Wednesday, September 4, 2013

► GHANA: Antrak Air reassures public after ATR72 suffers inflight engine-fire.

Antrak AirGhana's Antrak Air (O4) has assured the travelling public that both its services and aircraft are safe following an incident on August 16 involving one of its two ATR72-500s, (MCN 809 | EC-KUL) being forced to shutdown its left-hand engine while on climb out of Tamale (Ghana), enroute to Accra.

According to the Aviation Herald, the aircraft, on lease from Spain's Swift-air, was operating as flight O4352 and was forced to stop its initial climb at 9'000ft after pilots received a fire-indication in the port-side motor. The crew moved to shut down the engine, activated  the fire suppression system and returned to Tamale for a safe landing about 20 minutes after departure. 

In a statement, Kwaku Antwi-Boasiako, Chief Commercial Officer, Antrak Air, refuted some claims from the Ghanaian press that "panic-stricken passengers prayed and wailed whilst the pilot navigated the faulty airplane to try and save their lives."
"The passengers on board last Friday’s Antrak flight did not “escape death” as reported by some media houses. The passengers on board that flight did not come anywhere near death. Ten out of ten pilots, given the same circumstances and without any other extraneous factors affecting that aircraft, would have done exactly what the Antrak pilot did and would have landed that aircraft safely back at the Tamale airport."
Ghana's Civil Aviation Authority has opened an inquiry into the incident. 

Mr Antwi-Boasiako said in light of the facts, Antrak had "absolute confidence in the professionalism, experience and safety standards of Swiftair and its pilots, engineers and other professionals involved in operating Antrak’s flights in Ghana."