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AIB Attributes Osinbajo’s Helicopter Crash in Kogi to Poor Visibility, Pilot Error

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By Niyi Adeyi  

(AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has explained why an AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and 11 others on board crashed in the Kabba area of Kogi State, linking the accident to visibility challenge.

AIB disclosed this Tuesday in its final report.

The agency’s Commissioner, Mr. Akin Olateru, said the crew of the flight, which took off from the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport for Kabba, sighted the intended landing area – a football field – and “approached with the speed of 20 kt to about a 100 ft, and entered a hover to land”.

The report revealed: “at about 50 ft above ground level, a brownout set in. The flight crew lost visual contact with the ground and external surroundings” making the helicopter experienced a hard landing and subsequently rolling onto its right side’’.

The findings added that other contributory factors apart from the visual disorientation include “inappropriate landing technique used, non-adherence to company procedures for known or anticipated brownout conditions during landing, lack of risk assessment, limited landing site preparation and planning prior to commencement of the flight.”

AIB Commissioner therefore advised the Office of the National Security Adviser to “consider whether the Presidential Air Fleet 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.”

It also advised the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to conduct a Safety Management System audit of Caverton Helicopters.

The Flight is operated by Caverton Helicopters Limited with registration number 5N-CML.

Recall that the crash occurred, on February 2, 2019, upon landing on a football pitch in Kabba with both passengers and crew escaping death by a whisker.


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