In reaction to Thursday’s plane crash, the National President, Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, Balami David, has discouraged stakeholders from guessing the cause of the accident and has absolved the pilot and engineer of any fault.
Speaking on Sunrise Daily, he said the pilot, identified as Yakubu, was a senior experienced captain. “I don’t think any of our members would go ahead to fly an aircraft that they know will crash”. He added that “our pilots are well trained. They are certified by Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and also recognised by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation).
He also defended the engineer, believed to be Saroh Elaiye, who had certified the plane worthy to fly, saying that no person would go ahead to board a flight which he knows is in bad shape.
Speaking about what may have cause the plane to crash barely two minutes after takeoff, he said that the cause of accident cannot be ascertained or guessed yet.
“As a professional in the aviation sector, I don’t think this is time to be assuming or be guessing.”
There are so many factors that can lead to this but nobody can tell for now, he said, adding that the group has no choice but to trust the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).
The group leader disclosed that they are in touch with AIB as they are also concerned citizens.
“Our job is nothing but to fly and to maintain the aircraft” whether there are passengers, cargo on board or not.
He spoke about the group’s confidence in the AIB’s investigation saying “we are very confident in the current AIB and we are very sure that something good will come up very soon,” he said.
Mr David addressed fears about Nigeria’s airspace during the interview and said “naturally, people ought to be worried” adding that members of the group are also worried.
He affirmed that the emergency response to the crash was good and called for sober reflection for both the group and the nation.
He called on AIB and relevant authorities to ensure that the needful is done