the situation,” said Ajigbotoso.

Owing to the lack of oxygenated air at altitudes above 11,000 feet, aircraft flying at such altitudes are often pressurised (with artificial air) to allow passengers to breath properly and remain alive. Where there is loss of cabin pressure – that is where the equipment fails – pilots are obliged to descend as fast as possible to a lower altitude while at the same time oxygen masks are dropped for passengers to wear over their nose and breath.

Ajigbotoso said the Medview Airline pilot had followed this safety procedure and that there was no harm to any passenger during the emergency descent.

“The oxygen masks dropped were in good working condition for the passengers’ usage and the situation was professionally handled according to required operational standard procedures,” said Ajigbotoso.

“The captain then called for priority landing from air traffic controllers because he had been on number seven on the queue, and he was obliged and he made a safe landing. The passengers were calm as it did not pose a serious danger to them,” he added.

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) said it had been notified of the serious incident by the airline and that it had commenced investigation to unravel the cause and prevent a future occurrence.

The incident happened late Tuesday and the aircraft was en-route Lagos from Abuja with 27 passengers and six crew members on board.

Commissioner/CEO of the AIB, Mr. Akin Olateru in a statement said “from the information gathered so far, cabin altitude warning came ON at FL 320 followed by deployment of oxygen masks which necessitated the crew to carry out emergency descent procedure.

“Our team of safety investigators have commenced investigation. There was no fatality. AIB needs to solicits assistance. We want the public to know that we would be amenable to receiving any video clip, relevant evidence, or information any members of the public may have of the accident; that can assist us with this investigation,” Olateru added.

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