Leadership (Abuja)

17 December 2012

Nigeria: Capt. Dan Omale Writes On Saturday's Fatal Air Crash

analysis

Again, another air crash. This time, the lives of two prominent Nigerians and their aides went with it. The big question is: what would have been the probable cause of such a horrific, fatal accident?

Since this accident involved a military aircraft, it is almost impossible for the public to know the reason for the crash. As with the Nigerian military tradition, causes of aircraft accidents are never disclosed to the public. It is also impossible to know if a proper accident investigation is ever carried out by the military as the frequency of air crashes involving military aircraft is on the rise.

This year alone, two fatal military helicopter accidents have occurred. There was one Police Bell helicopter crash in Jos, plus this one on Saturday.

Last year, an air force Chinese made fighter Jet crashed in Kano, killing the young fighter pilot.

These rampant accidents can be traced to either mechanical or purely human error. But how can anyone ascertain the probable cause(s) of these accidents if, even within the military cadre, air crash investigation report is secretive or non- existent?

As long as a human life is involved, the oath of secrecy is null and void. It is interesting to know that on the U.S. army and Air Force websites, all aircraft accident investigation reports are visibly displayed. The reason is simple: to prevent future similar accident occurrence to anyone, anywhere on earth.

Although the Aircraft accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) is only established for civil aircraft, it is important to collaborate with the military to produce, no matter how sensitive, a professional report that will help save the lives of future military/ civil pilots in Nigeria.

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