Abuja - The Nigerian Air Force has named Sqn. Ldr. Benjamin Ado and Flying Officer Ayuba Layelmenson as the two pilots who died in the aircraft in Niamey.
The two officers were part of the Air Force contingent in the African-led International Support Mission in Mali stationed in Niamey, Niger Republic.
This is contained in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja and signed by Commodore Yusuf Anas, the Director, Air Force Information and Public Relations.
It stated that Ado hailed from Konshisha Local Government Area of Benue and was a member of the 50th Regular Course of the Nigerian Defence Academy.
He was an instructor pilot who had flown many aircraft types in the inventory of NAF, as well as Pakistan and the United States of America.
The senior officer was married and blessed with a child.
The statement also noted that Layelmenson hailed from Azare in Shongom Local Government Area of Gombe State and was a member of the 57th Regular Course in the Defence Academy.
He graduated from Hellenic Air Force Academy in July 2011 and was commissioned into the Air Force as a pilot officer.
Layelmenson was a qualified squadron pilot in the Alpha Jet before the unfortunate incident and was survived by his parents.
The release also stated that the Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Alex Badeh, had paid a condolence visit to the families of the deceased officers in Kaduna and Kanji.
It quoted Badeh as saying: "I have come on behalf of the entire Air Force and a grateful nation to condole you on the tragic loss of your loved ones. May their souls rest in perfect peace."
It said the Air Chief also used the visit to interact with officers of the 99 Air Combat Training Group and urged them to remain steadfast in their duties.