NSIB receives US preliminary report on helicopter crash that killed Wigwe, others - Ripples Nigeria
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NSIB receives US preliminary report on helicopter crash that killed Wigwe, others



Access Bank declares N14.46b payable to shareholders in 2018

The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) has received the preliminary report on the helicopter accident that killed the Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings, Herbert Wigwe, and three others from the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

Wigwe, his wife, son and a former Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group (NGX), Abimbola Ogunbanjo, died when an Airbus Helicopter EC130B4 crashed on February 9 near the California-Nevada border in the US.

The Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, NSIB, Mrs. Bimbo Oladeji, disclosed this in a statement on Saturday in Lagos.

She said the NSIB following the crash offered its full cooperation to the NTSB, the lead agency investigating the accident.

According to Oladeji, initial findings showed that the helicopter suffered catastrophic damage upon impact, resulting in fragmentation of major components.

She said: “The preliminary report on the Airbus Helicopter EC130B4, registered as N130CZ and operated by Orbic Air, LLC, under Part 135 regulations for on-demand flights, outlines crucial details surrounding the tragic incident.

“Departing from Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California, the helicopter embarked on a journey to Boulder City Municipal Airport in Nevada via Palm Springs International Airport.

“However, during its flight, adverse weather conditions characterised by rain and a mix of snow were encountered as reported by witnesses.

“Reports from law enforcement and eyewitnesses also indicated that several individuals travelling along Interstate 15 (I-15) observed a ‘fireball’ in the area, prompting calls to emergency services.

“Subsequently, the wreckage of the helicopter was discovered in the high, mountainous desert and scrub-brush-covered terrain near Halloran Springs, California.

“Analysis of the accident site revealed a scattered debris pattern about 300ft along a 120° magnetic, indicating a trajectory from an initial impact point which was a 1.5ft deep, 12ft long, and 10ft wide ground crater.

READ ALSO: 15 things you probably never knew about late Access Holdings CEO, Herbert Wigwe,

“Containing fragments of the right landing gear skid, cockpit wiring, and cabin floor structure. The right skid step protruded upward at a 45° angle at the extreme eastern edge of the ground crater.

“All major helicopter components were identified at the accident site. The helicopter’s fuselage was fragmented, and the cockpit and cabin were destroyed.

“Some debris and vegetation displayed thermal damage, indicative of the extent of the collision’s force. The flight control tubes and linkages leading up to the flight control servos were fragmented and continuity could not be verified.

“All three pitch control links were attached at the swashplate and blade pitch change horns. The main rotor blades were fragmented and broomstrawed, and the blade sleeves and tips were present.

“Data analysis utilised sources including automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data, operator personnel reports, and eyewitness accounts to reconstruct the flight path and sequence of events leading to the accident.”

The spokesperson said NSIB, in accordance with the prerogative granted by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO’s) Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, had the right to access investigation information.

“On aviation accidents and incidents involving Nigerian-registered aircraft or Nigerian citizens in 193 countries that are member states of the ICAO.

“The NSIB has been actively engaging with the NTSB since the beginning of the investigation,” she added.

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