The Chief of the Air Staff, CAS, Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, has instituted an investigative panel to determine the remote and immediate causes of the accident of its aircraft, that crashed while returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, after reporting engine failure en route Minna, where it was scheduled to conduct surveillance missions over Niger State and its environs in connection with the concerted efforts to secure the release of the students/staff abducted from the Government Science College Kagara, Niger State.
In a statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola, while the panel has commenced its work, the NAF, having notified the Next of Kins/family members of the deceased, announces the following 7 personnel who lost their lives in the crash: Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama (Captain), Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-Pilot), Flying Officer Michael Okpara an Airborne Tactical Observation System, ATOS, Specialist.
Others are Warrant Officer Bassey Etim, ATOS Specialist, Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi, ATOS Specialist, Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka, ATOS Specialist and Aircraftman Adewale Johnson, Onboard Technician.
Earlier, the Chief of the Air Staff visited the scene of the accident, in company of the Honourable Minister of Defence, retired Major General Bashir Magashi, Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika; Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor, and other service chiefs.
The CAS, on behalf of officers, airmen and airwomen of the NAF, commiserates with the families of the deceased personnel and prays that the Almighty God grants their souls eternal repose.