Reasons why NCAA suspended Max Air flights

Edited by Damilola Adeleke

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has decided to suspend the operations of all Boeing B737 aircraft belonging to Max Air, a domestic carrier.

The suspension which was with immediate effect was communicated to the airline through a letter from the regulator seen by Nairametrics.

The letter, dated July 12, 2023, and marked NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/363, was titled “Suspension of Parts A3 and D43 of the Operations Specifications Issued to Max Air with Immediate Effect.” It was signed by Capt. Ibrahim Bello Dambazau, the Director of Operations, Training, and Licensing, on behalf of Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director General of NCAA.

As a result of this suspension, all domestic flights operated by Max Air will be put on hold until the suspension is lifted.

Incidents leading to the suspension. 

According to Damnazau, the decision was made in response to a series of incidents involving Max Air’s Boeing B737 aircraft.

These incidents include the loss of a main landing gear wheel during a serious incident, fuel contamination leading to an auxiliary power unit shutdown, an aborted take-off due to high exhaust gas temperature, and an air return caused by a duct overheat indication in the cockpit.

The letter reads:

The letter read, “The Authority’s action is due to the several occurrences that involved your Boeing B737 aircraft as listed hereunder.

Loss of main landing gear

“Loss of Number 1 Main Landing Gear (MLG) wheel during the serious incident involving a Boeing 737-400 aircraft, registration marks 5N-MBD which occurred between Take-off at Yola Airport Adamawa State and on landing at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja Nigeria on 7th May 2023″.

Fuel contamination:

“Fuel Contamination of the main fuel tanks of aircraft B737-300, Registration Marks; 5N-MHM, leading to the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) shutdown on ground Yola Airport on the 7th of July, 2023”.

High Exhaust Gas Temperature: 

“An aborted take-off of Boeing 737-400 aircraft, registration marks 5N-MBD, which occurred at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) due to high Exhaust Gas Temperature (EGT) indication on the 11th of July 2023.”

Duct overheat in the cockpit:

“An air return by aircraft B737-300, Registration Marks; 5N-MHM to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) due to duct overheat indication in the cockpit on the 11th of July 2023”.

According to the statement, the NCAA has formed an inspection team to conduct an audit of Max Air. The airline’s privileges to operate the Boeing B737 aircraft will only be reinstated if the results of this audit are found to be satisfactory by the Authority.


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