Crashed helicopter has valid certificate of airworthiness – AIB

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The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) says the helicopter that crashed into a residential building in the Ikeja area of Lagos has a valid certificate of airworthiness.

The helicopter, a Bell 206, with registration number 5N BQW flew in from Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital, with two crew members and a passenger.

The aircraft owned by Quorum Aviation, an air transportation and logistics company, crashed into a building at Salvation road, Opebi, on Friday.

Addressing journalists at a press conference on Tuesday, Akin Olateru, chief executive officer of AIB, said the aircraft has a valid certificate of operation which will expire on October 29.

The bureau chief said the investigation into the incident will be conducted using other tools on the aircraft.

“We are aware of the speculation circulating on social media and other public forum with regards to the probable cause of the crash and AIB retrieval of the flight data recorder (FDR) popularly known as black box,” he said.

“We would like to clarify that AIB did not retrieve an FDR from the aircraft which is certified at approximately 1,519 kilobytes and feature 5ft. It does not meet necessary criteria for an FDR and was not featured as one.

“The standard requirement for an FDR in any aircraft is 10ft. It is extremely important to note that the aviation industry is the most regulated industry globally and its operations are regulated in accordance with the international civil aviation organisation (ICAO).”

Olateru said the bodies of victims who died during the crash have been identified. He said needed evidence have also been collected from the scene.

He urged members of the public to exercise patience as the investigation continues, adding that the bureau will release an interim report in less than four weeks.

“An FDR on the aircraft would have aided investigations but nevertheless, our world-class trained investigators are on the ground. From the evidence gathered till date, the helicopter has a valid certificate which will expire October 29, 2020. We would like to point that investigation is ongoing and congestion is detrimental to the process,” he said.

“Accident investigation is in phases. We are at the stage of evidence gathering. All relevant stakeholders have been notified including the aircraft and engine manufacturer. We implore the press and the public to trust AIB to be thorough with this investigation and await the formal report on findings and recommendations.”

Olateru commended LASEMA, fire service, and other agencies for the roles they played during the crash.

Meanwhile, the state government has commenced reconstruction of the crashed site as promised by Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor.

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