Gov. Suntai not certified, qualified, competent to fly crashed aircraft – AIB report

.. As AIB releases Dana, Delta, Next Oil, Bristow, other crashed reports

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigeria on Thursday released six final accident reports indicating in one of the reports that the late former Governor of Taraba state, Danbaba Suntai who was the pilot of Cessna 208B Caravan aircraft was not certified, qualified and not competent to fly the crashed aircraft.

The Commissioner of AIB, Mr. Akin Olateru while releasing the reports noted that though the Bureau could not conclusively determine the cause of the accident; but that the investigation identified the decision of the pilot (Suntai) to operate a Visual Flight Rule (VFR) flight after sunset, and inadequate oversight by the Regulatory Authority as some of the contributory factors.

The report noted further that the pilot is only qualified to fly Cessna 172 which he has total logged flying hours of 58 hours and 40 minutes and not Cessna Caravan 208B which he has no relevant endorsement to fly.

Olateru explained that the pilot does not have instrument ratings and night flight privileges.
According to the report, the pilot reported an incorrect estimated time of arrival (ETA at Yola as 10:01 UTC as against the time 17:19 UTC. He also reported the number of persons on board as 06 to the Control Tower as against 04 actual persons found after the accident, while the flight was conducted after the sunset time in Yola on the day of accident.

“The Control Tower was notified about 5N-BMJ departure by phone call from Jalingo after the aircraft was airborne.
The Bureau was unable to interview the pilot as he was flown out of the country for further medical treatment.
The pilot has completed training and obtained a Private Pilot Licence.
“The aircraft engine had an occurrence of engine overheat/over temperature in December 2011. It was removed and sent to an approved engine workshop in South Africa (Vector Aerospace) for complete repair and overhaul.
The engine was reinstalled on the aircraft in April 2012.
The report engine throttle lever was found below idle (beta) position at the crash site,” the report said.

It noted that before the arrival of the rescue team to the accident site, the locals had rescued the occupants of the aircraft from the wreckage.

The AIB investigation observed that the Aircraft Rescue & Fire Fighting (ARFFS) personnel at Yola airport have not undergone initial/recurrent physical fitness test and basic life support training.

Olateru disclosed further in the report that the ambulance parked at the Yola fire station was unserviceable at the time of the accident while the ARFFS team arrived the crash site by one hour and 20 minutes after the initial notification and discovered that the aircraft occupants had been rescued from the wreckage by the locals.

The report observed further that the terminal building being renovated at Yola airport is obstructing the view of the approach path of runway 35 from the Control Tower among other issues identified.

The Bureau in the report recommended that the Nigerian Air Space Management Agency (NAMA) should take appropriate action to relocate the existing control tower at Yola Airport in order to enhance the aerial view of the approach path of runway 35 from the Tower.
While the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA should ensure all pertinent regulations with regards to the operations of the aircraft and certification of all relevant personnel and facilities of the Ministry of Works and Transport, Taraba State Government are appropriately complied with.

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