….as NCAA says No record or evidence of application
The Accident Investigation Bureau AIB, says it stands by it findings as contained in its preliminary report into the helicopter Crash released Monday 21st September, 2020.
The Bureau is insisting that Quorum Aviation Limited did not write to the NCAA for exemption and extension of the pilot’s proficiency license which expired 24th August 4 days before the crash.
The AIB in a statement today, has challenged the helicopter company to give concrete evidences of the letter purportedly written and submitted to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority NCAA for exemption and extension as regards the proficiency license of the pilot’s 7 days to expiration.
The Bureau had stated, in the preliminary report, that the pilot’s proficiency was valid till 24 August 2020, four days before the crash, while the medical certificate of the pilot expired on 06 August 2020.
The AIB’s spokesperson, Mr.Tunji Oketunbi, 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.
He adds that the claimed to be submitted to the NCAA has no official stamps nor proof of receipt by the NCAA.
“Furthermore, the Operator has not shown the response of the NCAA to this purported application, nor have they tendered evidence of the approval of their request for extension/ exemption.”
Mr. Oketunbi says, the NCAA in her 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 the AOL (DG18/20) and AOL (DG20/20) before the accident occurred on the 28th of August, 2020”.
“The onus is on the Operator to prove that its purported letter was appropriately received by the NCAA, and that the relevant approval was obtained.”
He states that, “Aircraft accident investigation is a serious matter and AIB, as the Federal Government agency charged with this responsibility, is a very thorough and professional body.”
The Bureau, as a matter of principle, does not join issues with the Airlines it investigates. It is the Bureau’s duty to focus on how to improve Aviation safety through well conducted, timely and quality investigations.
AIB conducts a thorough and transparent investigation process, which entails working closely with several stakeholders including the manufacturer of the aircraft, Engine manufacturer, the State of design, the Civil Aviation Regulatory bodies, the Air Navigation Service Providers, the Aerodrome operators, the affected aircraft operator and other law enforcement agencies.
We are currently focused on unearthing the cause(s) of this crash which is the first Air transport fatality recorded in Nigeria in over 4 years.