The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has announced its readiness to take the engine of the crashed private jet belonging to the late governor of Taraba State, Mr. Danbaba Suntai to its manufacturer in North America for what it calls a teardown.
A teardown is the only means available to precisely determine the damage state of a given structure.
The chief executive of AIB, Mr. Akin Olateru who disclosed this to newsmen in Lagos explained that the agency was cash-strapped hence the delay in taking the engine for analysis.
“We are about to take the aircraft engine that involved the former and late Governor of Taraba State, Mr. Danbaba Suntai in 2012 abroad. We are planning to send the aircraft engine back to the manufacturer for what we call engine tear down.
“It is one of the processes of accident investigation. Just to ship an engine abroad is a challenge. All these, we have to back it. Investigation is still on because there is no money to ensure we check the engine that it was in right situation before the crash,” he said.
He explained that the teardown of the engine was necessary to determine the state of the aircraft’s engine before the aircraft went down in Yola, Adamawa State.
It would be recalled that Suntai, together with five of his aides, was piloting a private jet when it crashed on October 25, 2012.
Late Suntai, who got his Private Pilot License (PPL) from the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), was certified for visual flight, which is from 6am to 6pm, but he still flew the aircraft up to 7pm when it crashed.
After a brief stay at the National Hospital, Abuja, Suntai who died on June 28, 2017 in Houston, Texas, in the United States, was initially flown to a hospital in Germany.
He was later transferred to Johns Hopkins Hospital in the State of Maryland, the United States.
After spending a few months there, he was admitted at a rehabilitation centre for trauma patients in Staten Island, New York.
He was flown back to Nigeria on August 25, 2013 after 10 months of medical treatment overseas following claims by his supporters that he was fit to govern.
But after weeks of political crisis in the state based on claims and counter-claims over his health status, it was revealed that the governor was not healthy enough to live in Nigeria without adequate treatment, or to govern a state.