Veteran B742 at Abuja on Dec 4th 2013, overran displaced runway end and collided with trucks

Last Update: November 3, 2020 / 18:14:09 GMT/Zulu time

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Incident Facts

Date of incident
Dec 4, 2013


Flight number

Abuja, Nigeria

Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
Boeing 747-200

ICAO Type Designator

A Veteran Airlines Boeing 747-200 freighter on behalf of Saudi Arabian Airlines, registration EK-74798 performing flight SV-6814 from Jeddah (Saudi Arabia) to Abuja (Nigeria), landed on Abuja's runway 04 at about 22:00L (21:00Z) but overrun the displaced runway end, collided with a number of building machines and trucks, veered right off the runway and came to a stop with all gear off the runway and the building equipment wedged under its right hand wing and engine. The equipment was totalled, the aircraft received substantial damage to right hand wing and engines #3 and #4 (both right hand) as well as even more substantial damage to the left hand wing with engine #2 (inboard left) detached from the engine pylon and engine #1 damaged. There are traces of a brief fire where the #2 engine broke off the engine pylon severing supply lines.

Nigeria's Transport Ministry reported there had been no injuries or fatalities, the occurrence has not been a crash other than Nigerian media reported.

The airport reported there were maintenance works ongoing expanding the runway, the aircraft went into the maintenance area.

The airport is closed until the aircraft and remains of the lorry can be separated and moved off the runway. All domestic flights scheduled for Thursday (Dec 5th) have been cancelled.

On Mar 9th 2020 Nigeria's AIB released an interim statement reporting the draft final report has been completed and has been sent out for comments. The AIB summarized the sequence of events:

During the landing roll, TWR called the aircraft to “Hold-short Hold-short.” The aircraft turned to the right to avoid the displaced threshold via exit A3, the aircraft veered off to the left of the exit and impacted some construction equipment parked on the side of the runway.

The aircraft came to a final stop, parallel and to the right of RWY 04 on a grass verge with the fuselage and nose wheel between the construction equipment.

The six crew members evacuated the aircraft unhurt.

The accident occurred at 21:19 UTC, at night.

On Nov 3rd 2020 the Nigeria's AIB (NAIB) released their final report concluding the probably cause of the accident was:

The Crew was not updated on the information available on the reduced runway length.

Contributory factors

1. Lack of briefing by Saudia dispatcher during pre-flight.
2. Runway status was missing from Abuja ATIS information.
3. Ineffective communication between crew and ATC on short finals.
4. The runway markings and lighting not depicting the displaced threshold
5. The entire runway lighting was ON beyond the displaced threshold

The NAIB analysed:

During the preparatory phase of the flight, the crew arrived at the Operation Control Centre (OCC) Jeddah but the Veteran Avia Dispatcher on duty was not available to brief the crew. The crew received the flight folder from a staff of Air Atlanta who was not connected to the operations of Veteran Avia and as such does not have and could not provide the necessary information for the safe conduct of the flight. In accordance with the responsbilities of the OCC Flight Dispatcher as contained in the Veteran Avia Operations Manuals Part A section 1.8.6, it indicates that the flight was not properly dispatched. The crew also did not request for the briefing of the Veteran Aviation OCC Flight Dispatcher.

Evidence available to the Bureau indicates that during the departure phase at Jeddah, the crew was scheduled for pick-up and to proceed for conduct of the flight on 4th December, 2013 at 04:30 local time which was later changed to 10:35 local time same day. At 01:59 local time, the crew received an email which stated that crew should remain on standby pending the arrival of the operating aircraft from Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

After series of rescheduled timings, the crew was eventually picked up for departure for the flight at 16:50 local time on 4th December, 2013.

These changes in timing was managed and passed to the crew by the OCC/Dispatcher who was coordinating with the operating aircraft departing Sharjah, United Arab Emirates to Jeddah.

On arrival at the OCC, the crew did not find the Saudia Dispatcher on duty and therefore, were not briefed. However, a folder containing dispatch information for the flight was handed over to the crew. This folder did not contain any information about the displaced runway in Abuja.

In accordance with Veteran Avia Operations Manual Part A section (Communication with the aircraft), the should had been receiving updates and or reviews about the flight progress from the OCC. However, there was no evidence of coordination with the OCC during the course of the flight. The crew did not receive updates with regards to the change of the status of the runway (displaced runway) of the destination Aerodrome.

