View Full Version : MK 74F down in PHC?

27th Nov 2001, 13:36
Just heard this one. Hope it turns out alright.

Claret and Blue
27th Nov 2001, 14:19
Have also heard this rumour. Understand 15 pax onboard, mostly Europeans.

Al Capone
27th Nov 2001, 15:53
Hey Cargo Rat, what's up??

You are correct about MK in PHC, that's two tallies, however unsure about severity yet.

The Guvnor
27th Nov 2001, 15:58
Come on, Al Capone - don't keep us in suspense - what happened with the aircraft? With the Ghana DCA now pull their flag of convenience AOC? :rolleyes: Or will the CAA here finally ground their aircraft due to lack of operational oversight and control?

Claret and Blue
27th Nov 2001, 16:40
Understand that aircraft was 9G-MKI. Landed short at Port Harcourt. Currently 12 survivors.

No comment
27th Nov 2001, 17:46
Apparently there is now one fatality. Not sure whether crew or pax. Aircraft is a total loss. MK are based in UK are they not?

27th Nov 2001, 17:56
Hartfield, East Sussex. UK.

27th Nov 2001, 18:06
MK Airlines, Ltd (formerly MK Aircargo Ltd) Landhurst, Hartfield, East Sussex TN7 4DL, (1892) 77 00 11 Email: [email protected]
9G-MKI, B74-246F (SCD) s/n 22063/432 (1980)ex N741SJ (Southern Air) ex JA8144 (JAL).

27th Nov 2001, 18:15
Guv, I hope I'm wrong but is there a bit of gloating in your tone?

The total loss of a B747 with fatalities is bad news for the whole industry right now. It means more crappy publicity we don't need and if, as you suggest, MK lose their AOC then it's more pilots out of work.

Where's your upside?

Magic Blue
27th Nov 2001, 18:30
CNN Report total 7 crew,two dead and five injured.

Guv, show some respect please, for once!

27th Nov 2001, 18:38
Following quote from REUTERS:

RPT-Two killed as cargo plane crashes in Nigeria
PORT HARCOURT, Nigeria, Nov 27 (Reuters) - A Boeing 747 cargo plane crashed near the southeastern Nigerian city of Port Harcourt on Tuesday, killing two crew members and wounding five, airport officials said.
They said the plane crashed in the bush as it approached to land, but details of the accident and ownership of the aircraft or its origin were not immediately available.
The airport officials said the crew appeared to be foreign but their nationalities could not be established immediately.
One of the dead had been burned beyond recognition but it was not immediately clear to what extent the plane itself was damaged. Airport workers said there had been no sign of an explosion after the plane came down in clear weather.
They said Nigerian Aviation Minister Kema Chikwe had rushed to the city clinic where the injured crew had been taken but it was not clear if she had flown to Port Harcourt after the crash.
Port Harcourt is the capital of Nigeria´s oil and gas industry and hub of massive new projects, including a multi-billion dollar liquefied natural gas complex

27th Nov 2001, 18:51
Really sad days for aviation :(

One fatality in MK Airlines 747-200F crash in Nigeria
London (27Nov01, 13:21 GMT, 152 words)

A Boeing 747-200 freighter operated by UK cargo carrier MK Airlines has crashed on landing at Port Harcourt in Nigeria, killing one of the 13 people on board.

The Pratt & Whitney JT9D-powered 747-200F was en-route from Luxembourg to the Nigerian city, located south east of Lagos, when the accident occurred.

A spokesman for MK Airlines, which specialises in African operations, says: “We’re still trying to establish what happened. The aircraft crashed on landing at Port Harcourt at 02:00 this morning.”

He says that one of the 13 people on board the cargo flight died in the accident. The aircraft is a total loss.

MK Airlines has been leasing the 21-year old aircraft, registered 9G-MKI, since 1999. It is owned by Finova Capital Corporation and was formerly operated by Japan Airlines.

The 747-200F was one of a pair operated by MK Airlines, which also has a fleet of six McDonnell Douglas DC-8s.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news

27th Nov 2001, 21:32
Good grief. I saw -MKI on the ramp yesterday lunchtime.
I heard via my original source that one of the survivors was on the way to the UK in an air ambulance.
My condolences to all.

27th Nov 2001, 21:37
Realy sad news. Mike Kruger is a really pleasant guy. Not one of the ususal intolerable egos you often find at the top of an airline.

Condolences to him and to all at his company especialy those grieving tonight.

Guvnor - shame on you.

The Guvnor
27th Nov 2001, 22:03
I know that this will be unpopular, but it needs to be said. First, though, I would like to express sympathy for those directly involved - and of course the families of those killed.

My information from Nigeria is that initial findings are that the aircraft ran out of fuel.

MK has had considerably more than their statistical share of accidents and incidents - out of a total fleet of 12 aircraft operated, since 1992 they have lost two DC8s and have had at least one serious incident with their B747s (where ballast shifted because it was not properly secured, seriouly damaging the cargo hold and centre fuel tank).

They are an operation that is owned (and largely staffed) by Zimbabweans - many of whom are here illegally, without work permits or UK passports, working at MSE and at the company's 'technical base' in Sussex.

They have no genuine operational infrastructure in Ghana, yet operate under a Ghana AOC.

They are domiciled and openly headquartered in the UK yet the CAA is powerless to force them to apply for a UK AOC (despite many 'nudges' from the Belgrano).

