The Nigerian Airforce (NAF) has lost Squadron Leader Bello Baba-Ari after aircraft crash in the Katampe area of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on Friday.
He was in one of the two aircraft taking part in the rehearsals for the 58th Independence Day celebrations when they reportedly collided and a crash. Two other pilots survived the incident.
PRNigeria gathered that Baba-Ari was a fearless and courageous pilot who took delight in combat operations against Boko Haram terrorists. He was trained to engage in air-to-air combat while in the cockpit of a fighter aircraft.
Officers and men of the Nigerian Airforce are mourning his death being one of the finest fighter pilots that were actively engaged in counter-insurgency operations in North-East and other places.
Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Abubakar Tweets: “They had indeed been programmed for training on a higher performance aircraft that the NAF is about to acquire. All 3 were able to eject from the aircraft before the crash. Regrettably, however, one of them later died due complications from injuries sustained from the ejection.
“The officer, Squadron Leader Bello Baba-Ari, has been buried in accordance with Islamic rites. We pray the Almighty grants his soul eternal rest.”
Immediate Director of Information NAF, AVM OA Adesanya tweets: “A huge loss indeed. I knew the late pilot personally; he was a fine, young and humble gentleman who contributed immensely to the counterinsurgency operations in the Northeast and the fight against other forms of criminality in Nigeria. May his supreme sacrifice not be in vain.”
DOPRI, Air Comdr Ibikunle Daramola tweets: “The body of Squadron Leader Bello Mohamed Baba-Ari, the @NigAirForce pilot who died earlier today after ejecting from an F-7Ni aircraft, has been laid to rest in accordance with Islamic rites.
“Bello Baba-Ari was a gentleman officer, distinguished pilot, dedicated patriot and irrefutable hero of the war on terror. He will be sorely missed by @CAS_AMSadique and all members of @NigAirForce family. May the Almighty comfort his family and grant his soul eternal rest.”
NAF Official Press Release
Two Nigerian Air Force (NAF) F-7Ni aircraft taking part in the rehearsals for the aerial display to mark Nigeria’s 58th Independence Anniversary Celebrations were involved in an air incident today, 28 September 2018. The air mishap necessitated the 3 pilots to eject from their aircraft, which subsequently crashed in the general area of Katamkpe Hill. Regrettably, however, one of them later died due to complications from injuries sustained upon impact on the ground. Thankfully, there were no civilian casualties.
The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, on behalf of officers, airmen and airwomen of the NAF, commiserates with the family of the deceased officer. The CAS has also instituted an air crash investigation to determine the remote and immediate causes of the incident.
Director of Public Relations and Information
Nigerian Air Force