Bellview Airlines Flight 210
|Date||22 October 2005|
|Site||Ogun State, Lagos, Nigeria
|Aircraft type||Boeing 737-200|
|Flight origin||Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos|
|Destination||Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja|
On 22 October 2005, Bellview Airlines Flight 210, a Boeing 737-200 aircraft, crashed shortly after taking off from Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos en route to the Nigerian capital Abuja, killing all 117 people on board.
Flight 210 was a scheduled passenger flight from Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja. The flight departed Lagos at 20:35, as the aircraft entered a right turn tower controller told the crew to contact the approach controller. The approach controller told the crew to next report passing 13,000 feet or when crossing the LAG beacon, this last contact was at 20:36.
The approach controller tried to contact Flight 210 at 20:46 but had no response. An alert was raised with the National Emergency Management Agency to start a search and rescue operation, the following day, 23 October, the wreckage of the Boeing 737 was found on flat terrain in a wooded area 14 nm north of the airport near to Lisa village. All 117 on board had been killed and the aircraft was destroyed.
Early reports from Oyo State government officials claimed that at least half of those on board survived the crash, but later reports indicated no survivors, blaming confusion at the crash scene for the initial mistake. The aircraft crashed in a village called Lisa in the Ifo local government area of Ogun State, southwest Nigeria. The flight had 111 passengers and 6 crew members on board.
After the crash, searchers were unable to find either the voice or flight data recorders.
The aircraft was a twin-engined Boeing 737-200 registered in Nigeria as 5N-BFN. The aircraft had manufacturers serial number 22734 and been built in 1981 for Maersk Air and had flown 55,772 hours since new.
The investigation was hampered by the lack of data recorder evidence and the official report was not released until February 2013
The Nigerian Aircraft Investigation Bureau could not identify the cause of the accident but considered several factors:
- The pilot-in-command (PIC) training of the Captain was inadequate, and the cumulative flight hours of the pilot in the days before the accident which was indicative of excessive workload that could lead to fatigue. The investigation was unable to determine the captain’s medical condition at the time of the accident.
- The aircraft had a number of technical defects and should not have been flown for either the accident flight or earlier flights. The airline failed to maintain an operating and maintenance regime within the regulations and the Civil Aviation Authority’s safety oversight of the operator’s procedures and operations was inadequate.
With no ability to reconstruct the flight the investigation was unable to come to any conclusion of the aircraft or crews performance or the effect of the weather on the flight. The AIB could not reach a conclusion about the cause but made Four safety recommendations in the report:
- The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority should improve oversight of airline maintenance and operations.
- The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency should increase radar coverage to enhance air traffic services and assist in search and rescue operations.
- Bellview should improve its maintenance procedures and authorisations.
- Bellview should review its safety and quality control regime.
- ""100 feared dead in Nigeria after passenger jet crashes"," The Guardian (UK), October 24, 2005
- Accident description at the Aviation Safety Network
- "Nigeria - where the truth is hard to find," BBC
- Faces in Bellview Flight 210 ...plus the heart-breaking story of the pilot