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Max Air Face NCAA Probe Over Contaminated Aviation Fuel Incident

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has initiated an investigation into the aviation fuel contamination incident involving Max Air and has stated its intent to impose sanctions if deemed necessary.

During a Zoom meeting with aviation correspondents, Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director-General of NCAA, confirmed the occurrence of the incident. It was reported that a Max Air B737-300 aircraft with the registration mark 5N-MHM experienced fuel contamination in its main fuel tanks, resulting in the shutdown of the Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) on the ground at Yola Airport on July 7.

In response to the incident, the NCAA promptly took action and suspended parts A3 and D43 in the Operations Specifications of the Boeing B737 Aircraft type within Max Air’s fleet, with immediate effect.

Capt. Musa Nuhu emphasized that the NCAA is committed to maintaining strict oversight and does not hesitate to carry out necessary actions. He informed aviation journalists that the aircraft involved in the incident was immediately grounded, and the crew was subjected to an interrogation the following day.

The Director-General revealed that two fuel companies had previously been banned from supplying fuel to aircraft at Abuja airport due to contamination and non-compliance with standards.

Confirming the suspension of Max Air’s B737 fleet operations, Capt. Nuhu stated that investigations are underway, and three aviation fuel companies that supplied fuel on the day of the incident have been identified. Appropriate sanctions will be imposed as deemed necessary.

Regarding the viral video showing the removal of water from the aircraft in Yola, Capt. Nuhu mentioned that a meeting with the regulatory commission would be held to ensure compliance with standards.

Capt. Nuhu also mentioned a previous meeting with Max Air approximately a month ago, following a landing incident in Abuja. He explained that during refueling, water had been present in the aircraft, but the exact amount was unknown as NCAA staff were not present at the time.

The Director-General emphasized the importance of grounding the affected aircraft to ensure passenger safety and avoid potential damage to the fuel system. He emphasized that proper maintenance procedures are crucial to ensure the continued airworthiness of the aircraft, as fuel passing through the engines could cause significant harm.

Capt. Nuhu reiterated that it is the responsibility of both the airline and the captain in command to check the fuel before departing from an airport, as outlined in the manuals. While NCAA staff cannot be present at all fueling stations due to resource limitations, the airline bears the responsibility.

In conclusion, immediate actions were taken by the NCAA following the fuel contamination incident involving Max Air. The investigation is ongoing, and appropriate measures will be taken to ensure compliance with standards and maintain safety within the aviation industry.

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