Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB has commenced investigation into the crash of the Bristow Helicopter with registration number 5NBDG-760540 in Lagos on Wednesday.
This came as rescuers found the remaining two bodies in the crash, bringing the death toll to six dead and six survivors.
At a media briefing yesterday in his office in Lagos, the Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau, Dr. Felix Abali, disclosed that the organisation had commenced investigation into the crash despite the fact that the Black Box and the Cock Pit Voice Recorder had not been recovered.
Abali stated that Julius Berger had recovered some wreckage of the aircraft without the Black Box and Cock Pit Voice recorder, adding that the construction company will go back today, to see if it can recover them.
He disclosed that the six survivors are in stable conditions at various hospitals in Lagos, while the names of the dead may not be released until the airline has briefed their families.
The AIB commissioner said the action was in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO’s regulations.
Abali said though the ICAO’s regulation stipulates 30 days for the release of the preliminary report, the AIB will release the preliminary report soon.
He said the helicopter was a Sikosky S-77 manufactured in the United States of America.
The survivors are Solomon Ude, Joshua Emekema, Chukwudi Onah, Dolu Epiejura, Ononode Ojeite and Iniala Opaimi while among the dead were the Captain Joseph Jay Wyatt of Oklahoma and first officer Peter Bello of Nigeria.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA has pledged to support the investigation into crash of Bristow Helicopter with the view of ensuring that such accident do not happen again.
On their part, Bristow Helicopters Nigeria Limited has said it is cooperating with NCAA and AIB in their investigations.
Bristow Helicopters, while confirming that its helicopters, tail number 5N-BGD was involved in the accident at about 3:30pm local time on Wednesday on approach to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, stated that the aircraft, a Sikorsky S-76C+ was returning from a drilling rig offshore.
According to Bristow’s Regional Director Africa, Duncan Moore, preliminary information indicates that the aircraft carried 10 passengers and a crew of two, subject to confirmation. The company is in the process of collecting pertinent information and will release more details as soon as it is available.
“At this time, the full resources of Bristow Helicopter’s incident response team are being mobilised. Families are being contacted and Bristow is fully cooperating with authorities and responding to the incident,” he said.
“Our thoughts are with those affected by this accident. We are committing our full resources to help, our highest priority is to take care of our crew and clients and their family members and provide them with any assistance needed.
We are still flying as we don’t have reason at this point to suspend operations. It is a sound aircraft with a strong safety record,” More said.
He maintained that the C+ aircraft is flown in the Gulf of Mexico and Nigeria; with 10 in the Gulf of Mexico and four in Nigeria.
Bristow is in full compliance with regulatory directives issued for our aircraft. Special maintenance and monitoring programs developed by the aircraft and engine manufacturers, the helicopter operators and the FAA/CAA in recent years have ensured all our aircraft are maintained to optimum standards.
Moore said it would be premature to comment pending investigation by authorities, adding that the pilots were well qualified and experienced.

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