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Nigeria Starts Dismantling Its Plane 'graveyard'

Omeogu, director of airport operations who is a pilot himself, told The Associated Press on Thursday that the government's plans would aid an industry that needs both a safety and a psychological boost.

"When you fly an 'old mama,' an old aircraft, and you run into problems, maybe weather or anything, you're confident about yourself, but when you have to worry about the aircraft you're using, that's double jeopardy," he said.

So, for now, the hammers continue to hit the steel fuselages of the planes, some already opened up like tin cans. Omeogu hopes the airplanes at Lagos will be cleared in several weeks and workers will move onto the nation's other airfields.

However, cynicism about Nigeria lurked even on the remains of an abandoned Douglas DC-8 cargo plane. Someone wrote the following into the dirt coating a moss-covered landing gear: "The cat is dead. The world is good for a rat."


Jon Gambrell can be reached at .

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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