May 25, 2021

NAF set’s up committee to conduct audit of its operational, engineering units

Air Force

By Kingsley Omonobi

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Oladayo Amao has constituted a Committee of serving and retired senior officers to conduct a safety audit of all Nigerian Air Force (NAF) operational and engineering units.

A statement by Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, Director, NAF Public Relations and Information said, “The Committee is to, among other terms of reference, analyze safety reports from operational and engineering units, conduct safety evaluation of NAF units and recommend measures to enhance safety of operations in the units.

“The Committee is also to interact with unit operational and technical personnel for views, observations and contributions on safety measures.

“Chaired by Air Vice Marshal Abraham Adole, the Deputy Theatre Commander, Operation Hadin Kai, the Committee is to submit its report not later than 18 June 2021”.

The audit committee is coming after last Friday May 21 air crash of a Beechcraft KingAir B350 in Kaduna state that claimed the life of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 other military personnel.

The Crash of the that particular aircraft carrying the COAS and 10 others brought the number of NAF aircraft that have crashed between February and May 2021 to three killing 17 military officers raising concerns with regards to the safety of military aviation in Nigeria, which observers insist not good for the safety record of the country.

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Recall that on Sunday, February 21, 2021, seven NAF officers died onboard a Beechcraft KingAir B350 aircraft when the jet crashed in Abuja.

The jet which was en route to Minna in Niger State for surveillance over the kidnapped Kagara school children, crashed close to the runway of the Abuja airport, with cause of crash said to be engine failure.

Again, on Wednesday, March 31, 2021, NAF spokesman, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said an Alpha-Jet aircraft involved in the anti-terror war against Boko Haram and Islamic State West Africa Province lost radar contact in Borno State and wet missing.

Though the aircraft was later declared crashed, the two airmen on board the crashed aircraft have not been found to up till date.

The frequent crashes of NAF jets believed to be newer with well trained pilots is even more worrisome considering the fact that the civil aviation sector has not recorded any crashes involving commercial flights in years.