They benefit from a lack of operational and safety oversight which allows them to cut costs and - more importantly - cut corners.

This, in turn, has allowed them to undercut EU airlines such as Cargo Lion, forcing them out of business.

They are, in short, the sort of dangerous flag of convenience pirate operator that Maggie Oldham used to get so wound up about.

This is not the first time that this company's poor standards have cost lives. And, unless the CAA/DTLR does something about them, nor will it be the last.

Over the last twelve months, there have been a number of threads about this company - some of which, sadly, have been very prophetic.

The chances are, you'll be sharing the skies with these aircraft. How safe do you feel?

[ 27 November 2001: Message edited by: The Guvnor ]

Epsom Hold 2
27th Nov 2001, 22:21
"Shame on Guv" - WHY? Everything he's posted has been informative and respectful. Why does every thread have to degenerate because a small group insist on hijacking the topic and accuse Guv of god knows what? There's been a terrible accident in PHC and even this it appears is being used as a pretext for some petty vendetta. Show some respect. Is this how all airline pilots behave? No wonder the industry is f***ed.

27th Nov 2001, 22:37
Jesus "The Guvnor", you've got your knickers in a fine twist. Why on earth do you know so much about them. Did they give you the sticky finger once or is it just plain poking your nose around??

Looking for more details on the crew - any have more info?

27th Nov 2001, 23:09
this is not the kind of news we need to be reading right now. As there have been varying reports about POB etc lets hope that the fatality bit is also bollocks. In any case, I am thinking of you, those directly affected.
Oh yes, Guv, wot a nob!

27th Nov 2001, 23:40
Condolences to all concerned with regards to this tragedy.

Although the Guvnor’s comments might be a little ill timed, he is quite correct. If you are not convinced just ask any ex Tradewinds or Anglo Cargo employee what happens when you have a weak DT, This department allows this sort of operation to flourish in the UK at the expense of a proper UK based AOC operation.

MK is not the only UK cargo operation that is based in the UK that uses foreign registed a/c and foreign crews. I can think of another cargo operation, based at LGW.

27th Nov 2001, 23:47
Of the 15 aircraft MK Airlines were due to have in their fleet over the last 10 years, 3 were not delivered, which leaves a fleet of 12 aircraft.

After today's accident, 3 of those aircraft have been written off (a DC-8 in 1992, a DC-8 in 1996, and the 747 today). All 3 writeoffs were due to crashes; one in Kanos, and two in Port Harcourt.

There's something terribly wrong when 1/4 of an airline's fleet has been lost in crashes. Ill-timed or not, it needs to be said.

The Guvnor
28th Nov 2001, 01:03
Loc-Out you're not thinking of a certain operator which also has a maintenance base at MSE and which dunks aircraft in Lake Victoria - as well as other spots around the world - I'm sure ChrisKSDF can provide the details.

28th Nov 2001, 01:59
Sure are!!
:D :D :D

[ 27 November 2001: Message edited by: Loc-out ]

28th Nov 2001, 03:17
My condolances go to the family of the victim and to MK- Airlines.

From some of the posts it is clear that you are quite pleased that MK has been hurt. Well let me tell you something. When you have your own airline operating not some fantasy crap that is posted on the internet you might have some credibility. You surely can talk the talk but aboviously cannot walk the walk.

MK has been operating in UK and EU but is not an EU airline. Guess some of us find it hard to accept that somebody from Africa can come and operate a fairly succesfull airline without a wonderful CAA AOC that has been issued by some godforsaken paperpusher.

At the same token you find it appropriate for you to build your hours, work or even run an airline in those Foreign non EU countries that give an opportunity. Namely I have seen British as well as other European pilots flying and people in Zimbabve, RSA, Brunei, UAE... You name it.

Death brings the vultures out and I seem them hanging around in increasing numbers. A person got killed and an aircraft was lost. You didn't even have the decency to wait a few minutes before starting your badmouthing campaing... DISGUSTING. A miserable but unfortunately noisy minority on this wonderful website seem to be using it to advance their own goals.

:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

28th Nov 2001, 03:40
By all means, JJFlyer, let's just pretend that MK Airlines has never had any problems because they lost an aircraft today. Let's not "badmouth" them because they've crashed 1/4 their fleet in nine years. And for God's sake, let's not mention that this accident looks to have happened because the plane ran out of fuel.

After all, mentioning that would be disrespectful to some (although I'm not exactly sure who).

Giving such information would be an honest and accurate appraisal of the airline, but apparently those aren't appreciated by some.

Get over yourself.