Although the crew received Airport Terminal Information Service (ATIS) from Abuja, the ATIS did not mention the significant information of displaced threshold and reduced runway length.

During the final approach for landing clearance, the ATC advised the crew to exercise caution, runway length available 2500m. However, the crew did not acknowledge this clearance as it was regarded as a garbled information by the crew.

The Crew received the flight documents from an Air Atlanta dispatcher as there was no Saudia representative present. The flight details which should include every relevant information pertaining the flight and the destination aerodrome should have been provided by Saudia, however the information was obtained from an operator that does not operate into Abuja. The crew should have ensured that they obtained relevant flight document (updated NOTAM) from Saudia.

The crew conducted pre-flight checks and all necessary briefings and reviews as appropriate. The crew knew about the number 2 thrust reverser being inoperative, considered it and prepared adequately for landing without it.

The information Yankee did not carry information about landing distance available.

Although the crew mentioned that they were not aware of the reduced runway length, the CVR transcript, revealed that TWR cleared the aircraft to land with the following information; “wind Zero Six Zero at Zero Three knots check gear down and locked cleared to land runway Zero Four and exercise caution on landing, landing distance available Two Thousand Five Hundred meters’ sir”. The crew acknowledged; “Roger cleared to land gear is down green light and ah Saudia Six Eight One Four”.

The Crew stated that just before landing, at about 400ft Above Ground Level (AGL), Tower said something about runway length in a garbled manner, which none of the crew could make something out of. The crew should have sought clarification about runway length available from the TWR.

If the crew had requested for clarity on the information about the runway length, and it was repeated to them, they could have reconfigured for a missed approach.

During the landing roll, the Tower called the aircraft to “Hold-short Hold-short” however, the aircraft turned to the right to avoid the displaced threshold via exit A3, and veered off to the left of the exit and impacted some construction equipment parked on the side of the runway.

After the impact, the crew reported engine No.2 fire warning and the fire drill was carried out but failed to extinguish the fire even after discharging the two bottles. The captain called for the appropriate checklist and evacuation was initiated. The six crew members evacuated the aircraft unhurt via Avionics compartment through the Main Electronic service door behind the nose wheel.

Before the commencement of the runway maintenance, FAAN submitted the operating manuals for DNAA to NCAA for the necessary approval on 25th November, 2013. These manuals contain among other things the specification and standards for the execution of runway maintenance in compliance with Nig.CARs, part 12 - 2012 including safety measures. Investigation revealed that by the time the maintenance commenced on 2nd December, 2013 this approval had not been granted.

FAAN Operations manual stipulates the inclusion of a safety liaison officer as part of runway maintenance team whose responsibility is to ensure that all safety requirements are complied with. FAAN stated that all safety precautions were activated prior to the commencement of the maintenance work, the crew stated that all the entire runway lights were ON during the approach, including the portion where the construction work was going on which is not in compliance with ICAO annex 14 (Aerodromes). The crew stated that during the landing roll, the closed markings of the displaced runway were not properly lit.

During the crash site assessment, it was discovered that the parked maintenance equipment was not properly lit. Furthermore, the displaced threshold markings as stipulated in ICAO annex 14 were not adequately complied with.

All current NOTAMs for Abuja:

A0174/13 - STOP BAR LIGHTS RUNWAY 04/22 UNSERVICEABLE X. 27 SEP 06:00 2013 UNTIL 27 DEC 06:00 2013 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 27 SEP 06:12 2013

A0173/13 - TAXIWAY EDGE LIGHTS UNSERVICEABLE X. 27 SEP 06:00 2013 UNTIL 27 DEC 06:00 2013 ESTIMATED. CREATED: 27 SEP 06:12 2013


No Metars are available. The local weather station reported at 19:00L visibility above 10km, 31 degrees C, dew point 21 degrees C with winds from southsouthwest at 6 knots, at 01:00L (Dec 5th) visibility above 10km, temperature 24 degrees C, dew point 24 degrees C (95% humidity) light variable winds from northeast at 2 knots.
Incident Facts

Date of incident
Dec 4, 2013


Flight number

Abuja, Nigeria

Aircraft Registration

Aircraft Type
Boeing 747-200

ICAO Type Designator

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