Following the fatal military air crash involving Beechcraft KingAir BB305i, which claimed the lives of all personnel on board, the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has released names of the seven persons who perished in the ill-fated aircraft.
The officers who lost their lives include Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama, who was the captain of the ill-fated craft; the co-pilot, Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo; Flying Officer Micheal Okpara and Warrant Officer Bassey Etim, both of the Airborne Tactical Observation System (ATOS).
The other deceased officers are Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi and Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka, who are both ATOS Specialists, and Aircraftman Adewale Johnson, Onboard Technician.
According to The Nation, the Director of Public Relations and Information of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Ibikunle Daramola said in a statement that the crashed aircraft was scheduled to conduct surveillance missions as part of the synergy to secure the release of the abducted Kangara students.
The statement reads in part:
“The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), earlier today, 21 February 2021, confirmed that one of its aircraft, a Beechcraft KingAir B350i (NAF 201), 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 and staff abducted from the Government Science College Kagara, Niger State”.
Reports have it that investigations are ongoing to unravel the cause of the crash.