Posted by This Day Online on
The plane was operated by Bellview Airlines, which has had no other crashes in its 10 years of existence.
Serial Number: 22734 LN:818
First Flight Date: 13/11/1981
Delivery Date Operator Registration
25/11/1981 Maersk Air OY-MBW
11/09/1985 Midway Airlines OY-MBW
13/11/1988 Maersk Air OY-MBW
27/04/1989 Dragonair VR-HYM
01/07/1993 PEMCO N171PL
01/09/1993 Aero Costa Rica N171PL
09/04/1995 Halisa Air N171PL
05/10/1995 Aero Costa Rica N171PL
03/06/1996 Frontier Airlines N271FL
06/04/2003 Bellview Airlines 5N-BFN
The plane was operated by Bellview Airlines, which has had no other crashes in its 10 years of existence. It operates in Nigeria and West Africa and is popular with foreigners as well as prominent African officials and businessmen. It is not on a list of several African airlines which have recently been blacklisted by various airline safety agencies outside Africa.
On Sunday, March 27, 2005, Bellview Airlines B737 aircraft with registration number 5N BFN departed the Aminu Kano International Airport at about 11:46am. Upon take-off, an emergency was declared due to fire on one of the engines, barely three minutes after take-off. The flight was aborted and the aircraft landed at about 12h05.
The Boeing 737 is the world's most popular medium range - narrow body commercial passenger jet aircraft. With 5,851 ordered and 4,867 delivered, it is the most ordered and produced commercial passenger jet aircraft of all time. It has been continuously manufactured by Boeing Commercial Airplanes since 1967.
The 737 was born out of Boeing's need to field a competitor in the short-range, small capacity jetliner market which had been opened up by the BAC 1-11 and the Douglas DC-9. Boeing was badly behind however when the 737 program was initiated in 1964, as both of these rivals were already into their flight certification programmes.
To speed up the development time, Boeing used as much technology from the existing 707 and 727 as possible, most notably the fuselage. This gave the 737 a critical advantage over the opposition - six abreast seating compared to the 1-11 and DC-9's five abreast layout, and also made the 737 cheaper and quicker to design.
The -100 and -200 series are identifiable by their tubular engine nacelles which are integrated into the wing and project both fore and aft of it. The engines used on the Original 737 models are Pratt and Whitney JT8D turbofans. The Originals can also be identified by the smoothly curving upsweep of the tail fin - the Classics and NG models have a noticeable "kink" at the base of the fin.
The first 737 (a 100 series) took its maiden flight April 9, 1967 and entered service in February 1968 with Lufthansa, the first foreign airline to launch a new Boeing plane. The 737-200 made its maiden flight on August 8, 1967. Lufthansa was the only customer to purchase the 737-100 from new and only 30 aircraft were ever produced. The lengthened 737-200 was widely preferred and was produced until 1988. The launch customer of the 737-200 was United Airlines.
In the early 1980s the 737 had its first major facelift. The biggest change was to the CFM International CFM56 engines in place of the JT8Ds. The CFM56 was larger than the previous P&W unit, so the engine was slung underneath the wing rather than built into it. This posed a problem as the 737's limited ground clearance (a trait of the 707-derived fuselage) meant that the bottom surface of the engine nacelle had to be flattened out. At the same time, the 737 gained a partial glass cockpit from the 757 and 767. The first 737-300 entered service in 1984.
By the 1990s, the 737 had lost ground technologically to the newer Airbus A320. In 1993, Boeing initiated the 737-X or Next Generation (NG) program.