By Gabriel Agbeja
Commissioner of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) Akin Olateru on Thursday in Abuja said the preliminary report on the recent Nigerian Air Force (NAF) aircraft crash in Kaduna would be ready in a week.
Olateru made the announcement at the release of eight accident reports which covered 2010 and 2019.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that A Beechcraft 350, belonging to the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), crashed around the Kaduna International Airport on May 21.
Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff, and 10 other military personnel perished in the crashed helicopter.
Attahiru was on his way to Kaduna to attend the Passing-Out Parade of army recruits which was scheduled for the following day.
Olateru, who said AIB had analysed the aircraft’s flight data recorder (FDR) and the cockpit voice recorder (CVR), maintained that only the military has the authority to disclose the content of the preliminary report.
“Unfortunately, I can’t speak for the military, we don’t have mandate to report outcome of accident or incidence relating to NAF aircraft. Our mandate is limited to civil aviation. Military aviation is different from civil aviation.
“But we are privileged to be called upon, which to me, will help the civil aspect of the incident because the accident happened at a civil airport.
“So there are aspects of it we need to look at, the final response of the fire engine, the prevailing weather, what actually happened. What part the ATC play? These are all civil.
“We cannot determine whether Nigerians will want the preliminary report or all the findings to be published. That is beyond our mandate, it is only Nigerian Air Force that can do that“ he said.
According to him, despite the paralyzing effects of COVID-19, the bureau had remained committed to its mandate by working all through the pandemic to clear outstanding reports.
The commissioner said one of the reports was classified as “accident“ while the remaining seven were serious “incidents“.
He said the bureau had released a total of 69 reports and 220 safety recommendations since its creation in 2007, pointing out that 48 reports and 139 safety recommendations were made under the present administration.
He added that the eight reports being released were with a total of nine safety recommendations which were addressed to the regulatory body, the affected airlines and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), among others.
The commissioner said there were international dimensions to two of the reports which involved a Turkish plane and an Arik Air plane in Accra, Ghana.
“Reports being released today are Report on serious incident involving a B737-500 aircraft operated by Air Peace Limited with nationality and registration marks 5N-BRN, which occurred at Port Harcout Airport, Omagwa, Rivers on 22nd June, 2019.
“Report on the serious incident involving HS-125- 700A aircraft operated by Associated Aviation Limited with nationality and registration marks 5N-BEX, which occurred at Benin Airport, Edo state, Nigeria on May 10, 2011.
“Report on the serious incident involving a B737-200 aircraft with nationality and registration marks 5N-BIF owned and operated by Chanchagi Airlines, which occurred at Kaduna Airport, Runway 05, Kaduna State, Nigeria on Aug. 20, 2010.
“Report on serious incident involving a Bombardier DHC-8-Q400 aircraft owned and operated by Arik Air Nigeria Limited with nationality and registration marks 5N-BKX which occurred en route Kotoka International Airport, Accra, Ghana, on March 6, 2018,“ it said.
Another is a report on the serious incident involving a Boeing 737-500 aircraft operated by Med-View Airline with nationality and registration marks 5N-BQM, which occurred at FL320 en route Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos on July 23, 2019.
He also mentioned a report on the accident involving a Hawker Siddeley HS-125-800 XP aircraft owned and operated by SWAT Technology Limited with nationality and registration marked N497AG.
He said it occurred on Runway 21, Port Harcourt Airport, Omagwa, Rivers State on June 11, 2015.
The commissioner said there was also a report on the serious incident involving an Airbus 330-343 aircraft owned and operated by Turkish Airline Inc. with nationality and registration marks TC-LOL.
He said it occurred at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Rivers State, Nigeria on Dec. 31, 2019.
He said there was a report on the serious incident Boeing 737-300 aircraft owned and operated by Air Peace Limited with nationality and registration mark 5N-BUK.
He said it occurred at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, on May 15, 2019.
“ I will enjoin media and interested members of the public to check our website (www.aib.gov.ng) for the details of all the reports,“ he said.