The Nigerian Air Force Sunday said the Beechcraft KingAir B350i (NAF 201), which crashed while returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja after reporting engine failure was scheduled to conduct surveillance missions over Niger State and its environs in connection with the concerted efforts to secure the release of the students/staff abducted from the Government Science College Kagara, Niger State.
Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola said the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, has instituted an investigative panel to determine the remote and immediate causes of the accident.
Seven Air Force officials died in the crash.
He noted that the panel has commenced its work, the NAF, having notified the next of kins and families of the deceased.
The seven officials that died included Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama (Captain) Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-Pilot), Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System (ATOS) Specialist), Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialis”t), Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS Specialist).
Others were Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS Specialist), Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).
“Earlier, the CAS visited the scene of the accident, in company of the Honourable Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retired); Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika; Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor, and other Service Chiefs. The CAS, on behalf of officers, airmen and airwomen of the NAF, once more commiserates with the families of the deceased personnel and prays that the Almighty God grants their souls eternal repose,” Daramola said.