By Sonia Dibie
Former Wall Street pundit and investment banker, Chief Ken Iwelumo has called for more rigorous training and updating of knowledge for military pilots in the country.
Iwelumo, who commiserated with families of the late military heroes, said the crash of two Nigeria Air Force Bechcraft 350i King Air turboprop planes within a few months of each other gives one a lot of concerns. One at Abuja and now one at Kaduna. Both crashed while trying to land in poor weather.
“Beechcraft 350i King Air aircraft cost $8 million each and these aircraft were relatively new having been inducted into the Nigeria Air Force a few years ago. There are over 3,500 Beechcraft series 200 and 300 world wide making it the most popular corporate aircraft in the world.
“The most recent five crashes of the Beechcraft aircraft worldwide occured at takeoff. Both Nigerian crashes occured during attempted landings.
“The aircraft is sound and safe but very unforgiving when there is pilot error.
“My guess is that these crashes were as a result of poor pilot training. Pilots have to undergo continuous and rigorous trainings to reinforce their current knowledge and to update these skills.
“I am not so sure that our Air Force pilots and aircraft maintenance personnel are getting enough periodic rigorous training to improve upon and add to their skills given the current level of corruption and mismanagement Nigeria operates in.
“May the souls of all of those who perished in both crashes find eternal peace”, he said.
Iwelumo, a Wall Street guru, is a retired investment banker, who worked on Wall Street for 35 years for Bank of America/Merrill Lynch.
He rose to the rank of Senior Vice President, Investments before retiring in 2013.
His primary hobby and interest is Aviation and specifically, Aviation photography.
He has traveled to over 60 countries of the world in his years as a banker and have over 2,000 professional photos on display at Airliners.net., the premier site for first class aviation pictures.
Over 20 million people have viewed his works.