A local airlines, Overland Airways Ltd with a call sign “Overland“, operates one of the oldest fleet in Nigeria, contrary to claims that it has a fleet of modern equipment and aircraft, Persecondnews investigation reveals.
Incorporated on September 17, 1998, the carrier operates flights to Akure, Ibadan, Lagos, Ilorin, Jalingo, Minna and two other cities in the country.
Overland Airways on its websites claims to operate a fleet of modern equipment and aircrafts but a scrupulous finding by Per Second News shows the information is just a marketing statement as the airline actually operates one of the oldest fleets in Nigeria.
It parades airplanes with age ranging from 27 to 34 years old. Only one plane is 14.1 years old which was delivered on September 17, 2015.
Investigations show that a 34.4 years old ATR-42-300 with registration number 5N-BCR is used by the airline to convey passengers across Nigeria, especially the southwest and was leased in March, 2005.
Data obtained by Per Second News indicate that the aircraft was built as ATR 42-300 but was converted overtime to ATR 42-320. The aircraft was built in Toulouse, France in 1986.
The aircraft has been used by no fewer than 11 different airlines before it was leased by Overland Airways.
It was gathered that Air Madagascar and Air Mauritius are among the airlines that had over the years used the aircraft.
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- Overland ATR ATR-72-200 at Ilorin on Nov 29th 2014, runway excursion. An Overland Airways Avions de Transport Regional ATR-72-202, registration 5N-BPG performing flight OJ-1186 from Abuja to Ilorin with 59 passengers and 4 crew, landed on Ilorin’s runway 05 at about 16:45L (15:45Z) but veered right off the runway before coming to a stop on soft ground with all gears.
However, passengers did not sustain injuries, but the aircraft had minor damage. The passengers disembarked onto the runway via the rear left door and were taken to the terminal.
- On Friday October 12, 2018, the same aircraft ATR 72-202 suffered substantial damage after a fire erupted while the aircraft was undergoing maintenance at Lagos-Murtala Muhammed International Airport. The aircraft was powered by a ground power unit at the time of the occurrence.The fire broke outside, on the right side of the fuselage, according to documents obtained by this newspaper.
The airline stated that the aircraft “was impacted by a foreign object which led to the fire that damaged aircraft.”
2. Overland ATR ATR-42 near Lagos on Apr 7th 2014, cracked windshield.
An Overland Airways Avions de Transport Regional ATR-42-300, flight 1170 from Ibadan to Abuja with 42 passengers and 6 crew, was en route when the crew reported a cracked windshield and decided to divert to Lagos, the airline’s maintenance base, for a safe landing about 45 minutes after deciding to divert.
However, Nigeria’s Airspace Management Agency confirmed a precautionary diversion because of a cracked windshield.
3. Overland Airways’ passengers evacuate an aircraft after smoke is seen in an engine. The carrier’s aircraft had an engine on fire and the engine started to emit heavy smoke while it was getting ready to depart from Abuja to Ibadan on February 7, 2014. The passengers were safely evacuated.
LIST OF OVERLAND AIRCRAFT IN SERVICE
- Registration Number 5N-BCS ATR 42-300 is 34.7 years old.
- Registration Number 5N-BPF ATR 72-202 is 28.3 years old. The aircraft was parked recently.
- Registration Number 5N-BRQ ATR 42-320 delivered in March 2015 is 28.1 years old.
- Registration Number 5N-BPG ATR 72-202 delivered in 2013 is 27.9 years old.
- Registration Number 5N-BND ATR 42-320 is 27.5 years old.
- Registration Number 5N-BJM Embraer ERJ- 145LR is newest fleet aged 14.1 years. The aircraft was delivered on September 17, 2015.
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The safety of the aircraft is often dependent on the maintenance practices of the operator and their safety culture. Only aircraft that are active with this airline are included in this report, they do not include all outstanding orders as reported by aircraft manufacturers. An Old Airplane is Not an Unsafe One