A British Aerospace BAe-125-700B was on a positioning flight on this day in aviation history from Buja-Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and Benin City Airport, both in Nigeria. Onboard the flight crew and a cabin attendant.
The mud-covered tail section of the aircraft (©AIB Nigeria)
After a normal flight from take-off to cruise, the aircraft was 65 nm from Benin when the crew requested and received clearance to descend from ATC. Initial descend clearance was to FL120. (Flight Level 120 equals ~3657 meters in International Standard Atmosphere, click here for more information on International Standard Atmosphere) Weather information was also passed on to the crew;
Wind - 300º at 06 knots
Visibility - 2000 meters in rain
Clouds - Broken at 270 meters
QNH - 1016 hPa / mBar
Temperature - 24ºC
Runway - wet
At 51 miles from Benin the crew was cleared down to 3500 feet and position for a straight-in approach to Runway 23, further, descend clearance to 2200 feet was received at 20 miles from the airport. When on final approach the crew observed rain over the threshold of Runway 23 and initiated a go-around. A subsequent approach to Runway 05 at Benin also resulted in a go-around, a third approach to Benin was flown, again to Runway 05, when receiving the landing clearance ATC warned the crew the runway was wet, Also this approach resulted in a go-around. At 11.16 local time, after the fourth approach, the aircraft touched down past the midpoint of runway 05, the remaining runway length was not sufficient to bring the aircraft to a full stop. A runway overrun of 450 feet into a marshy grass field was the result. All three crew members evacuated the aircraft through the main door, without injuries.
The aircraft in its final petition (© AIB Nigeria)
The accident was investigated by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) of Nigeria. In 2011 they published their investigation report (available for your reference by clicking here), and they concluded their report with a list of 20 findings and 4 contributory factors. as Causal Factor the following was stated by the investigators;
"The final approach was not stable; the aircraft crossed the threshold at 395 ft AGL with an airspeed of 212 k t while the Vref for landing was 122 kt"