[ 27 November 2001: Message edited by: ChrisKSDF ]

28th Nov 2001, 03:57
MK have an experienced mix of pilots, ex military, ex airline etc and fly into places many other operators fear to tread, carrying everything from grapes to disaster relief supplies...the classic case of "anywhere, anytime".
I have been sat on the freight apron at the "delightful" Lagos Mohammed Murtalla airport with a bunch of pilots and engineers for close on 12 hours in the glaring heat trying to resurrect a sick 1900 and been watched disdainfully by a European operator from their nice, airconditioned, well stocked, "purple lettered" 757. In taxies MK's 747 and the crew hop out and bring us a case of bottled mineral water, bags of fruit and a tray of sandwiches, and invite us to cool off in their fridgelike cabin. I guess not everyone has lost the "spirit" of aviation, and I don't find it too surprising that many of those who do still have it are either from, or work in Africa. This is a place where you look out for each other, generally regardless of the writing on the side of your aircraft.
And as for being "foreigners" over here, a lot of pilots of European origin are "over there", indeed often get their first break there with regards to hours and experience, before returning to the UK etc for that coveted airline job.
It is yet another tragedy in aviation, and regardless of what people think of the operator, surely it is bad taste to forward anything other than condolences in this instance?
May they only get stronger, and move on from this unfortunate accident.

freightdoggy dog
28th Nov 2001, 04:19
So what was the outcome of the DETR investigation last year that "Vauxhall Cross"
posted in the African Aviation forum?

28th Nov 2001, 07:00
Mr Chris.

I did not want to comment the problems MK has had. I do not think it is my place to do so.
You on the other hand have such a vast and varied experience as a pilot and aviation expert that it is just natural for you to assume this role.

[ 28 November 2001: Message edited by: JJflyer ]

28th Nov 2001, 07:58
You don't need experience as a pilot to take note when an airline has lost 1/4 their fleet in crashes, or to notice that a particular airline operates from one country, yet registers their assets (including aircraft) in another country to avoid regulations that like companies are forced to comply with.

The Guvnor
28th Nov 2001, 09:33
JJFlyer - I'm surprised at you. The fact is, as ChrisKSDF pointed out, this is far from the first incident that they have had. Nor is it the case that they have written off three aircraft over say a 40 year period - as would be the case with a quality operator such as British Airways. No - these cowboys have had three crashes (can't remember off hand how many were fatals, including this one) in nine years!

Statistically, this makes them one of the most dangerous airlines in the world.

(Chris, can you trawl your databases and see if you can come up with any other airline - of a comparable size - (a) which has had as many incidents in the last 10 years; and (b) has lost 25% of its fleet in the same timescale?)

This operation prompts more than a few questions, starting with:

- Nice people they may be, but why are they not based in their home country of Zimbabwe?

- Why don't they have a proper operational set up in Ghana - and why isn't the management and control centred there rather than Sussex?

- Why isn't the Ghana Civil Aviation Authority providing proper operational and safety oversight? This incident should result in Ghana being downgraded to Category 2 unless prompt action is taken against MK.

- Why is the DTLR allowing them to operate from the UK (against CAA advice, I understand) to the detriment of other UK and EU carriers? If they want to be based here, fine. But let them apply for a CAA Air Operator's Certificate and Operators Licence and abide by the UK rules - same as the rest of us have to!

- why are they being allowed to flout UK immigration and employment laws by employing foreign nationals (to the detriment of EU citizens) in the UK without visas, work permits or EU passports?

- why is the company's senior management permitted overrule its crews when it comes to operational matters; including the carriage of fuel over cargo; operations in excess of runway, structural or other limits; extended duty times; and operations into airports in unsafe conditions? There's another thread on here, entitled "Management and Pilots SHould Read This". Towards the bottom of this page (http://www.pprune.org/cgibin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=1&t=016704&p=5) you'll see a question posed by Huck. MK's answer would be diametrically opposed to the one that I gave.

If this aircraft had come down in Margate or Crawley - especially considering that it ran out of fuel - this thread would have been close on its 100 post limit already. So why isn't there more condemnation of their operation? The chances are that next time - and if this company is allowed to continue operating in the UK there will be a next time - that just might happen.

Despite what some might think, this is not a case of European operators bashing an African one because they are more succesful. This is a safety issue which affects us all - much as some of us think otherwise, these regulations are in place for a reason: to protect those operating the aircraft and those on the ground. It's about an operator that has effectively torn up the rule book because they are operating off a mickey mouse flag of convenience without any operational or safety oversight - which means that they cut every corner they can to save money to undercut European operators and put people like you out of work.

They were banned from operating to Iceland - which is why they had to set up a 'proper' structure there - if the Icelanders have the guts to take a stance on them, why don't the British?

If the DTLR lets them keep operating - how many more people are they going to kill? And will their next crash be in the centre of a UK town?

It's as simple as that.

The Guvnor
28th Nov 2001, 10:30
From the Nigerian press:

Briton dies, four others wounded as plane crashes in Port Harcourt

From Joseph Ollor Obari, Kelvin Ebiri (Port Harcourt) and Tunji Oketunbi (Lagos)

RESIDENTS of Ipo village, about 700 meters from the Port Harcourt International Airport in the early hours of yesterday, woke up shocked as a Boeing 747 cargo aircraft belonging to M.K. Airlines swirled and crashed in their area, killing a British engineer on board and wounding four of the other 12-member British and American crew.

Aviation Minister Kema Chikwe who visited the site yesterday, said the cause of the crash which occurred at about 1.56 a.m. was yet unknown. The aircraft had left Luxembourg for Johannesburg in South Africa via Port Harcourt.

Airport sources said that the plane, which had but two minutes to land, suddenly lost contact with the control tower.

Chikwe who was visibly shocked by the extent of the wreckage, said the managing director of the National Airways Management Authority (NAMA) called at 4 am. to inform her of the incident.

"I had just woken up and I asked the immediate questions on human lives and, what the situation was, whether all our equipment was functioning, because I came here not too long ago to inspect all the facilities. The equipment were all functional, so we ruled out the possibility of equipment failure,"
she said.

