Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) was notified of the occurrence on 21st July 2015 through a phone call from Lagos ATC. Investigators were dispatched to the location same day. All relevant stakeholders were notified. On 21st July 2015 at 15:10hrs, a Boeing 737-42C aircraft belonging to Aero Contractors Nigeria Limited with registration 5N-BOB departed Murtala Muhammed Airport for Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja with call sign NIG127. It was a scheduled flight, operating on an Instrument Flight Rules with five crew members and one hundred and forty-one (141) passengers onboard.
At 15:14hrs, the aircraft was given radar vector by Approach Radar to resume own navigation and set course at “IBA”. Thereafter, it was handed over to Area Control. The aircraft was identified North-East of LAG and cleared to proceed direct ILGAM and climb to Flight Level (FL) 330. NIG127 responded, requesting to maintain FL130 for the time being. According to the crew report, while the aircraft was climbing through FL060; the Lead Crew called the cockpit to alert the Captain that a passenger noticed a “tear” on the right wing. The First Officer went to the cabin to confirm and reported to the Captain that part of the right Inboard Ground Spoiler had ripped off. At this point, the Captain decided to return to Lagos. At 15:18hrs, NIG127 reported an observation on one of her wings and requested an air return for runway 18R. At 15:28hrs, the Tower cleared the aircraft to land. At 15:31hrs, the aircraft landed safely on runway 18R. The Captain stated that on landing, there was severe vibration during the landing roll at high speed, and that the vibration stopped at taxi speed. Another aircraft taxiing to the holding point of runway 18R reported an observation to the Tower, that 5N-BOB had one of its tyres damaged. This information was relayed to the crew of 5N-BOB after exiting the runway. The aircraft was stopped at Taxiway A and the engines were shut down. The crew and passengers disembarked safely using the exit door as normal. The aircraft sustained substantial damage to No. 4 main wheel, right ground spoiler and the leading edges of the horizontal and vertical stabilizers. At 17:20hrs, the aircraft No. 4 main wheel was replaced on the taxiway before it was towed to Aero Contractors hangar at General Aviation Terminal (GAT).
The incident happened in daylight.