Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Palpable tension has gripped the workers at the Ilorin International Airport after a trainee-aircraft belonging to International Aviation College (IAC) crashed landed at the airport runway on Wednesday.
THISDAY’s investigations revealed that the incident which happened on that fateful day saw the Diamond plane with registration No.5N BNH and two pilots onboard crash-landed without any casualty.
It was gathered that the plane was experiencing serious and unexpected technical fault, which was not noticed on time by the pilot of the aircraft.
Sources close to the Aviation College told journalists yesterday that such ignorance resulted to the sudden pulling out of the back tyres of the aircraft when the pilot was trying to land on the runway, and the plane eventually crash-landed.
THISDAY gathered that the staff of IAC, including the rector and some of the airport workers were trying to evacuate the aircraft from the runway so that the airspace can be re-opened for flight operations.
The damaged aircraft was later towed with a vehicle to the Aviation College before the airspace was reopened around 4p.m. for flight operations.
When contacted yesterday on the incident, the Rector of the Aviation College, Mr. Benedict Adeyileke, refused to make any comment as at the time of filing this report
Also, when called on telephone to comment on the development, the Airspace Manager of the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) at the airport, Mr. Balogun Abiodun, declined, saying: “I am not authorised to make any comment on the incident, being a civil servant”.
Meanwhile, the Governor of Kwara State, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed, whom sources said was returning from Abuja with his wife was delayed at the airport for about three hours as a result of the incident.
The governor who had his convoy stationed at the airport around 2.22p.m. waiting for his arrival from Abuja had to wait till the airspace was reopened before his chartered flight landed the airport at exactly 5.35p.m.
Also, Arik Air, one of the commercial airlines at the airport landed at 5.45p.m. yesterday.