As Nigeria’s Air Force Chief Relocates to Borno to oversee recovery of missing Fighter Jet, NAF says it may have Crashed, reveals identities of Pilots

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, Thursday arrived in Maiduguri, the Borno State capital, to supervise the search for the missing fighter plane that disappeared from radar on Wednesday night.

Spokesman of the Nigerian Air Force, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, said Amao was briefed on the ongoing efforts to locate the aircraft.

“The CAS, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, @CAS_IOAmao, arrived Maiduguri this morning and was briefed on ongoing search and rescue efforts in connection with the missing Alpha Jet aircraft”, he tweeted.

Gabkwet had in a statement said: “A NAF aircraft on routine mission in support of own troops at one of the theatres of operation in the Northern part of Nigeria has lost radar contact.”

Meanwhile, authorities said today the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Alpha Jet aircraft that went off the radar in Borno State might have crashed.

“Intelligence report gathered by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) indicates that the Alpha Jet aircraft (NAF475) that went off the radar with 2 crew members on board on 31 March 2021 might have crashed.”

Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, the NAF Director of Public Relations and Information, disclosed this in a statement while giving an update on the incident.

The aircraft marked – NAF475 according to the statement had two crew members on board when it went missing on Wednesday in Borno State.

While the cause of the crash and the whereabouts of the crew members who are NAF personnel remain unknown, the pilots are identified as Flight Lieutenant John Abolarinwa and Flight Lieutenant Ebiakpo Chapele.

According to Gabkwet, NAF surveillance aircraft and Special Forces, as well as Nigerian Army troops on ground are conducting extensive search and rescue efforts.

He stated that the Force remained hopeful that the crew would be found and rescued as it does not rule out anything regarding the incident.

 

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