AIB submits interim report on aircraft crash that killed Athahiru, others

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The joint Accident Bureau of Investigation (AIB) set up by the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, following crash involving Nigerian Air Force (NAF) King Air-350 aircraft has submitted its interim report.

The NAF KING AIR-350 aircraft was involved in an air crash at the vicinity of Kaduna Civil Airport on May 31, killing former Chief of Army Staff, Lt Gen. Ibrahim Athahiru.

The Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF Headquarters, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, disclosed this in a statement on Tuesday in Abuja.

According to Gabkwet, following the incidence, Amao 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.

He added that after about three months of painstaking joint investigation, the Commissioner and the CEO of AIB, Mr Akin Olateru, submitted an interim report on the sad incident to CAS at NAF Headquarters.

According to the director, the submitted report is organised into three sections.

They are 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.

“It should be noted that at this interim stage, a total of 27 initial findings and eight immediate safety recommendations were made for the convening authority and other aviation related agencies for immediate implementation.

“It is expected that the final report will 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 NAF and AIB July 1, 2020.

According to Amao, the successful collaboration is a clear indication of the potency of collaboration in aircraft accident investigation, which must be encouraged.

The CAS noted that such collaborative efforts make accident investigations more transparent and open.
He noted further that the outcome of the investigation was not necessarily aimed at punitive measures but essentially at generally improving safety in the aviation industry.

In his remarks, Olateru said the joint investigation with 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.

He also promised that copies of the report with the endorsement of the CAS, would also be submitted to the Minister of Aviation and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

This, he said, was to ensure that the recommendations addressed to aviation agencies were implemented.

“The accident involved a military aircraft and its crew, and it happened at a civil airport.

“However, the involvement of AIB in the investigation by the NAF will help in closing the gaps on the civil aviation side.”