In the history of Nigerian aviation, a large number of air crashes involving passenger planes have been recorded. The Kano crash of BOAC Argonaut in 1956 may have been the beginning of all the unfortunate air crashes that followed suit.
While some were as fatal as claiming the lives of the entire passengers and crew, some recorded notable survivals.
Below is a timeline of plane crashes in Nigeria from 1956 to date.
A British Overseas Airways Corporation four-engined Canadair C-4 Argonaut airliner register G-ALHE crashed into a tree on departure from Kano Airport on June 4, 1956. Three of the seven crew members and 29 of the 38 passengers died, while two crew and two passengers sustained serious injuries.
On November 20, 1969, Nigeria Airways BAC VC10 crashlanded, killing 87 people on board.
January 22, 1973, Royal Jordanian Airlines flight 707 carrying 171 Nigerian Muslims returning from Mecca and five crewmen crashed in Kano, killing all on board.
March 1, 1978, Nigeria Airways F28-1000 crashed in Kano, killing 16 people.
November 28, 1983, Nigeria Airways F28-1000 crashed near Enugu, killing 53 on board.
December 1988, Skypower Brandeironte aircraft overshot Ilorin Airport’s runway, killing all passengers onboard.
February 24, 1990, a British Helicopter crashed in Eket, Akwa Ibom State, killing all nine people on board.
On May 21, 1991, A Cessna Citation 550 of Ashaka Cement, Hombe, crashed, killing all onboard.
June 26, 1991, An Okada Air Bac-11 crashed in Sokoto, killing three persons.
8 September 26, 1992, a Nigerian Air Force AC-130 plane crashed minutes after take-off from Lagos. All 200 onboard perished.
June 24, 1995, Harka Air Services Tupolev 34 crashed on landing in Lagos, killing 16.
November 13, 1995, Nigeria Airways Boeing 737-2F9 crashed on landing in Kaduna, killing nine.
January 17, 1996, Ibrahim Abacha, son of the former Head of State, Sani Abacha, was killed in a plane crash. A group “United Front for Nigeria’s Liberation” claimed responsibility for the crash.
November 7, 1996, a Nigerian Aviation Development Corporation Airline Boeing 727-231 flying from Port Harcourt to Lagos with 142 passengers and 9 crew members crashed on landing, plunging into the lagoon with all onboard killed.
January 31, 1997, Sky Power Express Airways Embraer 110PIA crashed on landing in Yola, killing five.
September 12, 1997, NAF Dornier 228-212 in Nguru, Borno State ran into a ditch during take-off, none of the 10 occupants died.
January 5, 2000, SkyPower Express Airways Bandeirante 110P1A crashed on landing in Abuja, killing 17.
October 26, 2000: Dornier Aircraft plunged into a thick bush near the Niger Delta, and six occupants were injured.
March 14, 2002, a helicopter belonging to the Joint Task Force crashed in Kabong, Jos, killing all on board including four senior police officers.
On May 4, 2002, EAS Airlines’ BAC 1-11-500 with 105 people on board crashed in a densely populated suburb of Kano, killing 76 on board and 72 on the ground bringing total casualties to 148.
November 30, 2003, a Cargo aircraft of Hydro Cargo, Brussels, Belgium, crash-landed.
March 6, 2004, an Aenail spray aircraft with registration number 5NBEF belonging to Berfieex Nigeria Ltd, crashed at the Bauchi Airport.
July 26, 2004, Pan African Airlines’ helicopter crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in Eacraros, Delta State, killing four persons onboard.
December 29, 2004, a Boeing 727 of Chanchangi Airlines belly-landed at the MMA.
December 29, 2004, a Kenya Airlines aircraft crashed- landed at the MMA due to a gear fault.
January 28, 2005, a Nigeria Air Force fighter plane crashed into farmland in Yar Kanya, Kano State.
February 25, 2005, ADC’s B73 aircraft had its tyre burnt while landing at Yola Airport.
March 27, 2005, a Boeing 737 belonging to Bellview had one of its engines caught fire.
June 11/12, 2005, a Boeing 727-200 aircraft belonging to the domestic Chachangi Airlines overshot the runway at Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos while yet another overshot the runway at the airport in Jos in central Nigeria a day earlier.
