AIB explains cause of Osinbajo’s helicopter crash in final report


…releases three other reports


Posted by Sade Williams 


The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), on Tuesday, released four Air accidents reports, including that involving the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Logo State in 2919.


The AIB Commissioner, Engr. Akin Olateru, in a Zoom meeting, noted that the accident  involving an Agusta-Westland AW139 Helicopter operated by Caverton Helicopters Limited with Nationality and Registration Marks 5N-CML, which occurred at Kabba Stadium, Kogi State on 2nd February, 2019, was among other 11 persons, carrying the VP of Nigeria.


He explained that at the stadium in Kabba, Kogi State, at about 14:34 h, the helicopter experienced a hard landing on the right main landing gear and rolled over onto its right side, adding that all persons on board were evacuated uninjured.


According to Olateru, who explained  the causal factor, ‘the flight crew encountered a brownout condition during the hover to land, which led to the loss of external visual references, spatial disorientation and loss of situational awareness resulting in a misjudgement of distance and ground clearance, as the flight crew tried to control the helicopter’s movements for landing. The helicopter landed hard and rolled over on its right side’. 


He said the contributory factors weye inappropriate landing technique used, non-adherence to company procedures for known or anticipated brownout condition during landing and lack of risk assessment, limited landing site preparation and planning prior to commencement of the flight.


“Eleven days after the accident, the AIB issued two Interim Safety Recommendations, one to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and one to Caverton Helicopters. The required safety actions were initiated and implemented promptly” , he said.


Two Safety Recommendations were issued in the Final Report.

The AIB asked the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to conduct a Safety Management System (SMS) audit of Caverton Helicopters, adding that the SMS audit by the NCAA should ensure that Caverton Helicopters has implemented the Immediate Safety Recommendation 2019-003, the NCAA All Operators Letter (FSG 002), and the recommendations documented in the Caverton Helicopters internal SMS investigation of this accident.


The NCAA audit should also ascertain that the Caverton Helicopters internal SMS processes in the maintenance activities require the establishment of the reasons/causes of equipment failure/malfunction (reference is made to the failures of the Multi-Purpose Flight Recorder (MPFR) and the unavailability of the reasons of the failures).


The AIB also said the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) should
Consider whether the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) Unit should be involved in the coordination and preparation of all high profile Executive VIP mission (flights) in order to ensure that all Executive VIP flights are conducted in accordance with the PAF Unit’s Standards and in line with its approved operating procedures.


Other reports released on Tuesday include: Report on the Serious Incident involving Bombardier DHC-8-Q400 aircraft owned and operated by Aero Contractors Company of Nigeria Ltd. with nationality and registration marks 5N-BPU, which occurred at FL240, 80 NM to Lagos on 18th April 2017. 


Report on the Serious Incident involving a Diamond DA-42 aircraft with Nationality and Registration Marks 5N-BNH owned and operated by the International Aviation College, which occurred on Runway 23 Ilorin International Airport on 1st of May, 2019.


Report on the Serious Incident involving a Diamond DA-40 aircraft with Nationality and Registration Marks 5N-BRM owned and operated by International Aviation College, which occurred on Runway 23, Ilorin International Airport On 27th of March, 2014.


Olateru said a total of 32 Final Reports have been released since January 2017, which makes up 62.7% of AIB’s total of 51 Final Reports released since inception (2007).


“The 106 safety recommendations issued since 2017 account for 56.7% of the total 187 issued since inception. Before the end of the year, we should be able to release an additional six Final Reports to the public” , he added.


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