Air Peace scales emergency evacuation and ditching hurdles with B777 aircraft

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*Air Peace Boeing 777 (5N-BUU) with its blown slides during the partial emergency evacuation exercise at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

Air Peace has successfully carried out the partial emergency evacuation and ditching demonstrations as part of the safety tests for the operation of its Boeing 777 aircraft.

The airline’s spokesman, Mr. Chris Iwarah said in a statement that the exercise was a major regulatory requirement for the airline to start its long-haul operations.

Emergency aircraft evacuation is mostly required when an airline proposes operating a specific aircraft type and model entering into its service for the first time.

The airline recently acquired four Boeing 777 aircraft for its long-haul operations to destinations including Dubai, Sharjah, London, Houston, Guangzhou-China, Mumbai and Johannesburg.

Assessing the exercise which took place at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos from about 5pm to 10 pm on Thursday, November 29, the team leader from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) team of inspectors, Capt. Agu expressed satisfaction with the partial evacuation and ditching demonstrations staged by Air Peace.

For his part, the airline’s cabin crew manager, Ms. Florence Opia and the quality manager, Mr. Patrick Achurefe commended the NCAA team for going about the exercise in a diligent manner.

They assured that the carrier would continue to priotise safety and compliance with aviation regulations in its preparations for the launch of its long-haul flights to Dubai, Sharjah, London, Houston, Guangzhou-China, Mumbai and Johannesburg.

With the evacuation exercise off the way, Iwarah said the airline was set for the next stage of regulatory requirements for the induction of its B777 aircraft into service and commencement of its international flights.

He said the airline would soon operate demonstration flights with its B777 aircraft to Port Harcourt, Kano, Freetown, Dakar, Johannesburg and Sharjah.

Emergency aircraft evacuation is an exercise aimed at evacuating those on an aircraft when an emergency occurs on the ground, in water or mid-flight.

It is mostly required when an airline proposes operating a specific aircraft type and model entering into its service for the first time.

The ditching demonstration, however, simulates a planned water landing and evaluates the airline’s ability to handle such emergency.

Once the signal is given, the aircraft’s emergency evacuation equipment and 50 per cent of the required emergency exits and slides must be ready for use in a maximum of 15 seconds.

Although simulated, evacuation drills are a risky operation for crew and other participants – often leading to injury of varying degrees.

Once the signal for the exercise to commence was given, the crew set out to work, deploying the four slides of the eight-exit Boeing 777 aircraft within 10.5 seconds – 4.5 seconds ahead of the maximum time allowed.

Being the first time the Boeing 777 was entering its service, Air Peace was mandated by aviation regulations to demonstrate its capacity to handle emergency evacuation and ditching under the close supervision of officials of the NCAA including Agu, Capt. Ejike Wosu, Mr. Augustine Eboigbe, Mr. Rabiu Sharif, Mohammed Auwal, Hajara Yahaya, Msooityo Malu, Prewari Yemaye, Efunfela Ojekale, Maria Udor, Bosede Tagarino, Kunle Martins and Basira Lami.

 

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