A BOEING 707 jetliner carrying 194 Moslem pilgrims hit a tree while it was approaching the Ikeja airport in Lagos on Wednesday (24 January).
A BOEING 707 jetliner carrying 194 Moslem pilgrims hit a tree while it was approaching the Ikeja airport in Lagos on Wednesday (24 January). The pilot fought the touch-and-go crisis by trying to climb to safety. He abandoned another attempt at Ikeja airport, and instead flew the crippled jet at half its normal speed to Accra, where it landed safely.
The Ethiopian Airlines plane badly dented its port wing and damaged its landing gear. The pilot was Captain Lemuel Tew, a 54-year-old American with 36 years flying experience. He said he saw the big tree about 300 feet in front of him right in his landing path at the last moment. The eventual landing in Accra was safe and without incident. Ghana's Commissioner for Transport and Communications, Major Anthony Salormey, inspected the damaged jet with officials from the Ghana Department of Civil Aviation. All the pilgrims were offered free transport back to Ikeja on a relief jet. Nearly all of them said they'd rather make the trip by road.
It was second incident involving pilgrims on a Boeing 707 in less than a week. On Monday (22 January), 156 people were killed when a chartered Royal Jordanian Airlines jet crashed in landing at Kano, in Northern Nigeria after flying pilgrims home Saudi Arabia.
SYNOPSIS: A BOEING 707 jetliner hit a tree while landing at Ikeja airport in Lagos on Wednesday. The pilot pulled out just in time, and the crippled jet flew on to a safe landing in Accra. There were 194 passengers and nine crew on board.
Nobody was hurt, but the damaged Ethiopian Airlines jet was inspected by Ghana's Commissioner for Transport and Communications, Major Salormey.
The pilot was Captain Lemuel Tew, a 54-year-old American. He said he suddenly saw the big tree in the last crucial moments of landing.
The pilgrims turned down the offer of a free flight home. They said they'd prefer to do the trip by bus.