The Accident Investigation Bureau – Nigeria (AIB-N), has submitted its interim report on the probable cause of the air crash that killed former Chief of Army Staff (CAS), Late Lieut. General Ibrahim Attahiru and others.
This is coming four months after the crash in Kaduna airport where the Army chief and others lost their lives.
According to the interim report, a total of 27 initial findings and eight immediate safety recommendations, were made to the Nigeria Air Force as well as other aviation related agencies for immediate implementation.
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.
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao had directed that a joint investigative body consisting of experienced NAF safety officers and the AIB be constituted to investigate the circumstances surrounding the air crash.
A joint statement by Edward Gabkwet, Tunji Oketunbi, the Air Commodore, Director of Public Relations and General Manager, NAF and AIB, respectively said that the interim report was submitted to NAF by Engr. Akin Olateru, the Commissioner, AIB on Wednesday to Air Marshal Amao, at his office at NAF Headquarters, Abuja.
The report hinted that the submitted report was organised into three sections; 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.
The statement further emphasized that the final report would contain the flight data recorder readout, the reviewed operator’s and service provider’s standard operating procedures as well as other detailed analysis.
“While receiving the report, the CAS reiterated the main essence of activating the ‘joint investigative’ clause contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the NAF and the AIB on July 1, 2020. According to him, 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”, the statement posited.
In his comment, Olateru said 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.
Olateru explained that copies of the report, with the endorsement of the CAS, would also be submitted to Sen. Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to ensure that the recommendations addressed to aviation agencies were implemented.
The commissioner also stated that although the accident involved a military aircraft and crew, it happened at a civil airport, stressing that the involvement of AIB in the investigation by the Nigerian Air Force would help in closing the gaps on the civil aviation side.
Though, as a military accident, the safety recommendations by AIB were not made public by both parties for security reasons.
Uche Nwosu is a two time Shell Petroleum PLC award winner in the year 2000;
He won the Shell Award on Investigative Journalism and Environmental Cleanliness.