The minister emphasised that there was light at the airport as the generator was in good condition and the airport operation had remained uninterrupted.

On her arrival in Port Harcourt, the minister drove straight to the Intel Clinic to ascertain the condition of the survivors of the crash.

Of what she saw at the clinic, she said: "For a layman, any injury is serious. I saw blood and people lying down, some looking more critical than others, but I am told adequate arrangement was being made to send an air ambulance to fly them to Zurich, because they are foreigners."

Asked if the victims were able to describe what happened to them, she said: "They were all in a state of shock and confusion and I did not think I should even ask such question. A plane crash is not a car crash. It is something that is very technical and is best handled by professionals. So the most they could do was to describe their experience, but they could not determine the cause of the crash.

"It is only when Airport Investigation Bureau complete their work then we can have a clue of what actually happened. I don't think at this stage anybody can attribute this to any specific cause."

She said it was sheer miracle that the cockpit severed from the fuselage, a major factor in the survival of the rest of the crew.

"There is a miracle here, even the separation is like God on His own separated the aircraft. You can see where the passengers were was intact. They were in the upper deck and it was only the engineer that was down that died. It's amazing that they were secured where they were. There was no fire onthat side. They would have all died," she added.

She promised that the airport clinic would be upgraded to cope with emergencies like this in the future.

At the site, the wreckage still smouldered. Only part of the name could be discerned from the severed parts while there was nothing left of the aircraft registration number.

Accident investigators and officials from the Federal Ministry of Aviation left Lagos yesterday for Port Harcourt to probe the crash.

Although there was no official statement from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), information gathered in Lagos indicated the aircraft was operated by Accra-based M.K. Airlines on behalf of a Nigerian operator.

A similar accident involving an aircraft belonging to the same operator occurred on approach to landing at the Port Harcourt airport about four years ago.

No official statement was issued by the airline yesterday.

28th Nov 2001, 10:31
Just a wee bit curious here Guv me ol' mate, how can an aircraft that supposedly "ran out of fuel" BURN post impact?
There simply isn't enough hydraulic fluid to get things really going, but you are as you claim the Guvnor and all knowing so we shall once again stand aside as you belittle yet another airline, its owner, and employees that actually GOT EFFIN' PLANES IN THE AIR as opposed to some pipe smokin' dream in PIK.

My sympathies to those involved, Noone ever likes to see one go down.

Lak :D

[ 28 November 2001: Message edited by: LimeyAK ]

28th Nov 2001, 11:26
I'm disappointed folks. This is neither the time nor the place for a spot of MK bashing.

ATC Watcher
28th Nov 2001, 11:55
The only one in this post that said something sensible about this crash seems to be Kema Chikme, the Nigerian Aviation Minister...
Bashing the airline before the corpses are burried is not my cup of tea.
My sincere condoleances to the familly of the engineer and my thoughts to those injured.

The Guvnor
28th Nov 2001, 11:58
LimeyAK - are you sure you fly a 747 as you claim? If so you'd know that there's a significant amount of unusable fuel - and plenty of other combustible material - on board an aircraft. Even the skin burns once the temperature is high enough.


According to the Foreign Office, the person that was killed was not British. This from the Telegraph:

Jet crash Britons recover from ordeal

Four Britons who survived a jumbo jet crash in Nigeria are recovering from their ordeal.

One crew member was killed when the Boeing
747 came down near the airport at Port Harcourt, in the south-east of the country.

The cargo plane, chartered by Panalpina World
Trans Limited freight company, was flying to South America from Luxembourg.

It tried to land in Nigeria to drop off supplies for local oil operations, state-run radio said, but crashed on the approach, near Igbo village.

The Foreign Office denied reports that a British engineer had died of injuries from the crash, which left six of the 13 crew needing treatment in a local hospital for serious wounds.

A spokeswoman said: "There were four Britons
on board but no British fatalities. We have no details of any injuries.

"They were on board an MK Airlines Boeing
747 which crashed on approach to Port Harcourt international airport, in south-east

MK Airlines had told the Foreign Office there was one fatality and it was not British.

"All the families of the crew members on board the flight have been notified," the
spokeswoman added.

"The four British men were crew members. Their families have been informed and the
airline has organised for the crew to be flown out of Nigeria as soon as possible."

28th Nov 2001, 13:54
Guvnor - what do you think you are doing?

One of your earlier foaming posts in this string lists a whole bunch of actions for a whole bunch of different agencies to take against MK.

Breaking News Guv - there has been no formal investigation yet!!

If you were the all-knowing Omnipotent Smart Arse that you like to project yourself as you would understand that actions flow from a thorough investigation of the fact and not from half-baked drivel propagated by some wannabee dreamer.

Keep your ill-timed remarks to yourself. Show some repsect for those that are grieving and give all the rest of us a well-earned rest from your utterly pointless rantings.

:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

The Guvnor
28th Nov 2001, 14:08
Breaking News, PowerRanger - this company has apparently been under invesrigation for a number of safety breaches for some time.

It's lost 25% of its fleet due to crashes in nine years.

It operates under a flag of convenience, without proper safety or operational oversight.

It refuses to apply for a UK AOC or abide by UK rules regarding safety and operational strictures - despite 'requests' from the CAA.

These are facts.

