Bellview Airlines Flight 210

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Bellview Airlines Flight 210
Boeing 737-2L9-Adv, Midway Airlines AN0472788.jpg
The aircraft involved in the accident while still in operation with Midway Airlines in 1987.
Date22 October 2005 (2005-10-22)
SiteLisa, Ogun State, Lagos, Nigeria
6°48′43″N 3°18′19″E / 6.81194°N 3.30528°E / 6.81194; 3.30528Coordinates: 6°48′43″N 3°18′19″E / 6.81194°N 3.30528°E / 6.81194; 3.30528
Aircraft typeBoeing 737-200
Aircraft nameResilence
OperatorBellview Airlines
IATA flight No.B3210
ICAO flight No.BLV210
Flight originMurtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, Nigeria
DestinationNnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Nigeria

Bellview Airlines Flight 210, was a scheduled domestic passenger flight of a Boeing 737-200 airliner from Murtala Muhammed International Airport to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. On 22 October 2005 the aircraft crashed at Lisa Village, Ogun State, killing all 117 people on board; the cause of the crash was never determined.


Flight 210 was cleared for departed from Murtala Muhammed Airport at 1928:50 UTC, operating under instrument flight rules (IFR). After takeoff as the aircraft entered a right turn at 1931:52, the tower controller advised the crew to contact the approach controller. At 1932:22 the flight made its first contact with approach control stating “Approach, Bellview 210 is with you on a right turn coming out of 1600 (feet)." The controller responded "report again passing one three zero." At 19:32:35 the crew confirmed this communication and that was the last transmission from the flight. The aircraft crashed into an area of flat terrain located 14 kilometres (8.7 mi; 7.6 nmi) north of the airport.[1]

An alert was raised with the National Emergency Management Agency to start a search and rescue operation; the aircraft was first reported found on Sunday morning by a police helicopter search team near the rural town of Kishi, Oyo state, 400 kilometres (250 mi; 220 nmi) from Lagos. It was suggested 50 people might have survived, but officials later retracted statements about the plane's location and survivors after a TV crew said it had found the aircraft near the village of Lisa in Ogun state, about 50 kilometres (31 mi; 27 nmi) from Lagos.[1][2][3][4]

The impact crater covered an area measured 57 feet by 54 feet and 30 feet deep. Nigerian Red Cross officials confirmed no sign of survivors had been found at the scene. All 117 on board had been killed and the aircraft was destroyed.[1]


A Bellview Airlines Boeing 737-200 similar to the aircraft involved in the accident.

The aircraft (named Resilence) was a twin-engined Boeing 737-2B7 registered in Nigeria as 5N-BFN; the aircraft was manufactured in 1981 with manufacturers serial number 22734 and was first delivered to Maersk Air before acquired by Bellview Airlines. The aircraft had logged 55,772 flight hours and 36,266 takeoff/landing cycles at the time of the crash; the Boeing entered the Nigerian Register on 21 March 2003. Inspections were carried out in accordance with Approved Maintenance Programme at the facility of Royal Air Maroc, Morocco between 28 December 2004 and 12 February 2005.[1][5][6][7]

The last check was performed on the aircraft by Bellview Airlines Engineers at Lagos in October 2005. Review of the engine records showed that engine no.1 was last overhauled in August 2004 and installed on the aircraft in October 2004 while engine no.2 was last overhauled in May 2005 and installed on 13 September 2005.[1]

Crew and passengers[edit]

The plane was carrying 6 crewmembers and 111 passengers, most of whom were thought to be Nigerians.[2] There were also at least 10 Ghanaians, 2 Britons, one German, one South African, one Malian and one U.S citizen. [8] [9] [10] [11]

The cockpit crew consisted of:

  • Captain Imasuen Lambert from Okada, Albarka joined Bellview Airlines in October 2004. He had logged in a total of 13,429 hours of flying experience, in which 1,053 of them were on the type. Lambert had worked for Imani Aviation, Okada Air, Gas Air and Kabo Airlines, he was out of active flying for 12 years, between 1992 and 2004. Interview with company pilots who had flown with the captain indicated his performance was satisfactory.[7]
  • First Officer Eshun Ernest, a Ghana national, his wife Sarah was also on board.[12][13][14] [15] He was less experienced than Captain Lambert, with a total flight hours of 762 in which 451 of them were on the type.[7]
  • Flight Engineer Sanni Steve from Imane, Olamaboro Local Government of Kogi State.[7]

