LAGOS—The Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, yesterday, released preliminary report on the helicopter crash involving the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and members of his team.
The helicopter, Agusta AW139 with registration number: 5N-PEJ and serial number: 31389 owned and operated by Caverton Helicopters crash landed in Kabba, Kogi State with twelve passengers on board, including the Vice President.
According to the initial reports released in Lagos by the AIB Commissioner, Engineer Akin Olateru, the said helicopter had a valid certificate of airworthiness.
The report revealed that “Caverton Helicopters Limited did not conduct site survey of the landing field prior to this flight. Olateru said: “Caverton Helicopters Limited did not carry out safety and risk assessment of the landing area prior to dispatch of the flight. The helicopter hovered to land in a brownout condition.
“Drug and alcohol test for the crew could not be carried out. The flight crew were properly licensed and adequately rested to operate the flight. The Captain was the Pilot Flying (PF), and the Co-pilot was the Pilot Monitoring (PM). The take-off, climb out, cruise and approach phases were normal.”
The report also said that during cruise at 5,000 ft and at about 10 minutes to touchdown, “the crew noticed the flight recorder light on the Crew Alerting System (CAS) come ON. Quick Reference Handbook items were accomplished. Another helicopter operated by Nigeria Police Force (Bell 412; 5N-PEJ) landed ahead of NGR002. The crew briefed on landing in brownout and used the Company’s Brownout Landing Procedures.”
“During the landing, at about 50 ft to touchdown, a heavy brownout enveloped the helicopter and the crew lost visual contact with the ground. The Co-Pilot called out radio altimeter 35, 30, 25, 20, 15 and no more. At about 14:34 h, the helicopter touched down hard on the right main landing gear and rolled over to the right. The crew carried out Emergency Landing Procedures which included immediate engines shutdown, fuel shut OFF, battery switch OFF, and generators switch OFF. All occupants of the helicopter were evacuated uninjured. However, the helicopter was substantially damaged.”