This company has directly and indirectly caused the loss of peoples' jobs and lives. Why is it that you think that calls for urgent action to be taken to prevent such events happening again should be brushed under the carpet?

28th Nov 2001, 14:20
We're all a bit quick to jump on MK aren't we. All that's known at the minute is that they have lost a 747 after it apparently undershot on approach to PHC at night - we know nothing else at the moment.

And, so what if they have now lost three aircraft in nine years. This by itself may or may not be significant. Numbers alone are not necessarily an indication of poor safety.
What were the causes of the accidents, was their any failing by the airline and if so has it learnt from these and so on.

MK's previous two accidents were also undershoots in darkness and were both during non-precision approaches, one at Kano (VOR approach) and one at PHC (also a VOR approach plus no DME). I wonder what kind of approach yesterdays was. Am I right in thinking that the the glide slope at Kano is shallow (2deg??) or am I right off the wall. What's the glide slope at PHC.

For AirDisaster.com's sake I might mention that non precission approaches have been shown to be many times less safe than full ILS approaches and having a shallow glide path can also give problems. Maybe AirDisaster.com should also consider the differences in infrastructure, landing aids etc between Africa and North America/Europe before he prenounces on safety. His view may be valid but basing it just on counting numbers is not enough.

28th Nov 2001, 14:27
Guvnor please point out where I said that things should be 'brushed under the carpet'? :confused:

Now that you're making up quotes I know you're defeated. :D

My point is that it is right and proper to hold a thorough and objective investigation, to produce a report with findings and then to consider corrective actions. :rolleyes:

What is not right is to foam at the mouth about safety records, quote banal statistics in support of your opinions and then come up with instant recommendations all before breakfast the day after the incident. :eek:

Your profile suggests you are a Chief Executive in this industry. I have to say I find this hard to believe. :eek: :eek: :eek:

Goldfish Jack
28th Nov 2001, 16:41
My deepest sympathy to all at MK on the loss of the aircraft as well as the loss of a crew member. Also, condolencies to the family of the crew member killed.

There seems to be a lot of "MK bashing" around here at the moment. Let us not pre-judge and wait for the result of the investigation. In all my dealings with them and their crews, I have always been impressed with their professionalism and attitude/approach to the work they are doing.

Let us also not forget the amount of humanitarian aid that MK is involved in and all the countless people they have directly/indirectly assisted over the years. Were it not for them the world would be a poorer place.

Might all of you at MK get over this terrible experience and learn from it and come out of it a better company able to survive even the most savage electronic attack from those that are so jealuous of you and your achievements.

28th Nov 2001, 17:22
Goldfish Jack said

Let us also not forget the amount of humanitarian aid that MK is involved in and all the countless people they have directly/indirectly assisted over the years. Were it not for them the world would be a poorer place.

A nice point, however, I don't think MK did this out of the kindness of their hearts. It has been mentioned that MK operated into some 'less than ideal' locations and I am sure they didn't lose on any shipments they may have made.

All that said, another sad day for the aviation business. My condolences to all concerned.

28th Nov 2001, 17:39
Seen reports of 13 o/b?Now to my knowledge there is only 8 escape handles so that can't be right can it?

28th Nov 2001, 20:04
Well said Goldfish Jack! :cool:

28th Nov 2001, 20:07
After the tragic events of yesterday, you'd think people would have better things to do than to take 'pop-shots' at a company which has had a bad time of it.

I would also like to point out at this time that certain members of this forum might like to get their facts straight before making comment. "Der Guvnor" for instance, seems to speak so explicitly on topics and issues relating to MK and other airlines that I wonder where he finds the time to start an airline of his own after all that "research"!

Cheers all,

The Claw
28th Nov 2001, 20:33
Aeroguru: Whilst I can't comment on MK's B747 operations, they are well known for "packing" crew into their DC-8's. The crew at MK are definitely a great team to work with, but sometimes I do feel that corners are cut for whatever reason.

Condolences to those involved. :( :(

28th Nov 2001, 20:55
I don´t necessarily count myself as a "Guv-basher" but Guv, where did you hear that the aircraft ran out of fuel?

As anyone who´s operated (or even jump-seated) in Nigeria will attest, there are all kinds of ways to crash an airplane down there and ATC can be a major factor. At least in this case plenty of people have lived to tell the tale.

As for MK´s safety record there is another element common to the three accidents besides the company that operated them, namely the location. Statistically, Nigeria has to be one of the most dangerous countries in the world to operate in.

28th Nov 2001, 23:32
Someone mentioned 8 people max. Depends on the # of Upper Deck slides. Most conversions have TWO Upper Deck exits; our old -271C in Cargolux could carry a max of 18 total, before we modified them with bunks (3 crew seats, 2 jump seats in the cockpit, 1 jump seat in the galley, 12 "pax" seats). We also had more than enough reels for everybody.

The Flight Mechanic (the one who was evacuated by Air Ambulance to ZRH) is a former Cargolux guy. I had a beer with him about two weeks ago. Thank goodness he got out.

28th Nov 2001, 23:44
Very little has been said about PHC itself. This airport is well known as a trap especially at night.

Unless it has been upgraded lately the VOR was well known to have you 2 to 3 miles off the centreline even though the CDI was centred and the runway lighting was very unreliable. Combine these factors with early morning fog or a low ceiling and there is the recipe for a disaster.

