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AIB releases report on plane crash that killed ex-Chief of Army Staff in Kaduna

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Abiola Seun

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), has submitted an interim report on the plane crash that involved a Nigerian Air Force (NAF), King Air -350 aircraft, killing the former Chief of Army Staff,  Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and 10 others onboard.

Recall that the former Chief of Army Staff,  Lt.Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, had died in a plane crash at the vicinity of Kaduna Civil Airport on 31 May 2021.

However, following the incident, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao,  directed a joint investigative body consisting of NAF safety officers and the Accident Investigative Bureau (AIB), be constituted to investigate the circumstances surrounding the air crash.

But, in a joint statement by the General Manager, Public Affairs, AIB, Tunji Oketunbi and the Director of Public Relations and Information, Nigerian Airforce, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet and a copy made available to newsmen, they said the report was organized into three sections.

The report reads, “following the unfortunate incident involving a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) King Air -350 aircraft at the vicinity of Kaduna Civil Airport on 31 May 2021, the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao directed that a joint investigative body consisting of experienced NAF safety officers and the Accident Investigative Bureau (AIB), be constituted to investigate the circumstances surrounding the air crash.

“After about three months of joint investigation, the Commissioners and Chief Executive Officer of AIB, Engr Akin Olateru, on 15th September, 2021 submitted an interim report on the sad incident to the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Amao, at his office in Abuja.

“The submitted report is organized 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.

“It should be noted that at this interim stage, a total of 27 initial findings and 8 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.”

However, the Chief of Air Staff has applauded the collaboration between Air Force and AIB as a clear indication of the potency in aircraft accident investigation

According to him, the collaboration signified the main essence of activating the ‘joint investigative’ clause contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the NAF and the AIB on 1 July, 2020.

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

” Air Marshal Amao also noted that 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 Chief Executive Officer of AIB, Engr Akin 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 Hon. Minister of Aviation and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to ensure that the recommendations addressed to aviation agencies are implemented.

The commissioner also 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.”

© 2021, maritimemag. All rights reserved.

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