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In 12 Months, Nigerian Security Forces Record 6 Aircraft Mishaps

The sixth incident involved a police aircraft accident in the country's northeast.

Nigeria’s security forces, particularly the Air Force, have suffered multiple combat and non-combat related aircraft accidents in the past 12 months. 

In all, six of such incidents have been recorded, and the sixth involved a Nigeria Police Bell 412 utility helicopter that crashed on Wednesday, Jan 26, in the northeastern state of Bauchi. 

According to a statement by the country’s Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), no fatality was recorded in the accident that occurred around 7:30 p. m.

The aircraft with six persons on board was reported to have departed the Nigerian capital, Abuja, where the police are known to operate a hangar at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. 

The AIB also sought for public assistance with videos, evidence, or information related to the incident. 

According to the Bureau’s website, the agency is charged with the responsibility to investigate any civil aircraft accident and serious incident arising out of, or in the course of air navigation and occurring either in or over Nigeria or occurring to Nigerian aircraft elsewhere.

The Nigeria Police Air Wing operates a number of aircraft including a Cessna Citation business jet and several helicopters.

A Bell 412 was hit by ground fire in the northwestern state of Kaduna in 2020 and in 2012, the police lost a similar aircraft variant in a fatal crash in the North-central Plateau State. 

In July 2021, an Air Force pilot on a solo combat mission in support of the military campaign in the Northwest was forced to eject after his Alpha Jet came under intense enemy fire. 

In May of the same year, a Nigerian Air Force Beechcraft King Air 350i  aircraft with the Chief of Army Staff, Ibrahim Attahiru, and other military personnel on board crashed in Kaduna, a few days after an ATR 42 aircraft was damaged while approaching for landing. 

In March, the Air Force lost radar contact with an Alpha jet on a combat support mission in Borno State in the Northeast and in February, another  Beechcraft KingAir B350i aircraft with seven personnel on board crashed while returning to the Abuja Airport after reporting engine failure. 

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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