Has any one else been there recently at night who can comment?

As with all accidents there is a chain of factors. All links of this chain need to be examined before making a conclusion.

28th Nov 2001, 23:56
Yes, Nigeria, Port Harcourt especially is a complete sh**hole. Have to hand it to MK for actually flying there in the first place!

All the factors of fog, bad radio navs, and ATC being asleep was definitely a recipe for disaster. Well said Larky!


29th Nov 2001, 00:57
I note that there have been a number of suggestions that MK are a "flag of convenience" operation. I know that they base some aircraft in the UK and have some offices here. However, I understand that they have more aircraft based in Ghana than the UK and conduct significant operations in that area. If this is the case it would seem quite correct that the airline should have an AOC issued in Ghana. The ICAO requirement is that the AOC is issued by the state in which the airline has its principal place of business.

29th Nov 2001, 01:10
The carrier's 4 Diesel Eights -55Fs are only Stage 2, certainly unwelcome in Europe. With its sole 74 trashed, only its two remaining -62Fs are Stage 3 equipped; which is to say that the majority of its fleet must necessarily be based outside Europe.

The Guvnor
29th Nov 2001, 01:12
Cathar - very few MK aircraft see ACC. Their principal place of business is defined as their administrative office and that's located in Sussex (address on the first page of this thread). From an operational viewpoint, most of their aircraft seem to congregate around MSE and LUX.

However, during pineapple season, they take full advantage of their Ghana registry to elbow any other non Ghanaian carriers out of the way in order to take them north to Europe. They still do a lot out of HRE (though with declining production due to the farm invasions, there have been declining exports); and as I understand it they are also involved in the flower and veg trade out of Kenya and fish out of South Africa and Namibia.

Oh, and another thing I forgot to mention is that despite the UK base, neither the company or its personnel pay any UK taxes. :mad: :mad:

[ 28 November 2001: Message edited by: The Guvnor ]

Kalium Chloride
29th Nov 2001, 01:14
Did PHC's rwy 21 get ILS in the end?

29th Nov 2001, 01:45
Glueball: They had two 74s. -MKH and -MKI.
Guv: In Lux every day with both types.

des sharp
29th Nov 2001, 01:53
News from HRE office of MK.

A/C had 40% fuel load remaining - did not run out of fuel.

A/C was carrying one pre-deceased body back to Johannesburg, hence reports of two fatalities. Deceased is Casper Steenkamp (South African).

Two 747 First Captains on board CASEVAC to JNB by 23:00 SAST tonight condition not considered critical.

One Critical Mike Duncan CASEVAC to U.K.

Accident Investigation pending.

Jetscream 32
29th Nov 2001, 02:35
Condolences to all,

In the good old days before the internet, we used to banter around the bar / club-house and look with interest at the news to learn more.

"Wait for the frikin AIB report before mouthing off about an accident that no-one on this forum was involved in".

Sit back, drink another beer, and thank your lucky stars it was not YOU!

:mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

29th Nov 2001, 03:46
LARKY - We're currently operating into PHC at the moment - not popular with the crew - even guys with 20yrs Africa experience.
The last thing the industry needs at the moment is bad press - some of the "comments" by so called proffessionals here will just feed a media which has aviation under the spotlight for their own ends.
There are people suffering as a result of this incident - yet some see it as an opportunity to "get stuck in"... quite sad really.

At least MK are out there operating - despite some views expressed.

By the way, our A/C are Dutch regd and there's been one here for two hours total in past 4 yrs.....

29th Nov 2001, 12:34
I cannot belive that some of you can be so heartless we are in a dangerous job and are we forgetting that there are people dead and hurt i have met a few of the mk pilots when i fly around these shitty parts of africa and they are always helpful and nice guys some respect please for there families. :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad: :mad:

29th Nov 2001, 13:27
I had the misfortune to go to PHC a couple of weeks back. Although you get clearance for a VOR approach there is an ILS on 110.3 which seemed pretty accurate. As with anything else in Nigeria there is no guarantee that there will be anything on the frequency next time you tune it. :confused:

29th Nov 2001, 17:03
I operated in Nigeria for a year in the early eighties. While I was there there were 6 major commercial aircraft accidents (including one that I actually witnessed) and as many more again of 'very near things'.

Every day I went to work there I felt I was taking my life in my hands like no other place I've ever been.

It's just amazing that more accidents don't happen there. It's a commercial airliner graveyard. I wouldn't go back for all the tea in china.

30th Nov 2001, 00:18
So far Skerpie your last posting is up to date and correct, your also right about the casket on its way to SA.

By the way guys easy on PHC I work out here in PHC and the airport is quite in good shape and the ILS is fully operational and on target, so is the Radar!

First you go about bashing each other about MK airlines and now somebody drops one on PHC and we start the bashing all over again.

I am here in PHC (Based here too) and will get some info from the guys tonight,I only just got back from Warri last night.

Should be able to overfly the Airport in the morning so I might get a picture for you guys on pprune.

Let us wait for the investigation report before we start all this bashing of who did what and, this did do that and all that, it will not help the crew.

My heart goes to the families of the crew and on behalf of all the guys out here Gods speed to a full recovery.

