Home Accidents& Investigation International Cooperation: NSIB Collaborates with NTSB in Probing Wigwe’s Tragic Helicopter Crash

International Cooperation: NSIB Collaborates with NTSB in Probing Wigwe’s Tragic Helicopter Crash

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The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) says, it is fully cooperating with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to investigate the tragic Airbus Helicopter EC130B4 crash that claimed the life of Dr. Herbert Wigwe and five others.

The NTSB, the U.S. counterpart agency, has dispatched its “Go Team” to examine the accident near Interstate 15 in Halloran Springs, California, which occurred on February 9, 2024.

The ill-fated helicopter, operated by Orbic Air, LLC, took off from Palm Springs, California, at 8:45 p.m. PST, en route to Boulder City, Nevada.

Unfortunately, all onboard, including two crew members and four passengers, lost their lives.

Following the accident, the Director General of the NSIB, Captain Alex Badeh, contacted the NTSB under ICAO’s Annex 13, granting Nigeria special interest in accidents involving its citizens. This allows Nigeria to appoint an expert to actively participate in the investigation, ensuring access to information and facilitating cooperation.

Ongoing discussions between NSIB and NTSB highlight the diligent efforts of the NTSB investigators, led by Aaron Sauer. They have been present at the crash scene, conducting initial on-site documentation, including aerial mapping with drones and site measurements.

The investigation covers various aspects, such as airworthiness, maintenance structures, operations, meteorology, and air traffic control.

The NTSB plans to transfer the wreckage to a secure location for in-depth examination and analysis.

Parties involved in the investigation include Orbic Air, LLC, the FAA, and the French aviation accident investigation agency (BEA), representing Airbus Helicopters and Turbomeca Engines.

The NTSB estimates the investigation’s duration at 18 to 24 months, with milestones including a preliminary report within 14 to 21 days, a public docket compilation, and a final aviation accident report, which may take up to two years.

The NSIB reiterates its commitment to collaborating fully with the NTSB for a thorough investigation, extending sympathies to the affected families. Updates on the investigation will be provided as information becomes available.

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