AIB Experts Head For São Tomé and Principe

AIB Experts Head For São Tomé and Principe
Following the crash of a An-74 aircraft which occurred last week on the West African island of São Tomé and Principe,  a team of investigators from the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, Nigeria have departed for the country  to commence investigation into the incident. This was revealed by Tunji Oketunbi, Head, Public Affairs of AIB. He disclosed that invitation was extended to Nigeria’s AIB by   São Tomé and Principe through the Banjul Accord Group São Tomé and PrincipeAccident Investigation Agency, BAGAIA which is linked to the International Civil Aviation Organisation. All expenses associated with the travel, he said, will be borne by the government of São Tomé and Principe. The ill fated An-74 was said to be “performing its takeoff run in favourable weather on runway 29 at Sao Tome when at some point one or multiple birds collided with the aircraft.” The plane was on a return flight to Europe after it arrived at Sao Tome from Stavanger (Norway), Luxemburg and Ghardaia (Algeria). Although the aircraft was badly damaged, all the six crew members survived with injuries. In a statement, Oketunbi described the invitation as  a “first of its kind” in AIB’s history and coming on the heels of the rising performance profile of the Bureau and its determination to be preeminently relevant as a leader in accident investigation across the Sub Saharan region.”
Akin Olateru,  the Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of AIB,  said the agency was pleased to be called upon to assist a sister African country, and that AIB was  living up to its billing as a pacesetter in the sub region.”We are very pleased to be invited by BAGAIA to carry out this investigation, which is in recognition of, and an explicit expression of confidence in our capabilities and professionalism. Without gainsaying, this opportunity to serve will further build AIB’s capacity as it provides a platform for practical learning, develops and enhances the skills set and knowledge base of our accident investigators, thereby increasing competency and promoting professionalism across board,” he said, adding “We are very mindful of BAGAIA’s expectation of us, and  from individual African countries alike; we cannot afford to let them down.”
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