Greek God
30th Nov 2001, 00:28
I am afraid I cannot contain myself! For those not familiar with "The Guv" one just has to trawl these pages to see how well informed and respected he is on just about any subject. However his information and invective against MKs Company contains many generalisations and more to the point inaccuracies. He also neglects to add "Operating within the bounds of the law" to his list of MKs crimes. Do not blame someone from taking advantage of a legal situation and providing lifelines to many individuals whose personal situations were far worse than most, having left Zimbabwe and other African States in difficult circumstances. If MK wishes to employ his personnel from African States that is his choice and all are damn fine people and familiar with Africa and her ways. If all Brits were like the Guv God knows what the industry would be like as much as I don't like slanging matches but Guv you Sir are an arrogant, ignorant T***T with a serious chip on your shoulder who should refrain from offering your opinionated comments until the facts are clear.
My condolences to all involved in this tragic incident.
Rant over

30th Nov 2001, 00:39
Has a crew list been published yet please?

30th Nov 2001, 00:54
Hey there Greek God,

I couldn't have put it better myself. I think its time that Guv, was shown that he not the 'all knowing'.

As has been said already, bashing, throwing suggestions and accusations as to why and how this happened are all but pointless until the facts are known. :mad:

"Der Guvnor" (I am now guessing) has probably been around a few more years than my good self and I can't believe how he still doesn't know when to hold 'em, and when to fold 'em.

Obviously he's not the most learned of people! :rolleyes:


30th Nov 2001, 07:33
To stray off topic slightly, what's the max total number of people you can carry on a
-200 freighter? Aren't you limited to 8 by the escape reels?

30th Nov 2001, 08:02
"Maj" Kong

As previously discussed, the number of pax ALLOWED to be carried varies on configuration.

In reality, especially in this part of the world, the max number of pax (crew) depends entirely upon the Captain.

Why are you asking this question? Does the number of persons on board have anything to do with the topic?

30th Nov 2001, 11:04
The max number of pax (crew) depends on the Captain? what bunch of cowboys have you worked for, if at all. The number of persons on the upper deck of a freight 747 is limited by the number of escape devices fitted BY LAW. Much as I absolutely detest agreeing with the Guvnor on anything, and sympathise greatly with the families of the cre involved, he is right when it comes to this one. As for allegedly flying suspectly maintained aircraft around in a suspect manner to give Zims a job, well..... :rolleyes:

30th Nov 2001, 14:26
Operating in places like Nigeria, Stop Start, you´ll find the discretion of the captain counts for a lot more than the rule of law. That´s just a fact.

30th Nov 2001, 14:31
Some 747's have 20 or more escape reels for the upper deck. 5 for the flight deck and the remainder for the upper deck. Fedex had aircraft configured this way.

Pontius' Pilot
30th Nov 2001, 15:04
I have many good friends in MK. Still haven't found out who the fatalities were, but **** ********* (The Guvnor!!!)after having associated with you in the past I am now fully convinced that (EDIT NOTE remainder of paragraph deleted. This forum is not for personal attacks, nor is it for the naming of individual participants.

I apologise to all Ppruners for the tone and content of my post, I do not often respond to comments here but this time imho ******** has overstepped the mark.

RIP to all those who have died in this accident.

[ 30 November 2001: Message edited by: McD ]

30th Nov 2001, 15:18
The Guv may have a poor sense of timing with his observations on MK but I do feel the Pontious has overstepped the mark himself somewhat.

Surely the point of an open forum like this is to express views and to be prepared to have them challenged in a rational, professional manner.

If people make remarks that others deem in bad taste then we just have to accept that this is part and parcel of free debate.

Pontious I have no axe to grind either way. I do feel the Guv was premature in his observations and less than tasteful in some of his comments but equally, he did not resort to the kind of abuse you have posted here.

If you are unable to debate intelligently then perhaps you should leave instead?? :rolleyes:

I assume from your handle that you have been a pilot for a long, long time. Perhaps some old aged cantankerism is setting in here! :eek:

At the end of the day we should all realise that everyone os free to agree and disagree with one another but we should not have to endure obscenities as a result.

I personally hope your abusive posting is moderated.

It is simply not good enough to post and to then apologise for the posting in the hope that it makes it OK.

It does not. Grow up.

Don't post it in the first place.

:mad: :mad: :mad:

30th Nov 2001, 16:36
I see we've managed to descend to our usual (low) level of behaviour.
There's a dead crewmember and a wrecked 74F. We're telling each other to !^%^$*@& etc etc.

30th Nov 2001, 18:03









The Claw
30th Nov 2001, 20:33
Pontius' Pilot..............RTQF.....PLEASE! :rolleyes:

30th Nov 2001, 23:24
I have several good friends flying for MK and I have not been able to contact ANY of them. Can anyone put me in touch with someone who could tell me who the injured/deceased are? I am worried sick here!

White Knight
30th Nov 2001, 23:33
I too have many friends flying for MK, would also like to know who was involved if anyone knows.

As for Guvvy boys ranting I have to say that I can only admire MK for having a go, as well as providing work for a lot of Zimbo's when their own country is going t1ts up all around them. And remember that a lot of those guys have young families to provide for in that currently screwed up country...

30th Nov 2001, 23:45
First, sympathies for all of those people affected...

Just curious - how big an operation is MK? How many pilots - DC-8 and 747 pilots? Where are the aircraft based?

I know MK specialises in African flying - where else do they "typically" fly - any European-Africa routes that are flown more often than others?


