If there is anything the Accident investigation Bureau, AIB Nigeria, will be happy about is for people to steer clear from commenting or giving information about the crashed Quorum helicopter in Lagos last week.
The AIB Commissioner, Engr. Akin Olateru at a press conference in Lagos said, it had become necessary as information and insinuations making the rounds were misleading and capable of creating tension and this may not augur well for the investigation and those involved in the matter.
This is just as he disclosed that preliminary report into the accident would be released before the end of September, 2020.
“Please exercise patience and trust AIB to complete the ongoing investigation and make the necessary safety recommendations that will help to prevent the future recurrence of a similar accident. Findings will be made public due course.”
He disclosed that the Bureau had commenced its work and was currently in its evidence gathering stage and had contacted all stakeholders including the aircraft manufacturer.
Explaining further, Olateru said the helicopter which is a VFR certified and not a complex aircraft, added that it is not fitted with Cockpit Voice Recorder, CVR and Flight Data Recorder, FDR.
“This is why they are not fitted with an FDR or a CVR but there are so many other things we can gather information from that will enhance accident investigation.”
He noted that the absence of the FDR and CVR popularly called black boxes would not stop their investigation as these materials were one of the items of investigation, adding there were other materials that would assist them to reveal the cause of the crash.
“An FDR on the aircraft would have aided the investigation but, nevertheless, our world class trained investigators are competent to retrieve information about a crash from the wreckage and several other component of the aircraft, the site crash, communication with the ATC, and other documents on the aircraft and crew.”
Olateru added that, “From evidence gathered till date, the helicopter has a valid Certificate of Airworthiness (C of A) till October 29, 2020 and Quorum Aviation has a valid Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) that will expire November 20, 2020.”
The AIB helmsman applauded the role played by the first responders during the crash, the LASEMA, Police, FRSC, Fire Service with other agencies and organizations at home and abroad to improve their efficiency and the safety of the Nigerian airspace.
He disclosed that it had concluded arrangements to sign an MoU with the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, adding that it had done so with the Police Force and the Federal Road Safety Commission, FRSC with the training of the officers on the importance of securing crash sites to understand their roles in the event of an air accident.
“In view of the role LASEMA played at the Bell 206-B3 crash site, AIB is looking at securing collaboration with the agency as a way of further strengthening the security at crash sites and of vital evidence that could aid our investigation.”