An eyewitness has given an account of how the ill-fated Nigerian Air Force (NAF) jet that crashed in Kaduna on Tuesday.
It had earlier been reported that two pilots – Flight Lieutenants Abubakar Muhammed Alkali and Elijah Haruna Karatu – were killed in the incident.
This is just as NAF has constituted an Accident Investigation Board to investigate the root cause of the crash.
The eyewitness while speaking exclusively to Daily Trust said the pilots were displaying some very impressive flying skills when the incident occurred.
“Though I did not know the pilots personally, I wanted to shake their hands whenever they would come down because of the exceptional display they exhibited and how I was enticed by it. I never knew it would be their last show.”
“The pilots were having a training, which caught the attention of me and many others, so immediately we came out from the break, we saw them displaying and maneuvering the aircraft, they were heading towards the direction of the runway as if they wanted to land when we heard a loud bang.
“Tuesday’s display was a unique one because it was more of a rugged acrobatic display, but watching them, it did not happen at a time during the exercise, there was a building on the side of the runway, it is like they miscalculated and hit part of the building because the distance from where the plane crashed is not too far from the runway,” the eyewitness added.
Daily Trust gathered that Alkali was buried at the Kawo Muslim Cemetery on Tuesday according to Islamic rites.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, has commiserated with the family, friends and colleagues of the two pilots.
The CAS who was in Kaduna on a condolence visit assured the officers, airmen and airwomen of 401 Flying Training School that all measures would be taken to avert a similar occurrence in the future.
He reminded them of the need to remain steadfast and focused on their assigned roles and responsibilities in view of the onerous task before the NAF and other security agencies to rid the North West and indeed the entire nation of all criminal elements.