AN aircraft, Diamond Twin Star (DA42 MPP) with registration number 5N-BKS operating as a light surveillance aircraft for PICOMSS, made a gear-up landing at its base, Benin Airport Thursday morning.
Though, there was no casualty in the incident, the airport from all indications has been closed down temporarily until further notice.
The aircraft used by the Nigerian Air Force crash- landed on the Tarmac of the Benin Airport at about 11am.
Eyewitnesses said the crash was as a result of malfunction of the landing tyres.
Few minutes after the incident, officers of the Nigerian Airforce evacuated the aircraft.
Confirming the incident, the spokesperson of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Mr. Tunji Oketunbi said 'A diamond DA42 MPP aircraft marked 5N-BKS belonging to PICOMMS today around 11 a.m was involved in a serious incident by belly-landing at Benin Airport; no casualty recorded'.
Only recently, pilots have been alerted on the need to exercise high precaution within the Nigeria's airspace in view of the prevailing adverse weather condition necessitated by heavy rainfalls with thunderstorm across the country.
A circular issued by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to all the airlines and especially the pilots recently, reiterated the need for 'Pilots to exercise restraint when adverse weather is observed or forecast and be patient enough to wait and allow it subdue or pass over the airfield before commencing flight'.
The DA42 Twin Star was certified in Europe in 2004 and in the United States in 2005.
The airplane is made of carbon composite material. It is equipped with a Garmin G1000 glass cockpit.
The crashed aircraft was the first diesel-powered fixed-wing aircraft to make a non-stop crossing of the North Atlantic hemisphere in 12.5 hours, with an average fuel consumption of 5.74 gallons per hour (2.87 gallons per hour per engine).
Apart from the recent Dana aircraft, a police helicopter caught fire in Jos killing DIG John Haruna and three others.
In October 2011 a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) L-39 training aircraft from 303 Flying Training School, Kano also crashed at the Uyo airport in Akwa Ibom State during