The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), aircraft, a Beechcraft KingAir B350i (NAF 201), crashed at Nassau Village while returning to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja after reporting engine failure enroute Minna in Niger State.
The aircraft which was going to make surveillance to rescue the kidnapped Kagara school boys at Minna, crashed at 11:00am after reporting engine failure at about 10:30am and was returning back to the airport. The pilot tried not to crash on buildings but crashed on the run way for the airport.
The plane burst into flames after a huge explosion and the seven air personnel who were on the plane died. They were dead before the fire services sprung into action.
The names of the deceased air personnel include: Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama (Captain); Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-Pilot); Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System (ATOS) Specialist) and Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS Specialist).
Others were: Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS Specialist); Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS Specialist) and Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).
The Chief of Air Staff (CAS), visited the scene of the accident, in company of the Honourable Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (retired); Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika; Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Lucky Irabor, and other Service Chiefs. The CAS, said “ 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”.