Nigeria Airways Flight 2120

Nigeria Airways Flight 2120
Nationair DC-8-61 C-GMXQ FAO 1989.png
C-GMXQ, the aircraft involved, photographed in 1989
Date11 July 1991
SummaryUnder-inflated tire which overheated, leading to a fire shortly after takeoff
SiteKing Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
21°38′13″N 39°10′23″E / 21°38′13″N 39°10′23″E / 21.63694; 39.17306
Aircraft typeDouglas DC-8-61
OperatorNationair on behalf of Nigeria Airways
Flight originKing Abdulaziz International Airport, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia
DestinationSadiq Abubakar III International Airport, Sokoto, Nigeria

Nigeria Airways Flight 2120 was a chartered passenger flight from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, to Sokoto, Nigeria on 11 July 1991, which caught fire shortly after takeoff from King Abdulaziz International Airport and crashed while attempting to return for an emergency landing, killing all 247 passengers and 14 crew members on board. The aircraft was a Douglas DC-8 operated by Nationair for Nigeria Airways. Flight 2120 is the deadliest accident involving a DC-8 and remains the deadliest aviation disaster involving a Canadian airline.[1]

Aircraft and crew

The aircraft involved in the accident was a 1968 Douglas DC-8-61, C-GMXQ, owned by the Canadian company Nolisair, usually operated by Nationair. At the time of the accident, it was being wet-leased to Nigeria Airways, which in turn sub-leased it to Holdtrade Services to transport Nigerian pilgrims to and from Mecca.[2] William Allan, the 47-year-old captain, a former Canadian Air Force pilot, had logged 10,700 flight hours and 1,000 hours in type. Kent Davidge, the 36-year-old first officer, had logged 8,000 flight hours, of which 550 hours were in type, and was the pilot flying on the accident flight. Victor Fehr, the 46-year-old flight engineer, had logged 7,500 flight hours, of which 1,000 hours were in type.[1][3][4] The DC-8 was the primary aircraft type used by the airline.[5]