What went wrong with U-23 team's ARIK Air planes

The ARIK plane carrying the Dream Team lost a tyre while landing at Accra while the other plane that was meant to take them to Gambia made an emergency landing.

Samson Siasia led Dream Team escape two plane crashes

The Nigeria U-23 side escaped plane crash twice while travelling to Gambia on the morning of Sunday, November 15.

The coach Samson Siasia led side was traveling to Gambia as part of preparations for the African U-23 Championship billed for Senegal.

The ARIK Air  plane carrying the Dream Team lost a tyre while landing at Accra while the other plane that was meant to take them to Gambia made an emergency landing.

It reported and rumuored that the aircraft lost an engine 10 minutes after take-off, a claim ARIK Air have denied.

The Public Relations and Communications manager of the airline Banji Ola revealed that the pilot just made a stop for precautionary reasons.

“The captain saw an indication light and as a precautionary measure, he had to make an air return. It was not a case of lost engine,” Ola told the official website of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF)

“There was no case of lost engine. It is true that the one that flew the team from Lagos lost one tyre while landing in Accra. As for the other airplane, the pilot only saw an indication light and made an air return as a precautionary measure.

“We immediately made arrangement for another aircraft to fly the team to The Gambia.”

The Nigeria U-23 delegation has since arrived and settled down in The Gambia, where the team will undergo a 10 –day training program ahead of the 2nd Africa U-23 Cup of Nations starting in Senegal on November 28.

The Dream Team VI opted for the West African country after the initial trip to Morocco was cancelled due to visa issues.

President of the Nigeria Football Federation, Amaju Pinnick have also released a statement reiterating their support for ARIK Air after the incident.

Pinnick in his statement revealed that ARIK Air remains one of the best airlines in the world, and that the NFF would continue to patronize the airline for its efficiency and excellent safety record.

“I was contacted immediately after the incident and I know that the airplane was not in any serious problem. When these things happen, the tendency is for people to sensationalize," part of Pinnick's statament read.

“ARIK Air has remained one of the safest and best airlines, and we will continue to patronize them.

"They have provided us excellent services in recent times, flying the Super Eagles to and from Tanzania, Burkina Faso and Swaziland, without any untoward incident.”


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