The Nigerian Police Force has declared that its helicopter was not involved in a crash in Bauchi State but rather had troubles landing due to poor visibility.
The Force Public Relations Officer, CP Frank Mba who spoke on the matter on Thursday said when the helicopter which took off from Abuja arrived in Bauchi, there was no light on the runway at the airport.
He added that the pilot tried to communicate with the control tower but nobody was there to respond after which he had to proceed to control landing during which process the tail rotor of the aircraft was damaged.
Mba was reacting to an earlier report in a statement by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) which revealed that a Bell 429 helicopter which belongs to the Nigerian Police crashed at the Bauchi airport around 7.30pm on the evening of Wednesday, 26th January.
The AIB report also said some of the six persons on board sustained some degrees of injury.
But the Police spokesperson said when the incident happened, no injury occurred to those onboard, and only the rotor of the aircraft which hit an obstruction was damaged with no major damage to the plane itself.
He said: “The Nigeria Police Helicopter, Bell 429 5NMDA, flying from Abuja to Bauchi on Wednesday, January 26, 2022, was involved in a controlled safe landing at the Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa International Airport, Bauchi.
“The aircraft did not crash as being reported in some sections of the media and none of the occupants sustained any injury whatsoever. All six (6) on board including the pilot and co-pilot are in good condition.
“Similarly, the aircraft, which was flown by one of the best Police Pilots, was professionally safe-landed with minor damage on the rear rotor as a result of obstacle at the landing spot. The incident occurred around 7:30PM (local time).
“The Inspector-General of Police, IGP Usman Alkali Baba, psc (+), NPM, fdc has commended the Police Air-Wing for their professionalism in safe-landing the aircraft and averting any serious air-mishap.
“He further noted that the Nigeria Police Air-wing – with a fleet of one fixed-wing aircraft, a citation jet and thirteen (13) helicopters – has got a strong history of air safety since its establishment in the year 1972.”