Nigeria: Gabon Bound Plane Missing

Photo: Premium Times
The plane had only the American pilot on board (file photo).

A four-seater plane flying from Nigeria to Gabon via Cameroon disappeared Monday night, Cameroon aviation sources said on Tuesday.

It allegedly disappeared from Cameroon airspace after it was handed over to Cameroonian Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) by its Nigerian counterpart.

The plane, owned by the U.S. company, Global Aviation, took off from Kano in at 6.00 p.m. on Monday en route Libreville in Gabon, where it was scheduled to arrive at 11 p.m., after a stopover in Douala, Cameroon.

However, the station said the latest plane, with only the American pilot on board, did not make it to Douala.

It said the last contact the plane had with the control tower was in Mongo, which is two-hour flight from the Cameroonian economic capital.

This is coming more than three months after a Malaysia Airlines aircraft B777-200 extended range with flight number MH370 from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing lost contact with Air Traffic Control on March 8, less than an hour after takeoff with 12 Malaysian crew and 227 passengers from 14 nations.

Report said search and rescue operations led by Cameroon's civil aviation authorities have not yielded any positive results also on the latest disappearance.

Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Ibrahim Abdulsalam, confirmed that the aircraft had gone out of Nigerian airspace and handed over to Cameroon.

"It did not occur within the Nigerian airspace so there is nothing we can do about it. We have handed over the aircraft to the Cameroonian airspace," Abdulsalam said.

A source close to Nigeria ATC told Daily Independent that the Cameroonian ATC called its Nigeria counterpart to inform them that the aircraft has disappeared from the Cameroon airspace.

At press time on Tuesday it was not clear if the aircraft finally crashed but some online reports claiming that it had crashed while others said the Cameroonian Search and Rescue (SAR) has since started searching for the missing airplane.

Meanwhile, reports say families of some of those on board the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 have received initial compensation more than three months after the disappearance.

The airline insurer has paid 37,000 euros to six Malaysian families and one Chinese family so far and the claims of some 40 other families are being assessed.

The airline said families of all the missing passengers and crew are eligible.

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InFocus

Plane Flying from Nigeria to Gabon Missing

The plane had only the American pilot on board (file photo).

Cameroon aviation has declared a U.S.four-seater airplane flying from Nigeria to Gabon via Cameroon missing. Read more »