Defense and Security

Airforce Confirms The Crash Of Alpha Jet Aircraft, Pilot Narrates Narrow Escape From Bandits Firepower In Zamfara State

Funke Busari

The Nigerian Airforce has announced that its Pilot, one Lieutenant Abayomi Dairo came under attacks from from banditry elements on 18 July, 2021 at about 12.45 p.m.

The pilot was on a interdiction mission between the boundaries of Zamfara and Kaduna State when it came under attacks.

A statement signed by the Spokesperson for the Airforce Edward Gabkwet an 
Air Commodore stated that the gallant pilot of the aircraft successfully ejected from the aircraft. 

“Using his survival instincts, the pilot, who came under intense ground fire from the bandits, was able to evade them and sought refuge in nearby settlements awaiting sunset”

He continues, “Using  the cover of darkness and his phone set for navigation, Flight Lieutenant Dairo was able to elude several bandits’ strongholds and maneuvered his way to a Nigerian Army Unit, where he was finally rescued.”

The statement states further that upon receipt of the news of the crash, the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Oladayo Amao, had directed that all efforts must be emplaced to rescue the pilot.

Accordingly, NAF Intelligence Surveillance Reconnaissance, ISR, platforms and helicopter gunships provided close air support to NAF Special Forces and Nigerian Army troops who were able to locate the crash site and the pilot’s parachute, while also combing nearby locations for any sign of the pilot. 

While in hiding, Flight Lieutenant Dairo confirmed that the presence of NAF aircraft within the vicinity of the crash site helped in scaring the bandits who were after him, thus enabling him to find refuge and escape to a safe location.

The Airforce however assured that despite the setback of yesterday’s crash, the NAF remains committed towards fulfilling Mr. President’s mandate as well as other constitutional roles assigned to it.

 The statement said the willingness, readiness and tested ability of the NAF remains unshaken and unwavering as it continues to carry out its assigned roles.

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