In a tweet on Sunday, the US Mission in Nigeria commiserated with the Force, the families of the officers and all Nigerians on the tragedy.
The United States expresses sincere condolences to the @NigAirForce, family members and all Nigerians for the loss of life in today’s aircraft crash,” it tweeted.
Similarly, Chairman of the House Committee on Air Force, Shehu Koko, promised investigation will begin in earnest to determine the remote cause.
“This is to confirm that a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft crashed while returning to the Abuja Airport after reporting engine failure enroute Minna,” he said.
“First responders are at the scene. Sadly, all 7 personnel on board died in the crash. The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, has ordered an immediate investigation into the incident.”
While urging Nigerians to remain calm and await the outcome of the investigation, the federal lawmaker said the committee “under the leadership of Femi Gbajabiamila is deeply saddened by this development and will work with the Chief of Air Staff to unravel the remote cause.”
— U.S. Mission Nigeria (@USinNigeria) February 21, 2021
In a statement issued by the Air Force spokesman, Ibikunle Daramola, the officers are; Flight Lieutenant Haruna Gadzama (Captain), Flight Lieutenant Henry Piyo (Co-pilot), Flying Officer Micheal Okpara (Airborne Tactical Observation System specialist).
Others included Warrant Officer Bassey Etim (ATOS specialist), Flight Sergeant Olasunkanmi Olawunmi (ATOS specialist), Sergeant Ugochukwu Oluka (ATOS specialist), Aircraftman Adewale Johnson (Onboard Technician).
The jet en route Minna in Niger State crashed close to the runway of the Abuja airport after reporting engine failure.
The NAF spokesman explained that Chief of the Air Staff, Air Vice Marshal Oladayo Amao, has ordered an immediate probe of the accident.