FG probes NAF plane crash

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The panel of investigation set up by the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, to unravel the cause of the crash of the Nigeria Air Force Dornier-228 at the Ribadu Cantonment, Kaduna, will begin sitting on Monday (today).

A senior military officer who confided in our correspondent said that the panel was meant to take off with immediate effect and would commence the assignment on the first working day after the crash.

It was gathered that the military had cordoned off the crash site at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna, in readiness for the planned investigation.

The pilot was on a mission to Enugu to pick up some military personnel he had earlier taken to the South-East when the incidence occurred.

He was said to have taken the military personnel he was scheduled to pick to Enugu on Thursday.

The source said that the CAS decided to order an immediate probe into the crash because the aircraft was in a perfect condition before the tragic crash.

The source added that the aircraft came down barely 10 minutes after take-off contrary to the claim that the captain who was Abuja-bound discovered a fault and was on his way back to base when he incident occurred.

The Director Public Relations and Information of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Dele Alonge, told our correspondent on the telephone that the panel would commence sitting immediately.

He also advised the citizenry to await the outcome of the investigation initiated by the Chief of Air Staff which had the mandate to unravel the cause of the unfortunate crash.

He said, “Based on the directive of the Chief of Air Staff, the panel is going to begin immediately.

“The claim that the pilot took off and discovered a fault and was returning to base is not true.

“People should wait for the outcome of the panel. There is no need pre-empting the panel. The panel has a duty to unravel the cause of the crash.”

The NAF Dornier-228 had crashed into a residential building at the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna in the early hours of Saturday.

The captain, the co-pilot, the board technician and four other passengers aboard the aircraft died in the accident.

The CAS who visited the crash site, immediately constituted a panel to find out the possible cause of the crash.

The panel is headed by a very senior military officer, an Air Vice Marshal, whose identity was not disclosed.

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