I first heard about the Dana Air crash on Facebook, several hours after it happened. As usual, people were eager to be the first to break the news and the number of updates made it difficult to hope and pray that it was a false rumour. Our local news channels were not covering the story so, with deep shame, I checked the Yahoo website and that was where I first saw pictures and at least got some sort of story, albeit a sketchy one.
It’s hard to believe now that that was just seven months ago. It feels much longer (to me). Maybe it feels that way because of all the other tragedies we’ve faced since the crash. Since the crash, we’ve had three other air disasters (including the cargo plane in Ghana), the brutal Aluu 4 killings, countless road traffic accidents and last but not least, that horrid pink costume outfit Da Patience wore to church on January 1st.
So I was genuinely surprised to hear that Dana Air resumed operations on Friday. My gut reaction was outrage and I was prepared to come on here and tell the world why the owners and operators of Dana Air should be hung by their erm… feet. I didn’t even know why I was so angry. However, by the end of the joint, I had calmed down. I realized that as a self-professed bloggerer, if I was going to convince you guys to sign a petition to hang them by their jewels, I should at least try and sound half-way intelligent by presenting valid reasons.
So I did a lot of reading. I read a lot of articles on the crash and I went as far as reading the Prelim report (and I’m proud to say I only fell asleep twice). I confused myself in the process though because everybody has an inner Aviation minister… everybody has an opinion, everybody knows what went wrong!!
There’s the argument from the victims on ground who lost property in the crash. There’s also the point of view of the girl who is dating the MD/CEO of Dana; naturally she is worried about a reduction in her monthly allowance if flight operations don’t resume soon. Then, there’s the side of the victims’ families.
I want to share a few interesting things I discovered from my hours of research:
– In other countries, airlines are not usually suspended if one of their planes crashes. In Nigeria, that is the practice. I believe it is done here because the powers that be do not trust themselves. They all carry the same incompetent and corrupt gene so even without being told, they already know that a fellow corrupt incompetent gene-carrier somewhere did not bother to pretend to do what he/she should’ve pretended to do.
– It is only in Nigeria that Black boxes are made of straw… This one, like the Bellview FDR, was found intact but the only information it contained was the pilot’s Zuma scores.
– With all the panels set up, probes and investigations, preliminary reports that go from here to Kazakhstan, accusations and counter-accusations, it has become apparent that we will never know what really happened on that flight.
Therefore, I’m going to base my Jewel-Hanging Petition on just one reason: Dana has no business being in the air when there are victims’ families that still have not been compensated. I’m sure Dana has learned
his its lesson and might even be one of the safest carriers in the country right now because of it… I don’t know, and I don’t care. The fact is that they still have people they need to pay up.
On Thursday, a Washington Post article had the headline “DANA AIR, NIGERIA AIRLINE INVOLVED IN JUNE CRASH THAT KILLED 163, QUIETLY RESUMES FLIGHTS.” Nothing about that flight was quiet… they had celebrities on board and made such a fuss about it. From my house, I could hear the applause of the passengers as the plane landed… and if we are still at a stage where we applaud every smooth take-off or landing, then Houston, we have a problem.