The Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, in its new report disclosed that late Governor Suntai pilot was not certified to fly the aircraft which crashed.The AIB who identified factors that led to the crash of the helicopter conveying the late Taraba State Governor, Danbaba Suntai, and three other occupants on October 25, 2012, said the pilot was not certified, qualified and competent to fly the Cessna 208B Caravan aircraft with registration number 5N-BMJ, which crashed in Kwanan-Waya Village in Yola.
Commissioner and Chief Executive officer, AIB, Akin Olateru, who further disclosed that the pilot did not have instrument ratings and night flight privileges as it was conducted at sunset and reported an incorrect estimated time of arrival as 10:01 UTC as against the time 17:19 UTC, added that though the pilot had a private pilot licence, he was not trained to handle the aircraft. He further gave other contributing factors as the decision of the pilot to operate a VFR flight after sunset, and inadequate oversight by the regulatory authority.
“The pilot reported the number of persons on board as six to the control tower as against four actual persons found after the accident. The control tower was notified about 5N-BMJ departure by a phone call from Jalingo after the aircraft was airborne,” he added. Recall that though no life was lost in the incident, however the late governor sustained brain injuries, which incapacitated him from performing his official duties and underwent rehabilitation until his demise in 2017.