Late Suntai Not Qualified to Fly Crashed Aircraft, Says AIB


The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has revealed that the late former governor of Taraba State, Danbaba Suntai who piloted the ill-fated Cessna 208BCaravan in 2012 was not certified as pilot for the aircraft and was not qualified to fly the airplane.

This was contained in the final report of investigation carried out AIB, which was released yesterday in Lagos.

Suntai died on June 28, 2017 after protracted illness from the injuries sustained in the crash.

The tragic accident occurred at Kwanan-Waya village, Yola South Local Government Area of Adamawa State on October 25, 2012.

Reports had indicated then that the former governor defied the instruction not to operate the daylight flight at dawn.

The report further disclosed that the decision to operate a Visual Flight Rule (VFR) into the airport that did not operate at night and with inadequate oversight by the regulatory authority, were causal factors associated with the crash.

Further findings showed that the pilot did not have instrument ratings and night flight privileges. Also, the pilot reported the number of persons on board as six to the control tower as against the four persons found after the accident.

According to AIB in one of its causal factors of the accident, the pilot, Suntai, had only Private Pilot License (PPL), not rated on Instrument Flight Rule (IFR) and the aircraft type, but embarked on Visual Flight Rule (VFR).

AIB, however, said that the bureau could not conclusively determine the cause of the accident, but noted that the pilot, had just 58.4 flying hours.

The report further mentioned that the regulatory agency did not carry out adequate oversight of the airline sub-sector, prior to the accident.

Other accident reports released by AIB included the accident involving a Bristow Helicopters (Nigeria) Limited Sikorsky S76C++ Helicopter with nationality and registration mark: 5N-BQJ, which occurred at 77NM offshore from Murtala Muhammed Airport on February 3, 2016.

AIB also released the report of the accident involving a Boeing MD-83 aircraft operated by Dana Airlines with nationality and registration number: 5N-SRI, which occurred at Port Harcourt International Airport on February 20, 2018.

It also released the report of the serious incident involving an Airbus A330-223 aircraft operated by Delta Air Lines with nationality and registration mark: N858NW, which occurred after takeoff from Runway 18R, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on 13th February 2018 and the accident involving a Diamond DA40D Aircraft operated by International Aviation College (IAC) Ilorin with nationality and registration number: 5N-BRD, which occurred at Ilorin International Airport, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria on November 25, 2013.

The other was another serious incident involving Gulfstream G200 aircraft operated by Nestoil PLC with nationality and registration number: 5N-BTF, which occurred at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on 25th January, 2018.