The two pilots killed in the Nigeria Airforce Helicopter crash in Kaduna on Tuesday have been identified.
The two pilots, Flight Lieutenants Alkali and Karatu, were recent graduates of the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA).
- A report says the two officers were also among the Nigerian Airforce officers who returned from Pakistan in April 2021 following a six-month training in the Southeast Asian country.
A source close to the two officers revealed that the two pilots were not married as at April last year when they last saw them.
Alkali and Karatu
Helicopter crashes have spiked in recent times in Nigeria.
Available records show that 11 months ago, Ibrahim Attahiru, Chief of Army Staff, and 10 other senior military officers died in a NAF’s Beechcraft 350, which crashed around the Kaduna International Airport.
Statistics has equally shown that between August 29, 2015 and 2021, Nigeria suffered 11 military plane crashes with no fewer than 33 military officers perishing.
These include the Air Force plane crash, which killed seven onboard (August 29, 2015) in Kaduna; the F-7NI jet on October 10, 2015, and the Augusta Westland which crashed in Makurdi on November 15.
In 2021 alone, the Air Force lost at least three jets. They were the Beechcraft KingAir350i which went down with all seven officers on board in Abuja on March 21, 2021; the Alpha Jet which crashed while supporting troops in the North-East on April 3, 2021, and now the biggest of them all – the crash of a military jet conveying Nigeria’s 25th Chief of Army Staff, Lt-Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru and 10 other officers on board at the Kaduna Airport.
General Attahiru assumed the post on January 26, 2021.
He was said to be on his way to Kaduna to attend a passing-out parade for army recruits.
Following the incident, members of the minority caucus in the House of Representatives asked the federal government to ensure that a “system-wide investigation” was conducted into such incidents involving military aircraft in the country.