1st Dec 2001, 00:00
Yet another pompous posting from CR2...just think, if the powers that be (such as they are in Africa) carried out their statutory duties correctly and in accordance with the AOC issued, there would be NO dead crew members, and NO crashed 747!!!! :mad:

1st Dec 2001, 12:22
StopStart: I can only guess you don't like my general complaint that some contributors are using this thread to slag each other off.
Edit: I see fergineer slapped your wrists over on th GF L10 thread. Having a bad day were we?

[ 01 December 2001: Message edited by: CargoRat2 ]

1st Dec 2001, 12:52
CR2, no, I was trying to disassociate the tragedy itself from the causes of the accident. You and I both fly in Africa, and know how slack standards can be. If they are not tightened up soon there will be more crashes. A review of the posts, including...'the capatain is above the law'....will show what I mean.

Sid's Stars
1st Dec 2001, 13:01
I'm fully with The Guv and Stop Start on this one. I know a lot of the MK guys as a past employer used MSE for its maintenance as well as operating into Africa and almost all of them were cowboys that wouldn't last 10 seconds in the real world with regulations.

I also know a lot of the other Euro FR8 dogs and most of them are out of work these days thanks to operators like DAS and MK.

If these guys want to use flags of convenience then fine but don't allow them anywhere near the civilised world where the rest of us have to obey the rules.

I spent several months recently in Nigeria and all those people here who are coming up with all the usual [email protected] about it being a disaster area are WRONG!! They obviously havent been there since the 80s as things have improved plenty. MMIA works like a Euro airport and PHC also has the full set of navaids that are spot on. Perhaps the reason the MK guys keep crashing there is because they simply can't fly aeroplanes?

Boss Raptor
1st Dec 2001, 13:37
Quite agree, as an aside to the incident, the Nigerians have worked closely with ICAO and really got their act together over the last couple of years... :rolleyes:

1st Dec 2001, 15:10

Principal place of business is not defined by ICAO nor is it defined in UK aviation legislation (so far as I am aware). While I accept that the location of the admistrative offices is important in determining the p.p.b. it will not be the only factor. I would point out that the Sussex office you mention is usually called the "European office" of MK rather than its HQ and I understand that the airline also has offices in Ghana.

1st Dec 2001, 15:16
Ok StopStart, no probs.

Has anyone heard anything realistic/factual as to the causes? I somehow don't buy the running out of fuel story.

3rd Dec 2001, 13:52
Hi all,

anyone actually know cast-iron what sort of approach was being conducted. ILS or not. I hear very different accounts of whether ILS is up and running or not. Airport says yes, at least some chart providers say no, and I suspect AIP doesn't say yes.

4th Dec 2001, 15:49
Up to a few days ago Jeppesen at least were not providing an ILS chart for Port Harcourt although an ILS physically existed and appeared to work well. Recently a NOTAM has been issued that details the ILS procedure - my copy is not terribly legible but the gist of it is:

ILS: ident = IPC freq = 110.3
Threshold elev = 81'
All categories of a/c - max speed 200kts
Holding: RH pattern I/B hdg 033, O/B 213, rate one turn, 1 min leg below FL140 and 11/2 above.
Initial approach alt 2000'.
Let-down proc: leave IPC ILS (sic) at 2000' on QNH on track 033M, descending to (illegible, possibly 1600'QNH as on the VOR approach), to 8NM, procedure turn left heading 348 deg M, rate one turn right to intercept track 213 deg M and intercept the localiser and descend to decision height.
Obstacle clearance ht all cat a/c 281(200).
Circling OCA: cat A 760 (680)
cat B 860 (780)
cat C 960 (880)
cat D 1060 (980)
Missed Approach: straight ahead to 1000', turn right as soon as possible to heading 235 deg M until reaching 2000' then turn left to IPC ILS (sic)and hold or as directed by ATC.

As for flag of convenience operators, Das Air's "N" registered DC10's can hardly be regarded as flag of convenience; I'm sure that the FAA would not be happy to be described that way.

5th Dec 2001, 03:39
Condolences to the people involved.

I respect the opinions but not the Guv's comments.

During post-accidents the only way to speak is in a constructive sense: conclusions should be avoided for the respect of the victims.

I am really doubting that people like Guv have even a conscience.

Regarding his complaining & complaining I could imagine him on the cockpit: complaining with Cpt and/or FO, complaining with ATC, complaining with ramp agent, complaining with cabin crew, complaining with flight ops, complaining with the traffic ahead, complaining with the weather, .......


Fly safe & enjoy life.

Sheep Guts
5th Dec 2001, 07:39
My Condolences to all families of the Victims and Crews involved.
I think the Guv should get back in his box. I dont think this thread needs to be a stage for Britsh Protectionism Rubbish!
God bless their souls R.I.P.

[ 05 December 2001: Message edited by: Sheep Guts ]

The Guvnor
6th Dec 2001, 16:46
What's the latest on this? I see from press reports in South Africa that there's some confusion over the aircraft that went down - claims are that it was in fact 9G-MKJ (ex ZS-SAR - the Helderberg's sistership) - and given that the accident happened the day before the Helderberg's anniversary, the conspiracy theorists are out in force there! :rolleyes:

7th Dec 2001, 11:09
Nope, saw MKJ the other day.