In less than two months after two Presidential aircraft were handed over to the Nigerian Air Force, reports have emerged that one of the jets, Agusta AW 101, a medium-lift helicopter specially designed for military operations, has crashed at the Nigerian Air Force base, Makurdi as a result of poor management.
According to a report by TheNewGuru.com the crash of the ballistics defence-capable aircraft has been blamed on poor management coupled with poor training of crew members saddled to man the operations of the aircraft.
However, the Nigerian Air Force, P.R.O., Group Captain Dele Famuyiwa, when contacted denied the report, saying the aircraft was not involved in a crash but an incidence of little effect.
“It was not a crash. I wouldn’t call it a crash because it just fell on the ground in Makurdi.
“I can say maybe it was an incident. You know accident is a higher degree of incidence. It was just an occurrence that did not take any life or equipment. Cars can malfunction and the same thing with any machine.”
Famuyiwa further stated that the incidence was not in way a result of lack of training and skill of crew member, arguing that the crew which manage the aircraft at the air force base is still the same crew which managed the aircraft at the presidency.
In contradiction to the words of the Airforce PRO, pictures of the crash which were obtained as well as information gathered from a close source who spoke to the news website revealed that damages to the jet were significant but no life was lost in the crash.
“No fatality but significant damage to aircraft considering the fact that they hardly do insurance in the military. The flight engineer was injured.”
The aircraft, Agusta AW101, which is a large armoured helicopter cost about $21 million each (N10.5 billion) making it 130% more expensive than the average aircraft of its class.