6/5/2012 2:32:26 PM -
Last weekend marked a disturbing entry in local aviation history when a Nigerian cargo aircraft crushed a commercial vehicle, killing 10 persons instantly in Accra.
Such accidents are uncommon in our part of the world where the safety rating is relatively unparalleled in West Africa.
There are many lessons to be learnt from the accident, as should be the case with such rare occurrences. Learning from such experiences should assist us to obviate future recurrence.
One of such lessons, perhaps the most important, is the fact that taking things for granted because our aviation safety rating is par excellence should not be entertained.
The relevant authorities should do their work very well without being flattered by the excellent aviation records, as doing so could be disastrous.
We should also ensure strict compliance with international best practices in the industry, as is the case with the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) in the United States of America.
As if to tell us something in this direction, another Nigerian aircraft crashed in Lagos, killing a scary figure of 153 persons.
In effect, two Nigerian aircraft crashed between Saturday and Sunday. Even before reports from investigators are out, fingers are beginning to point at mechanical shortcomings in the Lagos crash and further questions about how well our Nigerian neighbours manage their aircraft.
Much as we sympathise with our neighbours regarding the tragedy, going by their safety records and the complaints from Nigerians, we think that the authorities there would have to do more than they are doing.
The American pilot of the crashed aircraft in Lagos is said to have complained about a problem with one of the plane's engines.
When we go shopping for aircraft, we should be more meticulous, considering the fact that aircraft accidents, unlike vehicular ones, can be more disastrous, resulting mostly in fatalities.
Be that as it may, we might have to demand high international aviation standards from aircraft that ply the Accra route.
Given our economic conditions, Ghana and Nigeria largely rely on used aircraft for domestic operations, but the mishap which visited both countries last weekend should impart important lessons about avoiding over-aged aircraft on the second-hand aircraft markets.
Many private airlines now litter our airspace and although these are examined before being allowed to operate here, the need to do more in this direction cannot be overlooked.
Following in the footsteps of Nana Akufo Addo, we laud government for instituting a probe into the accident with a view to finding out what really happened and proffering recommendations to obviate future recurrence.
It is our prayer that when a report from the probe is submitted to government, the appropriate steps would be taken instead of finding space for the report on the dusty shelves of the Ministry of Transport.
May the souls of the victims of the accident rest in peace.