31 Oct 2012

Fresh facts emerged on Tuesday about how governor Danbaba Suntai of Taraba state ignored professional advice to fly the Cessna 208 which eventually led to a crash at the Yola airport.

According to reports, the governor’s hired pilot had earlier warned him against flying to the airport when it was clear they could not meet with the visual flight mandatory for that type of aircraft which is not in the instrument flight category.

The governor who obtained a private pilot licence from the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, reportedly jettisioned the advice and instead took control of the cockpit with the said pilot refusing to join the ill-fated flight because of the obvious risk.

Yola airport is not in the category of airports where flights can be operated for 24 hours because it is not well-equipped which makes it a no go area after 6.00 p.m.

Only Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt are on 24-hour flight operations.

According to the country’s aviation policy, small jets like the Cessna plane Governor Suntai piloted on the day in question was only allowed to fly based on visuals from morning to 6.00 p.m. daily.

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