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Lagos helicopter crash: AIB releases report, says ill-fated chopper had no fuel

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By Lawani Mikairu

Nigeria Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, yesterday, released the preliminary report on the accident involving a Bell 206B III helicopter with nationality and registration marks 5N-BQW, operated by Quorum Aviation Limited, QAL, which occurred at Opebi Area, Lagos, on August 28, this year.

Recall the Quorum helicopter crashed onto the roof of a building and a wall fence at Opebi area of Ikeja, Lagos, impacting two vehicles parked in the compound.

According to AIB, the initial findings revealed that the chopper had no capacity to jettisoning fuel, but there was no fuel left in its tanks, after the crash, even after the chopper was topped to full tank capacity on August 27, at Port Harcourt military airport, DNPM.

READ ALSO: Helicopter crash: Quorum Aviation, AIB confirm fatalities to be crew members

The report also said the pilot proficiency check had expired, and there was no indication and evidence showing that “the pilot had applied for exemption provided by the NCAA’s All Operators’ Letter, AOL, DG020/20, neither was there evidence of an application for the exemption provided by the AOL DG018/20 for proficiency check.”

The preliminary report read, in part: “The technical logbook entry revealed that there was an engine run for 10 minutes and a test flight of 20 minutes, in preparation for a positioning flight the next day.

“The chopper was topped to full tank capacity on August 27 and, after refueling, 10 minutes of engine run and 20 minutes of test flight were carried out on same day at Port Harcourt. The helicopter was fitted with a range-extender fuel system. No fuel jettisoning capability on this helicopter.

“The helicopter had an endurance of 3:24 hour. The operational flight plan filed by the pilot indicated an endurance of 3:15-hour and an estimated flight time of 2:45 hours. The helicopter engine was started at 09:15hour, and it took-off at 09:20hours. It later crashed at 12:14hour. There was no fuel left in the fuel tanks after the crash. The mast and main rotor blades were found intact during the post-crash inspection.”

On the crew: “The pilot’s last medical examination was valid till August 6, 2020. There was no evidence to show that an application for the exemption provided by the All Operators’ Letter AOL DG020/20 had been submitted to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.”

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