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AIB suspends probe of NAF plane crash in Kaduna

By Wole Oyebade (Lagos) and Joke Falaju (Abuja)
26 May 2022   |   4:03 am
About eight months after submitting the interim report on the plane crash involving former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 others, the Accident Investigation Bureau-Nigeria...

former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen Ibrahim Attahiru. Photo/PROFOSINBAJO

Orders retraining of Azman pilots

About eight months after submitting the interim report on the plane crash involving former Chief of Army Staff, Lt.-Gen Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 others, the Accident Investigation Bureau-Nigeria (AIB-Nigeria) said further investigation into the incident has been suspended.

The bureau’s commissioner, Akin Olateru, at the release of three final probe reports, yesterday, said lack of cooperation made the decision inevitable.

In a related development, AIB-N has ordered Azman Air Services Limited to immediately send for retraining, its crew on Flight AZM 2316.

It said this was to enable the crew understand and recognise engine failure, malfunction and their effects at every phase of flight before they could be allowed to resume duties.

AIB-N gave this immediate safety recommendation to be carried out along with seven others issued to Azman Air, following a serious incident on its aircraft, a Boeing 737-500 aircraft with registration mark, 5N-AIS, which occurred at Port Harcourt, Nigeria, on January 3, 2019.

Olateru, in a question and answer session, at the release of the reports, regretted that since the agency submitted its interim report on the crash involving Attahiru on September 21, 2021, it has been unable to continue with investigations.

Olateru, however, noted that the accident was a military one, which doesn’t compel AIB-N to make the outcome of its investigation public.

But the accident occurred in a civil airport (Kaduna International Airport) and AIB-N was invited to unravel the cause. Olateru explained: “We are waiting for NAF to make the report of AIB-N on the accident public. We are unable to continue with the investigation to the final stage because we have not been given most information we required.

“We submitted the report in 2021, within 60 days of the accident, and this was in line with the Annex 13 of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). We can progress with the report, but we have not been given all we need to continue.”

AIB had on September 21, 2021 submitted its interim report on the probable cause of the accident. Attahiru, 54, and 10 others, including aides and crew, died when the aircraft (Nigerian Air Force King Air-350) they were travelling in crashed in the vicinity of Kaduna Airport on May 21, 2021.

Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, had directed that a joint investigative body consisting of experienced NAF safety officers and AIB be constituted to investigate the circumstances surrounding the crash. A statement by AIB-N had said Olateru submitted the interim report to Amao at NAF Headquarters, Abuja.