An eyewitness has described how the ill-fated Nigerian Air Force (NAF) plane that crashed in Kaduna on Tuesday came to be.
We previously reported that the incident killed two pilots, Flight Lieutenants Abubakar Muhammed Alkali and Elijah Haruna Karatu.
This comes as NAF has formed an Accident Investigation Board to look into the reason of the disaster.
The eyewitness, who spoke exclusively to Daily Trust, stated that the pilots were demonstrating some extremely outstanding flying abilities at the time of the tragedy.
“Even though I didn’t know the pilots personally, I wanted to shake their hands everytime they came down because of the fantastic performance they put on and how it captivated me.” I had no idea that would be their last gig.”
“The pilots were conducting a training, which piqued my and many others’ interest, so as soon as we came out of the break, we observed them displaying and manoeuvring the aircraft, they were moving towards the runway as if they planned to land when we heard a big blast.”
“Tuesday’s display was unique because it was more of a rugged acrobatic display,” the eyewitness said. “But watching them, it did not happen at a time during the exercise, there was a building on the side of the runway, it is like they miscalculated and hit part of the building because the distance from where the plane crashed is not too far from the runway.”
Alkali was buried on Tuesday at the Kawo Muslim Cemetery in accordance with Islamic procedures.
Meanwhile, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, Chief of Air Staff, has expressed condolences to the two pilots’ families, friends, and colleagues.
The CAS, who was in Kaduna on a condolence visit, told the NAF officers, airmen, and airwomen of the 401 Flying Training School that all precautions would be taken to avoid a repeat of the incident.
He reminded them of the importance of being consistent and focused on their given tasks and responsibilities in light of the onerous task that the NAF and other security agencies face in ridding the North West, and indeed the whole country, of all criminal elements.