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Faces in Bellview Flight 210 ...plus the heart-breaking story of the pilot

Posted by Casmir Igbokwe on 2005/10/26 | Views: 5941 |

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Faces in Bellview Flight 210 ...plus the heart-breaking story of the pilot


MAN claims to be superior to other animals. To an extent, that is true. But there are certain characteristics that some other animals possess which man, with all his claim to wisdom and superiority, does not have.

MAN claims to be superior to other animals. To an extent, that is true. But there are certain characteristics that some other animals possess which man, with all his claim to wisdom and superiority, does not have.


Birds of the air, for instance, have wings and can fly as high as man will never imagine doing. To counter birds, perhaps, the superior beings built machines, gave them iron wings and called them airplanes.


These planes fly higher than the birds and take human beings wherever they want to be in the world.


With this, man enthuses that he has conquered nature, that he has conquered his environment. But because manís creation is a scientific contraption; and because it was not in the original design of God that man should fly, the flying iron, sometimes, disappoints science and disappoints man.


That was what happened on Saturday, October 22, 2005. About 117 people entered the scientific bird called Boeing 737 belonging to Bellview Airlines. The plane took off from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at about 8.30pm, headed for Abuja. But three minutes after take-off, traffic controllers lost touch with the airplane. The next news about the plane and its occupants came the following day with the confirmation that the metal bird had crashed. Wailings took over. Confusion waved its tail as agony engulfed the land.


Among the occupants of the plane was Captain Lambert Imasuen, the pilot in whose hands the destinies of the other 116 passengers rested. His death came at a time when his friends and relatives thought that the man had cheated that ultimate reality of existence.






















Waziri


Igwe


Sokenu M. Mrs


Udeka John


Argungu Abubakr M.


Born in Benin Edo State, on December 8, 1956, Imasuen had a brush with death sometime in May 2003. He felt he was being threatened by some enemies and sought police protection.


The police responded then by attaching one Sergeant Ogboh to him as his escort. But this did not deter the assailants. As Imasuen was reportedly going to his business premises, the assassins struck. Imasuen escaped, but Ogboh did not. He died.


Soon after this incident, the pilot ran into another ambush laid by the assailants. Their gunshots shattered his lips. A finger on his right hand was not spared as it was removed. Doctors were said to have cut off part of his forehead epidermis to stitch the remaining part of his mouth.


The Bellview Flight 210 pilot had worked with Okada and Kabo Airlines some years ago. He was reported to have resigned after a near mishap in 1991 and took his services to FAN Milk Company in Lagos. There, he worked as the Commercial Manager. About two years ago, the man returned to his first and major passion Ė flying.


He had adequately prepared himself for this flying profession. Among the schools he attended were Aeroservice Aviation Centre, Florida; Varig Facilities, Rio De Jainero; Aerlingus, Dublin; Flight Safety International, Moonachie; Airline Training Institute, California and the University of Ife, now Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, where he had a Masterís in Business Administration.


Imasuen first worked at Imani Aviation between 1983 and 1986 as a First Officer/Captain. He later worked variously at Okada Airline, EAS Airline, Kabo Airline, and FAN Milk Plc. We gathered that this pilot was planning to leave Bellview for another airline in the next few weeks before this incident occurred.


Had Imasuen known, he would have resigned before now. But that is the mystery God has hidden from every man. In the morning, you may be bubbling with life; you may be threatening to deal with your neighbour for insulting you. But in the night, the ultimate reality may call.


Why then should man continue to kill his fellow man? Why should ritualists use their fellow human beings to make money? Why should humanity continue to revel in crime when it is a known fact that this world is not our home?


In this moment of grief, we can only commiserate with the bereaved families of the ill-fated flight. Take heart, be strong and may it never happen again!


The PUNCH, Wednesday, October 26, 2005

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