The investigative panel set up by the Chief of Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, to unravel the circumstances that led to the crash of the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Dornier 228 aircraft in Kaduna in 2015 has blamed the mishap on human error on the part of the pilot.
It stated that the manufacturers insisted the engine was in good condition before the crash.
An Abuja bound NAF aircraft numbered NAF030 crashed into a house at Ribadu Cantonment on August 29, 2015 after take-off from the Kaduna military airfield, killing all passengers aboard.
Abubakar had aborted a trip to Port Harcourt, Rivers State to visit the site of the crash and immediately set up a committee to unravel the cause of the mishap.
Presenting the report yesterday in Abuja, Chairman of the panel and NAF’s Director of Safety, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Sampson Akpasa, said contrary to the earlier speculations that the crash resulted from engine failure, it was actually caused by human error of the pilot as a report from the manufacturers indicated that the engines were in good flying condition.
“We shipped the engine to Honeywell Aerospace in Arizona USA, manufacturers of the aircraft, where two board members confirmed that both engines and fuel were good,” he said.
He attributed the crash to a special disorientation on the part of the pilot, a condition where a pilot can lose concentration in the course of flying and go off course.
Giving an update on the bombing of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Rann recently, he said the incident was still being investigated and that the panel has been given additional time to enable them to finish the work.
He noted that some other crashes like the Augusta 101 helicopter in Makurdi and F-7Ni in Yola are still being investigated. But “NAF will continue to build capacity by training personnel and getting the best of equipment,” he said.