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General News of Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Source: The Nation

Likely reason Air Force plane’s engines collapsed, by experts

Retired Nigeria Air Force officer and an aircraft engineer on Thursday said it is unusual for the two turbine engines of the King Air 350 Beechcraft to pack up at once. They said the two engines could pack up if there were issues with the valve supplying fuel to engines or if the fuel was contaminated.

The aircraft owned by the Air Force crashed in Bassa community on Sunday.

The experts said an aircraft fitted with two engines could manoeuvre with one engine to glide to safety. They said the crash raised concerns over the quality of aviation fuel supplied to the aircraft.

They said fuel quality is one factor the military authorities must consider deeply in the probe into the crash of the King Air 350 Beechcraft.

The civilian aircraft engineer said:” Circumstances leading to the failure of the two engines in the aircraft remain a matter of intense scrutiny. It could be possible that there are issues about the quality of aviation fuel supplied to the aircraft. Perhaps, the supply to the valves into the engine was affected; this could lead to the engines being affected. Without fuel reaching the aircraft, the engines cannot function.

“There is a huge need to look at the quality of maintenance the aircraft underwent. These are possibilities, but until the military authorities carry out the probe, the details will not be clear. But, there is a big question, why the aircraft could not glide at the altitude and return to the airport before it would go down.”

The retired military officer said:  “Circumstances leading to the failure of the two engines of the ill- fated aircraft, in my view points to the quality of aviation fuel.  Besides, this King Air Beechcraft 350 which crashed a few minutes after take-off reporting two engine failures other patterns of crash involving a domestic carrier in 2012 and the military Hercules 130 crash followed the same trend. There is a need for the authorities to look at the quality of aviation fuel; it is becoming a recurring trend.”

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