A notable passenger was Cheick Oumar Diarra , A General from Mali and ECOWAS ( Economic Community of West African States) deputy executive secretary.[16][17][18]


The AIB's investigation was hampered by the lack of data recorder evidence and the official report was not released until February 2013. After the crash searchers were unable to find either the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) or flight data recorders (FDR); the aircraft impacted in a nearly vertical angle at high speed causing most of the aircraft's components to be severely damaged and/or unidentifiable. About 60% of the wreckage was recovered. Smoke from the crater continued for several days and investigators stated that the crash wasn't survivable. Investigators reportedly found only human remains described as "nothing bigger than toes and fingers." [1]

Records obtained by the Associated Press (AP) showed that Captain Imasuen had gone back to work as a pilot despite being shot in the head years before in a robbery attempt during a long break from flying, he had been hired by Bellview Airlines after he had been working at a dairy for about 14 years.[1][19] The investigation further revealed the pilots' manual included blank pages instead of key safety information;[1][20] the crash caused the U.S to criticise the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) as they failed to enforce safety regulations and oversight.[21][22][23][24][25] There were also unverified reports of alleged looting at the crash site.[26][27][28][29]

Bad weather[edit]

The AIB stated that a large convective system was formed near the aircraft at the time of the accident; as they received satellite imagery information from Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), apart from METAR, the satellite imagery showed that both infrared and water vapour images revealed the presence of large circular shaped clouds in couplet, especially over the south western portion including Lagos and also over the coastal part of south of Nigeria. The couplet cells appeared to remain stationary or slow moving while intensifying and eventually merging to become a large cloud cell at midnight over the southwestern part of the country; at the same time the cumulonimbus cloud over the coast of the south weakened and eventually dissipated. There was also a satellite imagery report produced by Boeing Aircraft Company which indicated strong convective storm activity near the accident site at the time of the accident. Icing might have also been a factor but only above Flight Level 150.[1][30] There was also an unverified rumor that the plane may have been struck by lightning causing it to crash.[31][24][32][33] Another unverified rumor suggested that the plane may have stalled before nose diving to the ground at high speed.[34][35]


Suspicion on mid flight explosion arose when the cargo hold area were recovered from the wreckage. Pieces of burnt fuselage parts of the left side of the underbelly of the aircraft were found approximately 100 feet away from the crater created by the impact of the aircraft with the ground; the burnt parts contained a portion of the registration number and another section of the skin with the other part of the registration number. The two pieces matched and were suspected to emanate from the left side of the fuselage.[1][30]

The Nigerian government then invited the Nigerian State Security Services and the American FBI to determine the cause of the crash and to confirmed if an explosion occurred in mid-flight. FBI took a piece of the burnt part, swabs from the inner and outer surface of the burnt piece and an electronic part found within the folded section of the piece of interest, back to their facilities for laboratory analysis and screened for presence of explosive residue; the results of the tests were negative (no explosion).[1]

The authorities were also quick to dismiss claims by some terrorist groups that they were responsible for bringing down the aircraft.[36][37][38]


AIB could not identify the cause of the accident, but considered several factors:[1]

  • The pilot-in-command (PIC) training of the Captain was inadequate, and the cumulative flight hours of the pilot in the days before the accident which was indicative of excessive workload that could lead to fatigue. The investigation was unable to determine the captain’s medical condition at the time of the accident.[1]
  • The aircraft had a number of technical defects and should not have been flown for either the accident flight or earlier flights. The airline failed to maintain an operating and maintenance regime within the regulations and the Civil Aviation Authority’s safety oversight of the operator’s procedures and operations was inadequate.[1][39][40]

With no ability to reconstruct the flight the investigation was unable to come to any conclusion of the aircraft or crews performance or the effect of the weather on the flight; the AIB could not reach a conclusion about the cause but made four safety recommendations in the report:

