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Friday, 3 October 2014

How I Survived a Plane Crash-Ex-IG Mohammed Abubakar’ S Pilot Son,Jamil

On the 10th of May 2014,the pilot son of Nigeria’s immediate  past Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Abubakar, had a near death experience when he was involved in a plane crash in Niger Republic. The IRS Airline pilot opened up to YES International Magazine 
Oh! It will be nice to tell the story about the accident. But the thing is that I don’t want to disturb the investigation that is going on now. I will give you a few insights about the experience I faced during the whole accident. We left Bratislava in Slovakia. It is close to Austria. I think it is about 45 minute’s drive from Vietnam. We left on the 10th of May, 2014.
We took off about 10am or 9am. Sorry, I go blank sometimes. I cannot remember some details about what happened. We had some malfunction, which we noticed. Tokunbo, I cannot believe that I still find it difficult to remember everything. I knew when we got to between Niger and Nigeria; to get into Sokoto. I think before Kano. That was when we realized that we had problem. But unfortunately, we did not see any airport in Kano. And the thing that came to Captain Monye’s mind was a certain river that he had never seen before and he was like I have never seen this river before. He told me and I said are you sure? I was like what! I’ve never gone that route before. continue....

That was my first time on that route and it’s about 6 hours 30 minutes and Captain Monye had gone that route for almost twelve years. So, he was very familiar with that route. That was not his first flight. He has done lots; almost all the planes by IRS are done by him. So, when he said I don’t know where this river was, in my mind, I was like yeah! I don’t know where we are. 
Captain Monye confirmed to me he did not know this place. We are done, we are finished! In my mind, I said to him, Skip, are you sure you wanna look again? Then I started calling names of rivers that I know in Kano. Is this Triga dam, he said no. Triga dam is not like this; he described how Triga dam is. So, any way, we now decided to do what we can do to save our lives and the aircraft. Just like I told you, I really love to explain everything that happened, but I can’t because of the ongoing investigation. I don’t wanna jeopardize whatever it is and what they are actually doing. I really like to read about the investigation myself because I want to know what actually happened. So, you are basically missing most of the story. 
That is the truth. So, I said to him I think we have 45 minutes or so; I said to him, Skip, let’s do an emergency landing. He said to me, no, don’t worry, we will find a field to land or we will find the nearest airport to land. I was like okay; so we kept flying. 50 minutes or so. I said Skip, let’s do an emergency landing. He said no, we will find a field to land. I said to him, Skip, we are going to die and he said we are not going to die. Then, he left me in the flying deck. He told me then that I was flying. He left, then he came back. When he came back, I said to him, Skip, I’ve been trying to contact Sokoto and Kano, but I could not. Only him had radio and I cannot talk to anybody else. He kept talking to Kano. He was telling them everything and for about 15 minutes or so. He told me he was going to be back again. 
When he left, I didn’t see him for about five minutes. I was like, if this guy does not come back in the next five minutes, I am going to do this landing myself. When he came back, I said Skip, let us land and he said we are going to find a field. I started looking outside because my eyes are good. Even before we realized anything was happening, we were coming down. He said to me, Jamil, you know your eyes are very good, I want you to start looking for a field.

 So, I was looking. I didn’t see anything. When we realized that field was really not there, he said to me I want you to keep looking outside and let me know what you see. I kept looking; I couldn’t see any. Anyway, when he left and I didn’t see him, I decided by myself that in the next 5 minutes if this guy doesn’t come back, I am going to do the landing. He came back. When he came back, first thing he said to me was time for us to make a decision. I said now you are talking to me, Skip. Then, he went to where we were going to land. You know I was looking outside and I found the field that I wanted us to land. I said to him, that is the field we are going to land.
He said are you sure? I was like yes; Skip, I like that field; that is where we are going to land. We now did the whole procedure. We did everything that we were supposed to do. I chose the field. Serious challenges. We landed. As we touched the floor, the plane hit… There is a heap of sand on the field. Of course, it’s a rice farm. The nose of the plane hit the heap of sand, broke off. As it broke off, then it busted. Then, it also broke the flap. All the flaps on the wings were broken. The landing gear came off and it busted the No. 2 engine. The plane now turned to the left. There was a big river in front of us. We were shifting to the left side. Now, everything I am telling you, I had no seatbelt on. Because during our trouble shoot, I had to stand up to check the panel behind to see if there is any problem. I went back to put on all my phones and I heard nothing; no signal, no service. Then, MTN was telling me contact your service provider, your roaming has been blocked, contact your service provider. So, I couldn’t do anything, I could not make call, I could not go on internet. If we could go on internet, I would have seen a map that will show us exactly where we were. We were literally lost; we didn’t know where we were. We actually shifted to the left side. The arm of the chair was actually what held me. If not, I definitely would have jumped. So, when the plane finally stopped, I opened the window and I dashed out.
 When I dashed out, I thought I saw him by my side. But he was not by my side. He was still inside the plane. He tried to open his own window, but the handle broke. He couldn’t come out from his window. He had to come out from my own window. When I stopped and I turned around, I wanted to jump into the river that was in front of us. We were so lucky that God was with us; that the plane actually turned to the side. The nose and the flaps got broken. If not, we would have fallen into the river and the river is very deep. I think the river is from River Niger.

When we landed, the engine was still running. It sounded so hard as if the plane was going to blow. I saw Skip coming out from my window. He landed on his head, then I ran to him. Then, I give him a hug. He cannot even remember. But the truth is that he was so calm inside the flight. We were so calm. Of course, I made up my mind when I went to the bathroom to pee. I was like God, this is the worst that can happen; death! There is nothing more. And there is no need to panic. When we came back, we were very calm. God’s grace; that is the only thing that saved our lives. We didn’t panic about anything. All the decision we made was on point.

Everything just went exactly how it was supposed to go. That was the first time in my life that I heard every warning that I used to hear on the scene when doing stimulation, to see how we can remember emergency procedures. That was the first time in my life that I had seen everything come to reality. That was facing a real life situation scenario or circumstance, whichever one you choose. It was like a dream, but it was a reality. It is just that there was no pain. I was literally feeling numb. I didn’t have any emotional expression. I can’t describe how I was feeling. I don’t know if I was feeling sad or happy or angry. Actually, I didn’t know what I was feeling. I was just there. It was just a surprise to me. So, the plane stopped. I saw Skip.

We made a decision to go back to the plane and switch the engine off, so it doesn’t blow. And even if the plane blows, the village will be safe. Of course, we landed close to civilization. I told Skip it is better we land close to civilization so that if anything happens, at least, people will see us instead of landing somewhere else. Anyway, the villagers started coming. The first set of villagers came; when they came, I said to them help. I was outside of the plane now. Skip went back to do a drill. There is a drill we normally do. I was like where is this state? They said this is Kwasi Bosso in Bosso. The name of the state is Bosso. The name of the village is Kwasi Bosso. No electricity; they don’t have anything.
Source: Miss Petite
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