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AIB submits interim crash report on ex-COAS death

Document contains 27 findings, 8 safety recommendations

Three months after the crash involving a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) King Air 350 aircraft at the vicinity of Kaduna Civil Airport, the Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of AIB, Akin Olateru, yesterday submitted an interim report on the sad incident to the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, at his office at NAF Headquarters, Abuja.

Recall that the accident, which occurred on May 21, claimed the lives of Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 other officers. Amao after the accident directed that a joint investigative body consisting of experienced NAF safety officers and the Accident Investigative Bureau (AIB) be constituted to investigate the circumstances surrounding the air crash.

The submitted report is organised into three sections namely; 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. A joint statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, and General Manager, Public Affairs, AIB, Tunji Oketunbi, stated that at this interim stage, a total of 27 initial findings and eight immediate safety recommendations were made for the convening authority as well as other aviation-related agencies for immediate implementation.

They further disclosed that it was expected 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 analyses. While receiving the report, the CAS reiterated the main essence of activating the ‘joint investigative’ clause contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was 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. Amao also noted that such collaborative efforts made 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.

On his part, Olateru said 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.

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