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Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB)

AIB to ship late Governor Suntai’s aircraft engine to America for analysis

ACCIDENT Investigation Bureau(AIB) is set to take the engine of the crashed aircraft involving former Governor of Taraba State, Late Dambaba Suntai to the aircraft manufacturer in North America for teardown.

This is as the Commissioner of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Engr. Akin Olateru explained that the reason for delay of the shipment of the aircraft abroad for analysis since the crash in October 25, 2012 was paucity of funds.

The then governor flew a Cessna 208 aircraft marked 5N-BMJ, which crashed in Yola, the Adamawa State capital with Suntai and five of his aides on board

Olateru disclosed this to journalists at the agency’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.

He explained that the teardown of the engine was necessary in order to determine the state of the aircraft’s engine before the plane went down in Yola.

Suntai, who did not recover from the crash, died in Houston, Florida, in the United States on June 28, 2017.

The late governor was said to be piloting the small aircraft at the time of the incident and it allegedly hit the ground behind the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) depot, along Yola-Numan Road at about 7 pm.

Suntai who got his Private Pilot License (PPL) at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), was certified for visual flight, which is from 6am to 6pm, but still flew the aircraft at 7pm when it crashed.

He was immediately conveyed to a hospital in Yola and before his death last week, Suntai had been taken to various hospitals for proper medical attention.

Olateru explained that the shipment of the engine for teardown was one of the processes of accident investigation, which the agency would carry out.

He said: “We are about to take the aircraft engine that involved the former and late Governor of Taraba State, Mr. Dambaba Suntai in 2012 abroad. We are planning to send the aircraft engine back to the manufacturer for what we call engine tear down.

“It is one of the processes of accident investigation. Just to ship an engine abroad is a challenge. All these, we have to back it. Investigation is still on because there is no money to ensure we check the engine that it was in right situation before the crash.”

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