Nigerian investigators have disclosed that the crew of a Dana Air Boeing MD-82, involved in a runway excursion while landing at Lagos, had received a nose-gear fault indication during approach, and conducted a flypast to check its status.

Although the crew cycled the landing-gear, and executed an emergency checklist, the cockpit warning light remained, says the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau.

Observation from tower controllers during the flypast suggested the nose-gear was extended. The MD-82 crew proceeded complete the go-around, realign with the approach, and land on runway 18L.

Ground spoilers did not deploy automatically, the inquiry states in preliminary findings. The captain, who testified that the landing was “soft”, deployed the speedbrakes and engaged reverse-thrust, before lowering the nose.

“At this point, the crew stated that severe vibration was accompanied by a loud noise from the [nose-gear] area,” says the inquiry.

Dana excursion MD-82-c-Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau

Source: Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau

Prior to the landing the crew had conducted a flypast to check the nose-gear status

After the aircraft decelerated to 80kt the nose-gear collapsed and the captain experienced a loss of directional control. The jet veered to the left and exited the runway about nearly 2,100m from the threshold.

It continued through a grass verge, crossing a paved link taxiway, and stopped 2,343 m from the threshold, about 36m from the runway centreline.

Weather conditions included a 5kt wind from the north – equating to a tailwind for 18L – and the runway surface was damp.

After engines were shut down, passengers were ordered to evacuate through the forward service door owing to “safety concerns” on the side of the main entry door. All occupants – a total of 89 including six crew members – escaped without injury.

Investigators state that the aircraft (5N-BKI), arriving from Abuja on 23 April, sustained damage to its lower forward fuselage skin, nose-gear doors and lights, while the galley drain was deformed and an antenna broken.