The Accident Investigation Bureau Nigeria (AIB-N), has released four accident reports including that of the Quorum helicopter crash, the only fatal accident in the country in the last five years.
Besides the reports, the agency also released a safety bulletin at a press conference held at the bureau’s headquarters today (February 24) in Abuja.
The fatal accident, which involved Quorum Aviation Limited’s Bell 206B3 helicopter with registration 5N-BQW, occurred at Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos State on August 28, 2020.
Addressing the media, AIB-N commissioner, Engr. Akin Olateru, revealed that the causal factor of the accident was fuel exhaustion at low altitude and low speed which led to loss of control in flight.
He added that the pilot’s decision to continue the flight towards the intended destination with insufficient fuel instead of landing as soon as practicable in line with section 12.12 of Quorum Aviation Limited Operations Manual Part A, was part of the contributing factor that led to the fatal accident.
Other contributory factors, according to the commissioner, included the lack of effective management supervision of the airline’s flight operations and inadequate safety oversight of Quorum Aviation Limited
Three safety measures were recommended for the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the airline in the report.
In the other three reports and one safety bulletin released, the bureau addressed a total of nine safety recommendations to the NCAA, the affected airlines, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), among others.
The released reports included the report on an accident involving Skypower Express Airways Nigeria Limited Air Tractor AT-401B aircraft with registration 5N-BTV, which occurred at Rukubi village, 90 NM southeast of Abuja on October 4, 2018.
The bureau also released the report on the incident involving the Nigeria Police Airwing Bell 429 helicopter with registration 5N-MDA which occurred at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on August 3, 2019.
Also released was the report on the serious incident involving Skypower Express Airways Nigeria Limited Cessna 172 aircraft with registration 5N-APE at Bini Village, Niger State on November 19, 2019.
The bureau also released one safety bulletin report on the ground collision involving a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) truck with registration AKD765FK and Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Bell 412 helicopter with registration NAF 600 which occurred at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on June 15, 2020.
Olateru stated that the newly released reports make a total of 53 reports released by his administration at AIB, adding that 72 reports have been released since the establishment of the Bureau in 2007.
He further added that the Bureau has, so far, released a total of 232 safety recommendations since 2007, 151 of which were released by his administration from 2017 to date.
This, he said, is in line with fulfilling the bureau’s mandate of investigating aircraft accidents and serious incidents to enhance air safety in Nigeria.
“The bureau is very conscious of her critical role in assuring a robust aviation safety in the country and globally even as it has resolved to pursue this vigorously,” Olateru said.
A statement by the AIB-N, general manager, public affairs, Tunji Oketunbi, said the commissioner, who appreciated the minister of aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika for his unrelenting support to the bureau, said: “We have the men and the equipment backed with government support to ensure that AIB-N plays her role effectively and purposefully.
“Details of all the reports, which include the factual information, findings, analysis, conclusions and safety recommendations on the investigations are available on the bureau’s website, (www.aib.gov.ng),” he concluded.