Osinbajo: Crashed helicopter not from NAF, owners react

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has debunked news report that the crashed helicopter, Augusta AW139 Helicopter, which was conveying Vice President Yemi Osinbajo belongs to it.

A statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola Sunday said the helicopter was also not from the 011 Presidential Air Fleet.

“The attention of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has been drawn to various reports in the media purporting that the Augusta AW139 Helicopter, which was involved in a mishap in Kabba, Kogi State yesterday, 2 February 2019, while conveying the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, belonged to the NAF or was from the 011 Presidential Air Fleet (011 PAF). 

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“Some unscrupulous/undiscerning individuals have even gone so far as to circulate a video showing the crash landing of a military helicopter, from an unrelated incident, which neither occured in Nigeria nor involved NAF or 011 PAF aircraft, portraying it as the one that crashed in Kabba.

“The NAF wishes to state categorically that the helicopter that crashed in Kabba does not belong to the NAF or 011 PAF. The owners/operators of the civilian helicopter, Messrs Caverton Helicopters, have already issued a statement on the matter. 

“In addition, the military Dauphin Helicopter, painted in desert camouflage colour, seen in the video circulating on social media does not belong to the NAF and should not be misrepresented as belonging to the NAF. Accordingly, the general public is advised to disregard such erroneous information and the misleading video. 

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“The NAF joins the Nation in thanking God for sparing the life of our Vice President as well as other passengers and crew members involved in the mishap. We pray for the safety of the Vice President and that all his take-offs will culminate in an equal number of safe landings,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, the Caverton Helicopters, managers of the Augusta AW139 Helicopter, which crashed in Kabba, has reacted to the incident of the crash.

A statement by the Managing Director/Accountable Manager,
Capt. Josiah Choms Sunday said the Augusta AW139 Helicopter under its management “was involved in a mishap on landing in Kabba, Kogi State around 3pm today (2nd February 2019) as a result of unusual weather conditions. 

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“There were no injuries to the passengers or crew on board and they were all quickly and safely evacuated.

“The relevant authorities have been duly informed and an investigation into the incident has commenced. We will, of course, support the authorities as required.

“We wish to reassure the public and our various stakeholders of our unwavering commitment to safety in all of our operations,” the management stated.

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