AIB to Take Late Suntai’s Crashed Aircraft Engine to Manufacturer

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By Chinedu Eze

Less than two weeks after the death of the former Governor of Taraba State, Dambaba Suntai, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has announced that it would take the engine of his aircraft to the manufacturer in North America for examination.

Danbaba as the pilot crashed the aircraft near Yola airport on October 25, 2012 and sustained critical injuries along with other people and it is believed that the injuries he sustained led to his death almost five years after the acident.

The Commissioner of AIB, Akin Olateru, disclosed this to journalists yesterday at the agency’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) in Lagos.

Olateru explained that the Bureau would have taken the engine overseas for analysis long before now but was constrained by lack of funds and noted that the teardown of the engine was necessary in order to determine the state of the aircraft’s engine before the plane went down in Yola.

Suntai and five of his aides were on October 25, 2012, involved in an air crash after their private plane, Cessna 208 aircraft marked 5N-BMJ, crashed in Yola, Adamawa State capital.

Suntai, who did not recover from the crash, died in Houston, Florida, in the United States on June 28, 2017.

The late governor was said to be piloting the small aircraft at the time of the incident, as the plane allegedly hit the ground behind the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) depot, along Yola-Numan Road at about 7 p.m.

Suntai who got his Private Pilot Licence (PPL) at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), was flying an aircraft certified for visual flight rule, which is from 6a.m. to 6p.m, but still flew the aircraft at 7p.m when it crashed.

Olateru also explained that the shipment of the engine for teardown was one of the processes of accident investigation, which the agency would carry out.