Air Force Loses 7 Personnel In Abuja Plane Crash

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Chief of Air Staff, Air Cmrd. Isiaka Amao

A Nigerian Air Force Intelligence Reconnaissance aircraft crashed, yesterday, at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, killing all seven persons on board.

The military aircraft, a King Air B350 plane, crash-landed on final approach path of Abuja Runway 22 at 10:48 am, shortly after the pilot complained of engine failure.

The aircraft exploded on impact, triggering a ball of flames. Aviation

Minister, Hadi Sirika, who first confirmed the crash on his twitter handle, said: “A military aircraft, King Air 350, has just crashed short of our Abuja runway after reporting engine failure en route Minna.” He said the aircraft, marked NAF 201, departed Abuja at 1033UTC with seven persons on board, including two crew members.

“The aircraft reported engine failure at time 1039 and crashed landed on the final approach path of Abuja Runway 22 at time 1048UTC. Fire services are already at the scene of the accident. All seven persons on board were reported dead.”

“The aircraft was on its way to Minna. Moments after, on getting to Bassa Local Government Area, he informed the control tower that he had experienced an engine failure. He was advised to return to the Abuja airport immediately but it crash-landed,” an aviation source who pleaded anonymity said.

Those on board  the ill-fated flight include Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama, (Pilot); Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-Pilot); Flying officer Michael Okapra (Airborne Tactical Observation System (ATOS Specialist); Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialist) and Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS Specialist); Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS Specialist) and Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).

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