June 24, 2005, a Russian aircraft belonging to Harka Air crash- landed at the MMA, and all the people on board died
July 6, 2005, an Air France A330 plane crashed into a herd of cattle at Port Harcourt airport, sustaining serious damage and killing many of the cows.
July 23, 2005, a Lufthansa aircraft crash-landed at Lagos airport and was badly damaged, but no life was lost.
On October 22, 2005, a twin Engine Boeing 737, belonging to Bellview Airline crashed in Lisa Village, Ogun State, and killed all the 117 passengers on board.
December 10, 2005, a Port Harcourt bound Sosoliso Airlines flight 1145 crash-landed in Port Harcourt Airport, killing 109 passengers including 60 students of Jesuit Loyola College Abuja.
September 17, 2006, an 18-seater Dornier 228 Air Force transport plane, carrying 15 senior army officers and three crewmembers crashed in Benue State, leaving only three survivors.
On October 29, 2006, Aviation Development Corporation Airline Boeing 737 with 104 on board crashed minutes after take-off from Abuja’s airport. All but 6 perished in the disaster.
November 10, 2006, a six-seater helicopter belonging to Odengene Air Shuttle crashed in Delta State, killing two people.
August 2, 2007, a Bristow-owned helicopter crashed inside ExxonMobil facility in Port Harcourt.
March 15, 2008, a Beechcraft 1900D plane marked 5N-JAH, belonging to Wing Aviation crashed in Cross River State. The wreckage was not found until six months after. All four crew members died.
March 8, 2011: HS-125 chartered aircraft crashed in Bauchi. No casualty.
March 14, 2012, a helicopter conveying the newly promoted Deputy Inspector General of Police, Haruna John, with three other senior police officers crashed in Jos. The Police helicopter was to convey the officers from Jos to Abuja and took off from the Jos prison field.
Sunday, June 3, 2012, the nation was thrown into mourning again as a Dana Airlines Flight 9J 992 carrying 153 passengers on board crashed into Iju-Ishaga, a densely populated residential area of Lagos, killing all passengers on board,
A Nigerian cargo plane, a day before, had attempted to take off from the Kotoka International Airport in Accra, Ghana, but crashed on Saturday night, killing 10 people and injuring an unspecified number of others.
Four months after, precisely October 25, the governor of Taraba State, Danbaba Suntai, and five of his aides narrowly escaped death when a Cessna 208 aircraft marked 5N-BMJ and piloted by Suntai, lost contact with the Yola Control Tower 38 miles to landing, after leaving Jalingo, the Taraba State capital and crashed into a hill in Adamawa.
December 15, 2012, the nation was again thrown into mourning with the news of four persons dead, including Governor Patrick Yakowa of Kaduna State and former National Security Adviser to the President, General Owoeye Azazi. They were reportedly burnt in a helicopter crash that occurred in the forest of the Okoroba community in Nembe local government of Bayelsa State.
October 3rd, 2013, an aircraft belonging to the Associated Airlines conveying the corpse of the former Ondo State governor crashed, minutes after take-off at the local wing of the Lagos Airport. The plane had 20 people onboard.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo escaped death on February 2, 2019, when his helicopter crash-landed in Kogi state. That was the second time his helicopter would crash land. In June 2017, he survived a similar accident when the chopper he was traveling in crash-landed shortly after taking off in Gwagawalada, Abuja.
February 22, 2021, Seven people on board a military aircraft died in a crash near Abuja. The plane was scheduled to conduct a surveillance mission in connection with an operation to rescue dozens of people kidnapped from a school in nearby Niger State.
On May 21, 2021, the NAF Beechcraft King Air Craft crashed en route to Kaduna International Airport from the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport. There were 11 occupants comprising 4 crew members and 7 passengers, including Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, who occupied the Chief of Staff position at the time. None of the victims survived the crash.
Four people narrowly escaped death on Tuesday after a helicopter crashed in the Oba Akran area of Ikeja, Lagos State on August 1, 2023. The incident occurred close to a branch of the United Bank for Africa in the area. The Lagos State Fire and Rescue Services confirmed the incident.