September 15, 2021
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The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has submitted an interim report on the ill-fated Nigerian Air Force King Air-350 aircraft, to the Chief of the Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao.

LEADERSHIP reported that a Chief of Army Staff, Lit Gen Ibrahim Attahiru, and some senior Army officers including NAF cabin crew, lost their lives in the May 31, 2021 crash.

Air Marshal Amao had following the unfortunate incident involving a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) King Air -350 aircraft at the vicinity of Kaduna Airport, directed that a joint investigative body consisting of experienced NAF safety officers and the AIB be constituted to investigate the circumstances surrounding the air crash.

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A statement jointly signed by the director of public relations and information of NAF, Air Cdre Edward Gabkwet, and the general manager, public affairs, AIB, Tunji Oketunbi, said the Chief Executive Officer of AIB, Engr Akin Olateru, had submitted an interim report on the sad incident to Air Marshal Amao, at his office at NAF Headquarters in Abuja.

The report comes after about three months of painstaking joint investigation, which was organised into three sections namely; the information obtained in the course of the investigation; analysis of data collected in view of the Board’s Terms of Reference; and the conclusion, which covers the initial findings and immediate recommendations.

The statement noted that at the interim stage, a total of 27 initial findings and eight immediate safety recommendations were made for the convening authority as well as other aviation related agencies for immediate implementation.

“It is expected that the final report will contain the flight data recorder readout, the reviewed operator’s and service provider’s standard operating procedures as well as other detailed analysis,” the statement said.

The CAS while receiving the report reiterated the main essence of activating the ‘joint investigative’ clause contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the NAF and the AIB on July 1, 2020.

He said the successful collaboration was a clear indication of the potency of collaboration in aircraft accident investigation, which must be encouraged.

Amao said such collaborative efforts make accident investigations more transparent and open while also stating that the outcome of the investigation is not necessarily aimed at punitive measures but essentially at generally improving safety in the aviation industry.

On his part, the CEO AIB, Engr Olateru stated that the joint investigation with the NAF was its first direct involvement in military air crash investigation in Nigeria and second investigation outside its mandate having also assisted Sao Tome and Principe in the past.

He also stated that copies of the report, with the endorsement of the CAS, will also be submitted to the Minister of Aviation and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to ensure that the recommendations addressed to aviation agencies are implemented.

He stated that although the accident involved a military aircraft and crew, it happened at a civil airport, adding that the involvement of AIB in the investigation by the Nigerian Air Force would help in closing the gaps on the civil aviation side.

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