The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has instituted an investigation to determine the remote and immediate causes of two F-7Ni aircraft involved in an air incident on Friday in Katamkpe Hill, Abuja.
The NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, gave this hint in a statement issued on Friday.
Business Eye magazine had reported the crash of the two NAF aircraft early Friday morning in the FCT during the airforce;s rehearsal for Nigeria’s 58th Independence Anniversary in the territory.
The NAF Director stated: “Two Nigerian Air Force (NAF) F-7Ni aircraft taking part in the rehearsals for the aerial display to mark Nigeria’s 58th Independence Anniversary Celebrations were involved in an air incident on Friday.
“The air mishap necessitated the three pilots to eject from their aircraft, which subsequently crashed in the general area of Katamkpe Hill. Regrettably, however, one of them later died due to complications from injuries sustained upon impact on the ground. Thankfully, there were no civilian casualties.
“The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on behalf of officers, airmen and airwomen of the NAF, commiserates with the family of the deceased officer. The CAS has also instituted an air crash investigation to determine the remote and immediate causes of the incident,” Daramola added.
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari has condoled the Nigerian Air Force and the family of the bereaved on the air mishap/
A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President, Garba Shehu, indicated that the President paid tributes to the gallantry of Squadron Leader, MB Baba-Ari, the officer who died in the accident while also wishing the two officers injured quick recovery.
According to the President’s aide, in a condolence message delivered on his behalf by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Siddique, at the burial of the officer Friday in Abuja, President Buhari extolled the virtues of the dead pilot and gallantry in laying down his life in the service of his fatherland.
Buhari assured that, having paid the supreme sacrifice, the nation would not forget him and prayed that God would grant deceased’s soul eternal rest while assuring the family members that the country will not abandon them.
Representatives of the President also visited the two other officers, Squadron Leader Abatuba and Flight Lieutenant Ambi in the hospital and conveyed the President’s good wishes to them.
Both officers conveyed the President’s wishes for quick recovery to the injured officers.