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SkyBird aircraft incident: Cause not yet known, as AIB explains steps in investigation


Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria (AIB) was established by the Civil Aviation Act of 2006 to investigate accident and serious incidents in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Annex 13.

The sole objective of the Bureau’s investigation and report is to prevent accidents and incidents from reoccurrence and not to apportion blame or liability, whether criminal or civil.

Every accident or serious incident reported undergoes numerous stages of investigation, which qualifies each respective report (Preliminary Report, m Interim Statement, and Final Report) released by the Bureau.

AIB’s recent preliminary report on the serious incident involving Gulfstream G IV Aircraft belonging to Skybird Air Limited with the Registration Number 5N-BOD, which occurred at Nnamidi Azikwe International Airport Abuja on September 12, 2018, was based on the information received during the preliminary investigation, which was basically information gathering stage including interview with the crew.

It must be restated that AIB has not done any analysis or identified the causal factor for this serious incident. It would therefore be misleading to report that the Bureau blamed any organisation or revealed the cause of the occurrence.

All information relating to weather were as received verbatim from the statement of the crew. AIB will still come out with fuller reports after conducting thorough investigations.

For further clarification, below are the descriptions of various types of accident reports as stipulated by ICAO Annex 13.

Preliminary reports

For Preliminary Statement is the communication used for the prompt dissemination of data obtained during the early stages of investigation. They are factual information reported by the pilot, crew, passengers, air traffic control and eye witnesses etc.

According to ICAO Annex 13, ‘Throughout an investigation, a Safety Investigation Authority may produce a preliminary, interim or other report, the contents of which can range from containing only factual information to initial conclusions and Safety Recommendations. The purpose of these reports are to provide safety information to the industry, address any immediate safety concerns and also inform the victims and their relatives of the main focus of the investigation’.

For Interim Statement –

For Interim Statement, if the final report cannot be made publicly available within 12 months, the state conducting the investigation shall make an interim statement publicly available on each anniversary of the occurrence- detailing the progress of the investigation and any safety issues identified.

Final Report –
At the end of each investigation, it is the responsibility of the Safety Investigation Authority to produce a final report. The report will be issued in the shortest time possible, but without compromising the quality of the investigation. Reports will not name individuals involved to respect their anonymity and the requirements for non-disclosure of certain information.
The Final Reports broadly consist of four main sections:
1. Factual information
2. Analysis
3. Conclusions
4. Safety Recommendations.

The report is expected to conclude with the identification of the findings, causes and contributing factors to the accident.


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