I Have So Many Questions About This Lagos Airport Robbery…

I Have So Many Questions About This Lagos Airport Robbery…

31

This story is bizarre on so many levels. GhanaWeb has the story of how an Africa World Airways pilot unleashed gas to foil an armed robbery attempt by thieves at Lagos Airport, prior to a flight to Accra:

Robbers operating within the perimeter fence of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos on Tuesday evening sought to break into the aircraft and steal the luggage of passengers.

The brazen attack and attempt to burglarize a Ghana-bound CRJ jet was the latest attack upon an aircraft preparing for takeoff from Nigeria’s biggest city. The burglars opened a cargo door of the CRJ aircraft, tore up the cargo hold bag holders and tried to steal passenger bags.

But the experienced Ghanaian pilot, recognizing what was happening, unleashed hot gas on the thieves, scaring them away.

I’m not sure whether to be impressed or dismayed that the pilot knew what was happening, and had a strategy for how to deal with something like this. I’m not exactly sure how the unleashing of gas works in this case, but it seems to have worked.

The flight ended up being delayed by two hours as police anti-bomb units were called to check on the aircraft for safety. The craziest part? This didn’t even seem to be an isolated event, as this has happened multiple times in the past few weeks:

In the past few weeks, there have been similar attacks on some aircraft at the airport as they prepared to take off.

How the heck is “robbers operating within the perimeter fence” of a major international airport a thing?! I’d also like to briefly point out how when the US electronics ban was introduced in March 2017, flights from Lagos weren’t impacted by it. So they inconvenienced passengers traveling from Abu Dhabi, which has a US Pre-Clearance facility and very thorough security, but not passengers traveling on Delta from Lagos, where they apparently have robbers operating within the perimeter fence of the airport…

Lastly, is it just me, or does Africa World Airways’ plane look photoshopped?!

(Tip of the hat to Sean M, featured image courtesy of Sm105)

Conversations (31)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. DC Guest

    hot gas? do they mean that the pilot increased engine rpm to release more exhaust or did the pilot let one pass? ;)

  2. Nelson New Member

    @ A : I guess you have not visited many African Airports, over there it looks like a "MUST BE" on your CV. Not only in Lagos.

  3. MarkyUK Guest

    ...Some years back a KQ plane was robbed by bandits jumping the fence under cover of darkness and rolling rocks across the runway - enough to make the aircraft pull to a stop. They then opened hold 5 (rear hold where last minute bags to aircraft are often stored) and happily emptied the contents. You gotta love Lagos. LOL

  4. Sean M. Diamond

    @Gertrude - HNA Group is not a majority shareholder in Africa World Airlines. They are the single largest shareholder, but the other 3 major shareholders (SAS Ghana, China-Africa Development Fund and SSNIT) actually hold the majority between them.

  5. Andrew Taylor Guest

    If you think Lagos Airport is bad, try Port Harcourt. Travelling is always an adventure, sometimes good sometimes bad.

  6. Akosua Guest

    When it comes to to Lagos, it’s better not to ask too many questions...

  7. Pierre Gold

    Pan Am...
    Remember Pan Am ? I guess it speaks for my age.

    Pan Am had a great PA announcement when landing in Lagos (The flight was JFK - Dakar - Monrovia - Lagos - Nairobi):
    "Transit Passengers may disembark if they wish to do so but we advise them no to".

    Fact is the Airport Police tried to racket passengers, sometimes prevented them from re-boarding and the airline could do nothing about it.

  8. Jo145 Member

    @ Maria "burglarize" is a real word ... according to the dictionary it's a North American word for burgle.

    @ Patsy Walker - comedy gold!!

  9. Fred M Guest

    An ERJ145 captain friend said the pilot discharged the baggage compartment fire extinguisher which is halon gas that sucks all the oxygen out of your lungs.

    When I operated ‘mainframe’ computers that occupied whole rooms, we had 30 seconds to evacuate if the fire alarm rang, then the room would be flooded with this gas.

  10. A Guest

    In my limited experience of Lagos airport, everyone working there is out to rob you.

  11. Steven M Guest

    Ben you maybe were too young when signs were posted in many US airports that the Secretary of Transportation declared this airport to be not certified for international norms:

    "From 1992 through 2000, the US Federal Aviation Administration posted warning signs in all US international airports advising travelers that security conditions at Lagos Airport did not meet ICAO minimum standards."

    Hmmmm guess why.

  12. Olusile Guest

    Hi Lucky - My wife and I are both proud OMAAT readers, AWA flyers (actually quite a transformational airline in West Africa aviation), and Lagos residents. We love your blog and will continue to read. Keep up the good work!

    Best

  13. Gertrude New Member

    Africa World Airlines is actually pretty interesting. They are majority owned by Hainan Airlines and use their old planes (though not too old). Everything on the plane is still in Chinese. My experience flying them domestically in Ghana was quite pleasant and the seats were quite comfortable.

