AVM Advocates Continuous Flight Safety Training To Mitigate Military Air Crashes

2 years ago
1 min read

Beset by recuring incidents of military air accidents in the last one year, retired Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Gbolahan Adekunle of the Nigeria Air Force has advocated continuous flight safety training for officers to equip them with knowledge of safety precautions when flying.

AVM Adekunle stated this at Channels TV SunriseDaily talk show on Friday morning, while commenting on ways to prevent military air crash in the country.

Two officers of the Nigeria Air Force who are instructor pilots on Tuesday lost their lives in a plane crash that occurred near NAF base in Kaduna State. The incident happened while the officers were undergoing training with an MFI-395 Super Mushshaks training aircraft belonging to the 401 Flying Training School of the Air Force.

This is sequel to three military air accidents that occurred in 2021 in February, March, May and July, with that of May involving the late Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Ibrahim Attahiru.

AVM Advocates Continuous Flight Safety Training To Mitigate Military Air Crashes
Scene of the wreckage of the Nigerian Air Force Super Mushshak training aircraft at Kaduna on Tuesday

Adekunle who had been chief of training and operations of the NAF, said military air crash is not peculiar to Nigeria, noting that it equally happens even in the United States.

He said such incident is bound to happen given the kind of air force exercises conducted sometimes which involve flying at high speed, sometimes close to each other and also close to the ground.

On the cause of the repeated military plane crashes, Adekunle said it is difficult to point at a particular factor as being responsible except an analysis of reports of the crashes are carried out.

The retired AVM also noted that for a very long time the Air Force was not properly equipped but within the last seven years of the current administration, the NAF has acquired more than 40 aircrafts used in operations.

He said, “The reality is that for as long as you get involved in intensive flying like we are doing right now, for a very long time, bearing in mind that the Nigerian Air Force was not even properly equipped.

“The Air Force should as much as possible play safe by deploying its aircraft when the chances of survival of the aircrew are as close to 100 per cent as possible, but then you can only plan and make the best facility available to your personnel.

“But it is not a cut and dry thing which you would say oh once you do this, it will come to an end. Flying airplane is a risk-bearing enterprise and we cannot run away from that for as long as we fly, something is bound to happen,” he stated.

Adekunle who is also a former Chief of policy and plans of the NAF, urged the force to continue with its current drive of training officers across cadres on flight safety.


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