The pilot of the Nigerian Air Force Intelligence Reconnaissance Aircraft which crashed in Abuja, on Sunday, complained of engine failure barely moments after takeoff.
A source at the control tower revealed this to The Punch on the strict condition of anonymity.
The official said there been regular flights from Abuja to Minna since the abduction of the Kangara students last week.
The source said, “The aircraft was on its way to Minna. Moments after, on getting to Bassa Local Government Area, he informed the control tower that he had experienced an engine failure.
“He was advised to return to the Abuja airport immediately but it crash-landed.”
When asked if the identities of those on board had been ascertained, the official said they were in the process of doing so.
“There have been frequent flights to Niger State since the abduction of the schoolkids. Last week some ministers also flew. Soon, we will know their identities,” he said.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, also confirmed this in a tweet.