    Can't comment on Lagos airport, though Ghana's smaller airports leave a lot to be desired. Funny how the rules for security checks seem to change every time...

    Africa World Airlines is actually pretty interesting. They are majority owned by Hainan Airlines and use their old planes (though not too old). Everything on the plane is still in Chinese. My experience flying them domestically in Ghana was quite pleasant and the seats were quite comfortable.

    Can't comment on Lagos airport, though Ghana's smaller airports leave a lot to be desired. Funny how the rules for security checks seem to change every time you arrive to the airport...

  14. SadStateofOurCountry Guest

    William Y - it depends on someone's viewpoint (and level of ignorance) as many would say our country is the #1 shithole (and your president the #1 shithole president) after the latest (of many) school shooting massacres.

  15. Aaron Member

    @Ferdinand Magellan that’s one hell of a story!

  16. Jason Guest

    Guess who owns that airline?

  17. Ferdinand Magellan Guest

    A few years ago, a friend of mine owned a house on the bay in Lagos. A dead body washed ashore. He called the police. They arrived 10 hours later. When they came, they prodded the body with wooden sticks until it floated out into the bay. "Now it's the problem of the bay police," they said, laughing. Then they left.

  18. Sebastian Gensior Guest

    I have taken this flight quite a few times.

    Here are a few things to consider when taking flights from Lagos recently:

    - I have been asked for bribes or little gifts 6 times (entrance, first security screening and second security screening, check-in desk, third security screening and at the aircraft).
    - You get a pat down at least 4 times to check if you really didn't have any valuables.
    - Once...

    I have taken this flight quite a few times.

    Here are a few things to consider when taking flights from Lagos recently:

    - I have been asked for bribes or little gifts 6 times (entrance, first security screening and second security screening, check-in desk, third security screening and at the aircraft).
    - You get a pat down at least 4 times to check if you really didn't have any valuables.
    - Once at the gate, you have to open your suitcase again for another check (4th security check).
    - You get a final pat down on your way to the aircraft (standard for all flights in Nigeria when no retractable bridges are used) and you better hold on onto all your belongings.
    - AfricanWorld is actually one of the few reliable airlines in Eastern-Africa and I admire them for that in this tough environment.

    I can totally relate to the experience.

  19. Number1 Guest

    William
    You a fkn freak!

  20. Rob Guest

    The pilot might have engaged the reverse thrusters to scare the burglarizers. That type of jet can actually back up just using its own thrust, so that tactic could be quite effective.

  21. BBK Guest

    NO WAY a randomly selected photo turned out to be from big Sean!, that by itself makes a cool side story!
    LMAO!

  22. Icarus Guest

    Theft from checked baggage is common practice in Lagos Everyone seems to place all their valuables in their cases knowing the situation there All those huge cases bursting at the seams from Europe and beyond .. It’s also a big issue in jo’burg

  23. Patsy Walker Guest

    I'm glad they caught the "burglars". One of those suitcases contained the 5 million (minus $88 for processing fees) that my friend the Nigerian prince gave to me out of the kindness of his heart.

  24. Claus Guest

    I guess "unleashed hot gas" means exhaust from the engines. So he throttled up and turned the back of the plane to them.

  25. N Guest

    @William Y 17 kids were murdered inside of a high school, a man delivering ubereats murdered his customer, this was just this week, this country has no right to call any other a sh1thole

  26. William Y. Guest

    Time to agree on the sh1thole status of this place? Funny how the world proves our President right in reverse all the time huh.

  27. Esteban Guest

    Years ago they had major problems with robbers INSIDE the terminal.
    Lovely.

  28. Joe Guest

    I always assumed once all aircraft doors (like cargo doors) were locked for takeoff that they couldn't be opened until the pilots flipped some sort of switch or something after landing. I guess not.

  29. Rob Guest

    I'm guessing by "hot gas" they mean jet exhaust? Releasing fuel would be suicidal for the pilot and passengers.

  30. Sean M. Diamond

    a) The aircraft was an ERJ-145 rather than a CRJ as indicated.

    b) I took that photo in Kumasi back in 2012 during our demo flights for the AOC. I can assure you that it's not photoshopped. :)

  31. Maria Guest

    "The brazen attack and attempt to burglarize a Ghana-bound CRJ jet"

    First time I have ever seen the word 'burglarize' haha

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

DC Guest

hot gas? do they mean that the pilot increased engine rpm to release more exhaust or did the pilot let one pass? ;)

0
Nelson New Member

@ A : I guess you have not visited many African Airports, over there it looks like a "MUST BE" on your CV. Not only in Lagos.

0
MarkyUK Guest

...Some years back a KQ plane was robbed by bandits jumping the fence under cover of darkness and rolling rocks across the runway - enough to make the aircraft pull to a stop. They then opened hold 5 (rear hold where last minute bags to aircraft are often stored) and happily emptied the contents. You gotta love Lagos. LOL

0
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
4,788,713 Miles Traveled

27,627,500 Words Written

32,315 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT