Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, has defended its preliminary report on the cause of the helicopter crash in Opebi area of Ikeja, Lagos State,last month.
After releasing its preliminary report on Monday, social media had gone awash with Quorum Aviation Ltd, operators of the ill-fated helicopter, faulting a portion of the report which stated that there was no evidence of submission of an application for exemption to the regulatory body by the operator.
Responding in a statement issued yesterday, AIB, however, said the onus is on the operator to prove that its purported letter was appropriately received by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, and that relevant approval was given.
While restating that investigation is still ongoing, the bureau urged members of the public and the media to desist from hearsay, just as they wait for the final report which will be released in due course.
“The attention of the Accident Investigation Bureau has been drawn to some insinuations in the public domain, following the release of the preliminary report on the accident involving a Bell 206B helicopter, which occurred in Ikeja, Lagos, on August 28.
“The letter, purportedly written to the NCAA by the operator and released to the public does not bear any of the normal markers of a letter which has passed through the official process of the regulatory body. It has no official stamps or proof of receipt by the NCAA.
“However, the NCAA in its response to AIB’s enquiry on the subject states that ‘the authority does not have in its record any evidence that the deceased or his employer applied for the exemption provided for by AOL (DG18/20) and AOL (DG20/20) before the accident occurred.’
“We are currently focused on unearthing the causes of this crash which is the first air transport fatality recorded in Nigeria in over four years,” the AIB said.
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