A Beechcraft King Air B350i aircraft, operated by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), crashed due to engine failure on Feb. 21 killing seven NAF personnel, the service confirmed.
The aircraft, NAF 201, was returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja after reporting engine failure enroute Minna in Niger State. The statement sad that the aircraft 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 and staff abducted from the Government Science College Kagara.
The statement said 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. While the panel has commenced its work, the NAF, having notified the Next of Kins and family members of the deceased.
The seven personnel killed in the crash were identified 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).
• Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).
Earlier, the CAS visited the scene of the accident, in company of the 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.