A Graveyard of Abandoned Airliners at Benin City Airport, Nigeria

airplane-graveyard-benin-city-nigeria-4 (Image: Kenneth Iwelumo; abandoned airliners at Benin City Airport, Nigeria)

We’ve touched on the rusting carcasses of abandoned airliners littering Nigeria’s commercial airports before, and in 2013 it was reported that the country had been told to clean up its act – by cleaning up its aircraft boneyards. These photographs, captured at Benin City Airport in 2005 and 2010 respectively, are a good example of those scenes.

airplane-graveyard-benin-city-nigeria (Image: Kenneth Iwelumo; the abandoned airliners stand clustered together on an old ramp)

In past decades, Nigeria’s airports have become the final resting places for passenger aircraft whose operators have gone out of business for a variety of reasons, or simply put them out to pasture.

airplane-graveyard-benin-city-nigeria-2 (Image: Kenneth Iwelumo; the abandoned airliners belonged to the defunct Okada Air)

These images reveal the former Okada Air fleet of Boeing 727s and BAC-One Eleven 300s. In one image, 17 of the 18 BAC-111s acquired by the Benin City-based airline can be seen rotting away in a neglected corner of the commercial airport. With them is a larger, US-built 727, lingering on in an equally poor state of repair.

airplane-graveyard-benin-city-nigeria-5 (Image: Kenneth Iwelumo)

airplane-graveyard-benin-city-nigeria-6 (Image: Kenneth Iwelumo; defunct BAC-111s form the bulk of the airplane graveyard)

Okada Air was established in 1983 and had 18 BAC One-Eleven 300s on its books by 1991. The following year saw the company launch a range of international services, but by 1997 Okada Air had ceased to exist. Its abandoned airliners were subsequently parked up and left to languish at Benin City for more than a decade.

airplane-graveyard-benin-city-nigeria-7 (Image: Kenneth Iwelumo)

airplane-graveyard-benin-city-nigeria-8 (Image: Kenneth Iwelumo)

Examining the scene via Google Earth, it appears that the abandoned airplanes had started to be consumed by the overgrown land around them, their moss-covered wings and fuselages virtually camouflaged from above.

airplane-graveyard-benin-city-nigeria-3 (Image: Google Earth; abandoned airplanes slowly reclaimed by nature)

Interestingly, in 2013 – the same year that Nigeria begun to clear its corroding aviation boneyards – only two BAC-111 passenger aircraft are understood to have still been in service worldwide. These are operated by US defence giant Northrop Grumman as airborne test beds for the long-awaited F-35 stealth strike fighter programme.

airplane-graveyard-benin-city-nigeria-9 (Image: Kenneth Iwelumo; a larger Boeing 727 seen alongside the defunct BAC-111s)

airplane-graveyard-benin-city-nigeria-10 (Image: Kenneth Iwelumo)

Because the ageing type’s flight certificate has now been withdrawn, Northrop’s BAC-111s are operated as “experimental” aircraft in the research and development role, surely making them among the oldest X-planes still in operation – at least, of those we know about.

airplane-graveyard-benin-city-nigeria-11 (Image: Kenneth Iwelumo; the abandoned airliners stood aimlessly for more than a decade)

Related – 10 Abandoned International Airports of the World


About the author: Tom


Website: https://www.urbanghostsmedia.com



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