Missing NAF jet feared crashed, pilots’ whereabouts unknown, says Air Force

The Nigerian Air Force has said that the Alpha Jet aircraft (NAF475) that went off the radar days ago may have crashed with the cause unknown.

The jet which had two pilots on board was declared missing by the Air Force on March 31.

A statement by the Air Force on Friday gave the names of the pilots as Flight Lieutenant John Abolarinwa and Flight Lieutenant Ebiakpo Chapele, adding that their whereabouts remain unknown.

The statement was signed by Director of Public Relations and Information, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet and titled ‘Update On Missing NAF Alpha Jet Aircraft.’

It read, “Intelligence report gathered by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) indicates that the Alpha Jet aircraft (NAF475) that went off the radar with 2 crew members on board on 31 March 2021 might have crashed.

“The cause of the crash as well as the whereabouts of the 2 pilots remain unknown. The pilots are Flight Lieutenant John Abolarinwa and Flight Lieutenant Ebiakpo Chapele.

“Extensive search and rescue efforts are still ongoing by NAF surveillance aircraft as well as NAF Special Forces and Nigerian Army troops on the ground.

“At this point, the NAF is not ruling out anything regarding the incident. It however remains hopeful that the crew would soon be found and rescued.”

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