  1. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority should improve oversight of airline maintenance and operations.[1]
  2. The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency should increase radar coverage to enhance air traffic services and assist in search and rescue operations.[1]
  3. Bellview should improve its maintenance procedures and authorisations.[1]
  4. Bellview should review its safety and quality control regime.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r "Report on the Accident involving Bellview Airlines Ltd B737 200 Reg. 5N BFN at Lisa Village, Ogun State, Nigeria On 22 October 2005" (PDF). Accident Investigation Bureau. February 2013. Archived (PDF) from the original on 5 October 2019.
  2. ^ a b "All killed in Nigeria plane crash". BBC. 23 October 2005. Retrieved 31 May 2016.
  3. ^ "Nigeria - where the truth is hard to find". BBC. 24 October 2005. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  4. ^ Vasagar, Jeevan (23 October 2005). "100 feared dead in Nigeria after passenger jet crashes". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b c d Report on the Accident involving Bellview Airlines Ltd B737 200 Reg. 5N BFN at Lisa Village, Ogun State, Nigeria On 22 October 2005 (Alternate) (Archive). Accident Investigation Bureau.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ "Nigeria Air Crash - Ten Ghanaians Dead". Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  13. ^ "Kumbuor Escapes Death". Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  14. ^ "Bellview Pilots Allege Coverup of Excessive Flight Hours". 27 October 2005. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  15. ^
  16. ^ "Google Translate". Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  17. ^ Brandful, William G. M. (2013). Personal Reflections of a Ghanaian Foreign Service Officer - Whither Ghanaian Diplomacy?. Dorrance Publishing. ISBN 9781480900066.
  18. ^ Clark, Dave. "Nigeria mourns air crash victims". The M&G Online. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  19. ^ Igbokwe, Casmir (26 October 2005). "Faces in Bellview Flight 210 the heart-breaking story of the pilot". Online Nigeria. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  20. ^ "The Real Reasons Behind The Dana Air Crash!". THE STREET JOURNAL. 4 June 2012. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  21. ^ Polgreen, Lydia; Iyare, Tony (24 October 2005). "Plane Crashes in Nigeria; All 117 Aboard Are Probably Dead". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  22. ^ Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Report Submitted to the Committee on Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives and Committee on Foreign Relations, U.S. Senate by the Department of State in Accordance with Sections 116(d) and 502B(b) of the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961, as Amended. U.S. Government Printing Office. 2005.
  23. ^ Michaels, Daniel (1 October 2007). "How Blunders and Neglect Stoked an African Air Tragedy". Wall Street Journal. ISSN 0099-9660. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  24. ^ a b "Bellview Airlines Flight 210 : Jordan Naoum : 9786133998056". Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  25. ^'s%20burgeoning%20em%20system.doc
  26. ^ Edeaghe, E.; Esosa, O.; Idiodi, H. "Comparative Analysis Of The Bellview And Sosoliso Air Crashes in Nigeria: Matters Arising". Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  27. ^ "Airlines Archives - Page 3 of 3". Naija 7 Wonders. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  28. ^ "Nigeria: 117 Perish in Bellview Crash, Stella Obasanjo Dies At 59". allAfrica. Vanguard. 24 October 2005. Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  29. ^ "Flight 210". Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  30. ^ a b "AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT REPORT | 2/2009 (BLV 2005/10/22/F)" (PDF). Accident Investigation Bureau. Retrieved 30 May 2016.
  31. ^ "Nigerian 737 May Have Been Struck By Lightning, Say Authorities | Aero-News Network". Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  32. ^ "BellView Flight 210". Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  33. ^ "Nigeria mourns as investigators probe air crash". Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  34. ^ "Airline BEB | 7 Jet Set 7". Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  35. ^ Brady, Chris. "Boeing 737 Accident Reports". The Boeing 737 Technical Site. Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  36. ^
  37. ^ Boadu-Ayeboafoh, Yaw (28 October 2005). Daily Graphic: Issue 149571 October 28 2005. Graphic Communications Group.
  38. ^ "No. 1273: Death and Responsibility". Retrieved 20 October 2019.
  39. ^ Ranter, Harro. "ASN Aircraft accident Boeing 737-2L9 5N-BFN Lisa Village, Ogun State". Retrieved 8 October 2019.
  40. ^ "BellView Flight 210". Retrieved 20 October 2019.

External links[edit]