A tragic incident took place in Makurdi, the capital of Benue State, as a Nigerian Air Force FT-7NI trainer aircraft crashed during a routine training exercise.
Ejes Gist News reports that the incident occurred on Friday evening during a routine training exercise.
Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, confirmed the unfortunate event through an official statement released on Friday.
The statement revealed that the aircraft was carrying two pilots at the time of the crash. However, there was some relief amidst the distressing news, as it was reported that both pilots managed to eject from the aircraft successfully, ensuring their survival.
Following their ejection, the pilots were swiftly attended to and transported to a military medical facility. They are currently under close observation at the NAF Base Hospital in Makurdi, where medical professionals are diligently monitoring their condition and providing the necessary care. This news brought a glimmer of hope amidst the sombre atmosphere surrounding the incident.
Moreover, the statement made it clear that there were no reported casualties among civilians and no damage to properties in the vicinity of the crash site. This information brought some solace to the local community, which had been concerned about potential collateral damage.
To ascertain the circumstances leading to the crash, Air Vice Marshal Hasan Abubakar, the Chief of Air Staff, wasted no time in constituting a Board of Inquiry.
The esteemed board, comprising experienced aviation experts and investigators, will diligently investigate both the immediate and remote causes of the tragic incident. Their findings will play a crucial role in determining the factors contributing to the crash and helping prevent similar incidents in the future.
As the news of the crash spread, the aviation community expressed their condolences and rallied around the affected pilots, their families, and the Nigerian Air Force. The incident serves as a reminder of the inherent risks associated with military training exercises, highlighting the bravery and professionalism displayed by the pilots in handling such perilous situations.
In the coming days and weeks, the aviation industry and the general public will anxiously await the findings of the Board of Inquiry. The investigation will shed light on the chain of events leading up to the crash, enabling authorities to take appropriate measures to prevent similar accidents and ensure the safety of military personnel during training exercises.