AIB probes NCAT plane crash in Zaria
No fatality recorded in mishap
Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) yesterday began investigation into the crash landing in Kaduna of a Tampico B9 trainer aircraft belonging to the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, Kaduna State.
The fire after the crash, which occurred last Friday, was allegedly ignited by some armed bandits.
A photo of the wreck made available to The Guardian yesterday, showed a completely razed aircraft with wings and tail only showing the blue and white colours of NCAT planes.
The training school, in a statement, had informed that the pilot successfully made a forced landing about seven nautical miles (nm) north-west of Kaduna airport following engine failure.
AIB confirmed that the aircraft was on a test flight by a pilot and an engineer, but had to force land at 14:40 hours as a result of engine failure.
The bureau’s spokesman, Tunji Oketunbi, noted that the accident took place at Rumi forest, Sabon Birni, Birnin Council.
He added that investigation had commenced at the crash site in accordance with the statutory mandate of the bureau.
The Guardian, however, learnt that some bandits came across the aircraft and started shooting at it, perhaps, mistaking it for an air force fighter jet.
The source added: “Immediately after, some armed bandits rushed to the scene, rained bullets on the aircraft and set it on fire, thinking it was one of the jets in the fleet of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) that had been bombarding their camps.”
However, no life was lost in the accident that occurred about 6.5nm from the Kaduna Civil Airport, Kaduna International Airport.
NCAT spokesman, Bala Muhammed, who confirmed the incident, said the pilot made a successful forced landing about 7nm north-west of Kaduna airport.
His words: “The accident involved one of the TB-9 aircraft; both occupants were unhurt and have since returned to base. The AIB has been notified, in line with standard practice.”
The training aircraft crash-landed in an area suspected to be hideout of armed bandits and kidnappers who terrorise travellers and residents of Kaduna and Zamfara states.
It was further gathered that residents who noticed the wobbling of the aircraft before it crashed rushed to the scene and evacuated the victims to safety.
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