Plane Crash: Accident Investigation Bureau To Publish Report

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There are strong indications that the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, might any moment from now release the report of at least four air crashes that occurred in the country in recent times.

Information gathered from a source close to the Ministry of Aviation yesterday revealed that the impending reports were those that occurred between 2006 and 2010.

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The source, who doesn’t want to be named because he was not authorised to speak on the issue, confided in our correspondent that among reports that would be released to the public in the next few days by the bureau are those of Odengene Air Shuttle, AOS, helicopter crash in Warri on November 10, 2006.

Also, the Bristow Helicopter crash of August 3, 2007, would be released by the agency, while the accident involving Wings Aviation aircraft of March 15, 2008, would also be released to the public by the accident investigator.

Another report expected to be made public is the one involving Aero Contractors on August 21, 2010.

However, AIB had at different times released interim reports on some of the accidents, but the final impending reports would be the last that would be released on the accidents by the bureau.

The source told our correspondent that Minister of Aviation, Chief Osita Chidoka, had mandated the accident investigator to publish the reports before May 29, 2015, handover date.

The source explained that with the release, some of the crashes, which had claimed hundreds of lives in recent time, would be in the public domain while their causes and prevention would be worked upon by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, and operating carriers in the sector.

Spokesman for AIB, Mr. Tunji Oketunbi, in a telephone interview with our correspondent confirmed that the agency was planning to release some accident reports, but declined to speak further when questioned by our correspondent.

He said: “It is true that we are planning to release some accident reports, but we are still finalising arrangements. This is a continuous exercise in AIB.”

It would be recalled that the AOS Helicopter carrying four people crashed on November 10 on the outskirts of Warri in southern Nigeria, killing one person while others were seriously injured.

Military officials on the scene had said the owner of OAS was on board when the helicopter went down and while the names of passengers were not released, officials did say two of the passengers were foreigners.

On Bristow Helicopters crash, the helicopter, a Bell 412 EP with the registration 5N-BIQ, had crashed into an Exxon Mobil oil export terminal at Qua Iboe Terminal Akwa Ibom state.

The Bristow Chief Executive Officer, CEO, Bill Chiles had announced the death during a morning conference call with analysts to discuss the company’s earnings. The only soul onboard was the pilot, Cleighton Brown, 44, a resident of Spain who carried a British passport.

On the Wings Aviation, the aircraft, a Beechcraft 1900D with registration marks 5N-JAH was declared missing for over six months before it was later found on August 30 of the same year by hunters at Bushi Village in Obanlinku Local Government Area of Cross River state.

AIB in its interim report had revealed that the aircraft had filed flight plan from Lagos – POTGO – Enugu direct to Bebi airstrip.

AIB emphasised that the aircraft departed Lagos at 0636 hrs and it was expected to arrive at Bebi airstrip at 0825hrs, but the crew deviated from their initial flight plan estimating IKROP 0806 hrs. The aircraft contacted Port Harcourt, Enugu and Bebi control tower before contact was finally lost.

AIB in its investigation had said that the crew experienced navigation problem en-route Bebi, received several terrain warnings from the Ground Proximity Warning System, EGPWS, and subsequently crashed with the three persons on board fatally injured.

Several attempts to locate the aircraft wreckage proved abortive until 30th August, 2008 when hunters found the wreckage in a mountainous valley of Bushi village in Obanlinku Local Government area of Cross River State.

The interim report added, “The wreckage was contained within a sizeable area in a wooded valley with several trees typical of a thick forest. The main parts of the aircraft i.e fuselage, engines, landing gears, tail section were found. The main fuselage and wings suffered severe fire damage. The trees served as breakers and helped in confining the break – ups though it was a high speed impact.

“The fuselage and wings were severely burnt and charred. Most of the trees around the main wreckage had their branches broken and effects of fire damage were seen extensively on many trees. Shortly before the aircraft crashed, it had a fuel endurance of three and half hours signifying there were several gallons of fuel on board the aircraft before the accident.

Culled from: National Mirror

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