The Nigerian Air Force(NAF), has revealed the identities of the seven personnel on board the ill-fated Beechcraft KingAir B350i (NAF 201) aircraft, which crashed on Sunday.
The aircraft which departed the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, for Minna, the Niger State Capital, was returning back to its point of departure after the pilot noticed an engine failure.
According to NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola, the officers’ names were made public after duly informing their families and next of kins.
The names of the personnel killed in the crash were given as 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 Specialist), Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS Specialist), Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS Specialist), ans Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).
Daramola said: “ The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), earlier today, 21 February 2021, confirmed that one of its aircraft, a Beechcraft KingAir B350i (NAF 201), crashed while returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja after reporting engine failure en route Minna, where it 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. ”
He added that 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.
The NAF spokesperson said the CAS also visited the scene of the accident, in the 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.