The crew members and the aircraft were scheduled for a ferry flight to Jeddah on the 17th of December 1991 with 13 empty pallets on board. Cargo would then be picked up in Jeddah for the comma vial flight into Mallarn Aminu Kano Airport. The crew found only five pallets on board the aircraft because the officer holding tile keys to tile stores area where the other pallets were stored did not report for duty. The Captain was on the brink of canceling the flight when the crew was informed that arrangements have been made to supply the shortfall of seven pallets in Jeddah. The aircraft took off close to 17 hrs UTC and arrived in Jeddah a few minutes past 22:00 hrs. UTC. Normally the turnaround time on the ground in Jeddah was an hour and a half, but this time the crew envisaged a time of two and some half hours as the pallets had to be loaded after the aircraft arrived in Jeddah. The aircraft was ready to depart at 00:30 hrs UTC. When the engine start up procedure commenced engine number .; started normally, but engine number 4 could not be started. After performing an engine blow out and the engine would still not start, engine numbers 2 and l were started. Engine number 4 was tried for starting again and had to be abandoned. Maintenance engineers were invited from Saudia to assist the Ground Engineer of the Nigeria Airways who accompanied the aircraft from Lagos, in carrying out the rectification of the engine. The Captain and the First Officer retired into a hotel, and the Flight Engineer had to stay with tile aircraft as he did not have his passport on hire for entry into Jeddah, he was said to have taken his rest period in the office of Arena, the ground handlers of the aircraft and the load master also remained at the airport to supervise the loading of tile aircraft.