MEET THE INTERNATIONAL AVIATION FREAK OF NIGERIA.
GODWIN N. IKE
An average Estate Surveyor & Valuer is trained to understand every field that boasts of assets that can be valued and unlocked in order to provide financial liquidity to its owner(s). However my interest in aviation is extraordinary. As a young boy in secondary school in the early 70s, all I wanted to be was a jet pilot. But my late father who witnessed the first crash of a BOAC VC-10 plane crash in Kano before the Nigerian Civil War would not hear that his loved son would engage in such an extremely dangerous profession. I obeyed him, but never got over my love for the airplane. When most children never knew what real live toys were, I had begun to acquire (spending my same dad’s money) very expensive flying toys, magazines and books. Then came Microsoft Simulator – that turned me into an unlicensed pilot. Real Live Pilots would crash and die, but I crash severally and stay alive.
I am a Land Surveyor; a Practicing Licensed Estate Surveyor & Valuer; and an Aviation Expert! I prefer to be called an “Aviation Freak” rather than an expert. In a country of certificates, you cannot be called an expert in a field where you do not hold a certificate even if you are so informed and knowledgeable that you can actually teach the so-called certificate holders in that field. I came to the limelight in Aviation circle on the 30th of July 2002 at the “11th African Aviation Conference” held at Sheraton Hotels and Towers Abuja FCT Nigeria. At that conference organized by London-based Mr Nick Fadugba of “African Aviation Services Limited”, I was noticed by all when I asked the then Hon. Minister of Aviation, Mrs Kema Chikwe, a question that earned me a standing ovation from participants who were mostly foreigners. My question was based on the grounding of all Russian-Made BAC 1-11 Aircrafts in Nigeria by Mrs Kema Chikwe’s Administration because of the crash of EAS Airlines near Kano that year. I asked the Hon. Minister Kema Chikwe if she could really describe an airplane that had sincerely and successfully undergone a D-Check as an old aircraft; and if not, how could she explain the blanket grounding of all BAC 1-11 Aircrafts in Nigeria because one crashed. EAS Airlines belonged to Captain Idris Wada – the former governor of Kogi State. He too was at that conference! What amazed everyone was that the Hon. Minister, Kema Chikwe, refused to answer that question in spite of the ovation the question earned from the participants.
During the combined House Committee on Aviation investigation of Dana Air crash at The National Assembly in 2012, I was again noticed in the Aviation circle by the entire world when I took the centre stage, and without a piece of paper in my hands, spent thirty minutes giving graphic details of how I caused the abortion of a flight by the same aircraft, the same pilot, and for the same reason it crashed two years later. A stunned audience heard how I insisted that the airplane was not air-worthy as none of its jet engines could be started from the cockpit. Rather than heed my warning, Dana Air officials had me and twenty-two other passengers, who disembarked with me, detained until the plane landed safely in Lagos at about 1am that same night. A serving Federal Minister was amongst those who risked that night flight on a sick plane. Precisely two years later, the bubble burst! The same plane, for the same reason I aborted it’s flight, crashed in Lagos killing over 153 innocent passengers and crew.
Airplanes are faithful and honest machines. Human operators are unfaithful and dishonest. And that’s why planes fall out of the skies. Planes are equipped with thousands of sensors that faithfully and honestly tell you when anything is going on wrong; but human operators, driven by extreme greed, would rather economize and manage things than listen to the airplanes. If Human Operators were to match the faithfulness of airplanes, air crashes would hardly happen.
With my blog I aim to give the whole world an insight into the world of planes and flying. I invite all air travelers in Nigeria and abroad to register on my blog and get ready for the massive movement that will pressure aviation operators in Nigeria into playing strictly by the rules.
Enjoy my blog.
Mr Godwin N. Ike