By Kingsley Omonobi & Umar Yusuf
The Nigerian Airforce has attributed the crash of its F7-Ni fighter aircraft in Yola which killed the pilot, to bad weather and not enemy attack.
This came as locals said the ill-fated fighter jet almost buried itself because of the impact of the crash.
Already, the Chief of Air staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has instituted an investigation panel to unravel the remote and immediate cause of the crash.
A statement detailing the development, signed by Air Commodore Dele Alonge, Director, Airforce Public Relations , said: “A Nigerian Air Force (NAF801) F7-Ni fighter jet returning to the base from an interdicted mission crashed due to bad weather and not under enemy fire around Hong, Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa State at about 16.23hrs (4.23 pm).
“There was no survivor as the pilot of the aircraft lost his life in the unfortunate incident”.
“Meanwhile, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal SB Abubakar has set up an investigation panel to unravel the remote and immediate causes) of the accident. Further details will be communicated to the media in due course.”
The ill fated F 7NAF 801 fighter jet that crashed on Saturday in Hong Local Government Area of Adamawa State was almost buried in the ground.
Meanwhile, a local resident of the area disclosed to Vanguard, yesterday, that villagers were panicked when the crash occurred.
The eyewitness, who said the incident took place at Didango village, about 20km away from Hong Local Government headquarters, said the incident might have been caused by bad weather due to heavy wind storm in the area.
According to him, when the incident occurred, the villagers ran in all directions because of the fear of the unknown.
He noted that before the fighter jet plunged to the ground around 4:30p.m. on Saturday, the pilot parachuted out of the jet but could not land safely as he lost control and rammed into a tree as a result of the heavy wind storm, leading to his instant death.
“The fighter jet sunk into the ground and got missing completely. This is the first time we are witnessing this type of mishap in our village which scared all of us to our marrows as we thought it was the end of the world,” he said.
A security source noted that the ill fated fighter jet was returning from an interdiction mission from parts of Yobe State when it plunged into a hilly side of Hong Local Government.
The source added that the remains of the pilot of the ill-fated fighter jet, who was the only person on board, had been deposited in a morgue in the state capital, even as arrangements were underway to evacuate the wreckage of the jet at press time