Helicopter crash: AIB concludes investigation

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Seventy-Two hours after an Agusta AW 139 helicopter flying Vice President Yemi Osibanjo crashed in Kabba, Kogi State, aviation agencies, led by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) have concluded investigations on the accident.

The completion of the investigation came on the heels of gathering of evidence – inspection of the chopper wreckage at the crash site; interview of airline crew- pilots, engineers and other technical personnel, eyewitnesses account, laboratory testing of broken rotor and other parts of chopper.

A source closed to the AIB said the preliminary report of the accident will be released in two days, but he could not give probable cause(s) of the crash.

Another source close to Caverton Helicopters, mangers of the crshed chopper, said its insurers have arrived in the country to participate in the probe.

The source hinted that the insurers, sought permission from the AIB, for access to the crash site to carry out valuation of the wreckage and other relevant activity critical to the accident probe.

Besides the insurers, it was not clear as at yesterday if the helicopter manufacturer – Agusta will participate in the inquiry.

According to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO)-prescribed aviation regulations, the aircraft manufacturers ought to participate in the investigation.

The involvement will enable the manufacturer learn useful lessons in preventing a reoccurrence; if there are issues with the equipment design or other technical hitches.

AIB’s spokesman Tunji Oketumbi said the bureau has concluded preliminary investigation on the crash, which he described as “high profile”, because of the status of the occupant in the ill-fated chopper.

He said an accident could be so described, if the aircraft was carrying many influential people; or there are many multi-nationals.

He said that will not in any way put any pressure on the AIB, which has so far utilised its internal capacity to discharge the onerous task.




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