The Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Pilot who died earlier today from the crash involving two F-7Ni, has been laid to rest in accordance with Islamic rites.
The late Pilot, Squadron Leader Bello Mohammed Baba-Ari, was said to have died due to complications from injuries sustained from his ejection from the jet after the crash.
Squadron Leader Baba-Ari was born in Maiduguri on September 2, 1986 and hails from Fika Local Government Area of Yobe State. He attended the Crescent Nursery/ Primary shcool , Lagos from 1991 to 1996 and the Nigerian Military School Zaria from 1996 to 2002.
He was admitted into the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), as a member of the 55th Regular Course on September 29, 2003 and was commissioned to the rank of Pilot Officer on September 29, 2007. He holds a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering from the DNA. He was promoted to the rank of Squadron Leader on September 29, 2016.
The Senior Officer attended several courses which include; Abi-initio Flying Training on Air Beetle-18 at 401 Flying Training School Kaduna; Undergraduate Pilot Training Course, Lackland Air Force Base, San-Antionio, United States of America; Simulator Training for F-7Ni Pilots in Pakistan, and Pilot Life Support and Personal Protection Equipment on F-7Ni aircraft at AVIC Aerospace Life -Support Industries in China.
Also, he held several appointments such as; Squadron Pilot at Air Task Force, Operation Lafia Dole; Acting Commander 101 Air Defence Group, and Squadron Pilot 101 Air Defence Group.
Meanwhile, the Chief of Air Staff(CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, has commiserated with the officers and men of the Nigerian Air Force, over the unfortunate incident.
He however declared, that the Nigerian Air Force will investigate the cause of the incident so as to avoid a reoccurence.
He said, “It is with a heavy heart that I commiserate with officers, airmen and airwomen of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) over the unfortunate incident involving 2 F-7Ni aircraft earlier today. The aircraft were flown by 3 of the most skilled and experienced pilots on the aircraft-type.
“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.
“@NigAirForce, which has flown over 30,000 hours in the Northeast in the last one year, will painstakingly investigate the cause of the accident in order to avoid a reoccurrence” he ended.
Also, the Director of Public Relations and Information(DOPRI), Air Commodore Ibikunle Daramola, described Baba-Ari as 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” he wrote on his Twitter handle.
The late Senior Officer was married and blessed with children.