Fresh report emerged on Sunday over the reported crash of another Nigerian Air Force Alpha Jet in Kaduna State.
A NAF source said: ”I can tell you there was a crash. It involved an Alpha Jet. I can also tell you that there was no casualty.
The pilot was able to eject before the crash.
“The jet which departed Adamawa State, was on a mission to fight against bandits in Kaduna State.”
He added that rescue parties had been despatched to search for the fighter jet.
The source noted that there was no casualty in the accident as the lone pilot of the fighter plane parachuted to safety.
Meanwhile, Onyxnewsng understands that NAF’s Director of Public Relations and Information (DOPRI), Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said the headquarters had not received any operational report of a crash of its aircraft.
He added that no alpha jet left Yola, Adamawa State, where the jet was said to have taken off to Kaduna for an operation against bandits in Birnin-Gwari Local Government Area.
The latest incident is the fourth involving the NAF fleet this year. One led to the death of was a serving Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt.-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 other officers in Kaduna two months ago.
On April 2, another Alpha jet crashed in Borno during an operation.
There was also the Minna-bound Beechcraft King Air350i crash of March 21, that killed all seven people on board.
According to reports, 11 military plane had crashed in Nigerian since 2015 and had killed about 33 military personnel.
Meanwhile, on Monday 1 July 19, NAF released a statement about the crash and video of the ejected pilot of the Alpha jet, see below..
The statement seen by Onyxnewsng read thus:
ALPHA JET AIRCRAFT CRASHES IN ZAMFARA STATE, PILOT RESCUED
On 18 July 2021, at about 12.45 pm, a Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha Jet aircraft, returning from a successful air interdiction mission between the boundaries of Zamfara and Kaduna State, came under intense enemy fire which led to its crash in Zamfara State. Luckily, the gallant pilot of the aircraft, Flight Lieutenant Abayomi Dairo, successfully ejected from the aircraft. Using his survival instincts, the pilot, who came under intense ground fire from the bandits, was able to evade them and sought refuge in nearby settlements awaiting sunset. Using the cover of darkness and his phone set for navigation, Flight Lieutenant Dairo was able to elude several bandits’ strongholds and maneuvered his way to a Nigerian Army Unit, where he was finally rescued.
It is instructive to note that upon receipt of the news of the crash, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, had directed that all efforts must be emplaced to rescue the pilot. Accordingly, NAF Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance (ISR) platforms and helicopter gunships provided close air support to NAF Special Forces and Nigerian Army troops who were able to locate the crash site and the pilot’s parachute, while also combing nearby locations for any sign of the pilot. It is gladdening to note that while in hiding, Flight Lieutenant Dairo confirmed that the presence of NAF aircraft within the vicinity of the crash site helped in scaring the bandits who were after him, thus enabling him to find refuge and escape to a safe location.
It is important to also recall that only recently, the President, Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, had directed the Armed Forces of Nigeria to do all it takes to flush out criminal elements in Katsina, Zamfara and Kaduna States. It is in fulfilment of this directive that the NAF, in conjunction with surface forces, has in the last 2 weeks mounted intensive day and night air interdiction operations against bandits and their hideouts, especially in these 3 states. Through these intensive air operations, hundreds of bandits have been neutralized and several of their hideouts destroyed.
Despite the setback of yesterday’s crash, the NAF remains committed towards fulfilling Mr President’s mandate as well as other constitutional roles assigned to it. The willingness, readiness and tested ability of the NAF remains unshaken and unwavering as it continues to carry out its assigned roles.
Kindly bring the information to the awareness of the general public. Thank you.
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force
19 July 2021.”