Boko Haram: Five die as Air Force helicopter crashes

5 killed in Airforce chopper crash in Borno

By Ronald Mutum

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) yesterday said five crew members on board an MI-35 helicopter that crashed during combat in the North East, are dead.

Air Force spokesman, Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola in a statement said, “It is with a heavy heart that I announce the death of the five crew members who were on board the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) Mi-35M Helicopter which crashed in combat yesterday, 2 January 2019.”

He said they died while providing close air support to troops of 145 Battalion, Damasak in Borno State. Daramola did not state the cause of the crash.

He said the deceased personnel remains have been recovered and taken to Maiduguri.

He gave their names as: “Flight Lieutenant Perowei Jacob – Pilot in Command, Flight Lieutenant Kaltho Paul Kilyofas – Co-Pilot, Sergeant Auwal Ibrahim – Flight Technician, Lance Corporal Adamu Nura – Gunner and Aircraftman Meshack Ishmael – Gunner.”

He said, “These gallant fallen heroes made the supreme sacrifice in the service of our Fatherland, for which the NAF, and indeed the entire Nation, owes them an unending debt of gratitude.”

He also said, “The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on behalf all officers, airmen, airwomen and civilian staff of the NAF, commiserates with the families of the five fallen heroes and prays that the Almighty grants their souls peaceful repose.”

Daramola said the incident occurred about 7:45pm.

The MI-35 Super Hind Attack Helicopter was only recently inducted into the Nigeria Air Force (NAF) fighter platforms in 2016.

Two new MI-35 Helicopters purchased from Russia in April, 2018 were inducted into the platform of the Air Force at the end of NAF day celebrations in May, 2018 at Makurdi, Benue State.

The retail price (MSRP) of the helicopter was quoted at $36 million which converts to N13, 122,000,000 by the current exchange rate, Daily Trust gathered yesterday.

The modern MI-35M helicopter is said to have night capabilities in comparison to the earlier version and also has higher performance, more endurance and it is fitted with glass cockpit to enhance situational awareness during operations.

The Minister of Defence, Mansur Mohammad Dan-Ali during the ceremony stated that the induction of the Mi-35M helicopters into the inventory of the NAF said it would add impetus to the combat efficiency of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

The NAF took delivery of the first batch of two brand new Mi-35M helicopters in December 2016, following which the helicopters were inducted and deployed to the counterinsurgency and other internal security operations in the country.

The list cost, also known as manufacturer suggested retail price (MSRP) of the helicopter was quoted at $36 million which converts to N13, 122,000,000 by the current exchange rate, Daily Trust gathered yesterday.

The modern MI-35M helicopter is said to have night capabilities in comparison to the earlier version and also has higher performance, more endurance and it is fitted with glass cockpit to enhance situational awareness during operations.

Daily Trust

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