Wrong Landing Techniques Caused Osinbajo’s Helicopter Crash – AIB

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Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) Nigeria,has released final reports on Carveton’s AugustaWestland AW139 which crashed landed in Kabba, Kogi State on February 2, 2019 with the Vice President, Prof.Yemi Osibanjo onboard.

AIB attributed the accident to what it described as “inappropriate landing technique” used by the crew and “non-adherence to company procedures for known or anticipated brownout condition during landing”.

The Crew was also blamed for ” lack of risk assessment, limited landing site preparation and planning prior to commencement of the flight”.

Engr. Akin Olateru, Commissioner/CEO AIB, at a press briefing in Abuja on Tuesday, said the crew “sighted the intended landing area as a result of the cloud of residual dust generated by the downwash of a Police helicopter.

“After sighting the football field, the flight crew approached with the speed of 20 kt to about a 100 ft, and entered a hover to land. At about 50 ft above ground level, a brownout set in.

“The flight crew lost visual contact with the ground and external surroundings. The Co-pilot began radio altitude callouts “35, 30, 25, 20 and 15”.
“At about 14:34 h, the helicopter experienced a hard landing on the right main landing gear and rolled over onto its right side. All persons on board were evacuated uninjured”.

The AIB boss disclosed in the final report that the “flight crew encountered a brownout condition during the hover to land, which led to the loss of external visual references, spatial disorientation and loss of situational awareness resulting in a misjudgement of distance and ground clearance, as the flight crew tried to control the helicopter’s movements for landing”.

The helicopter landed hard and rolled over on its right side.

Engr Olateru disclosed that ”eleven days after the accident, AIB issued two Interim Safety Recommendations, one to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and one to Caverton Helicopters.
The required safety actions were initiated and implemented promptly.

Two Safety Recommendations were issued in the Final Report”.

AIB recommended that NCAA should conduct a Safety Management System (SMS) audit of Caverton Helicopters and that the SMS audit by the NCAA should ensure that Caverton Helicopters has implemented the Immediate Safety Recommendation 2019-003, the NCAA All Operators Letter (FSG 002), and the recommendations documented in the Caverton Helicopters internal SMS investigation of this accident.

The NCAA audit should also ascertain that the Caverton Helicopters internal SMS processes in the maintenance activities require the establishment of the reasons/causes of equipment failure/malfunction (reference is made to the failures of the Multi-Purpose Flight Recorder (MPFR) and the unavailability of the reasons of the failures).

▪︎Safety Recommendation 2020-002

It also asked the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) to consider whether the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) Unit should be involved in the coordination and preparation of all high profile Executive VIP mission (flights) in order to ensure that all Executive VIP flights are conducted in accordance with the PAF Unit’s Standards and in line with its approved operating procedures.

In all, Engr. Olateru released four reports which include:

1. Report on the Serious Incident involving Bombardier DHC-8-Q400 aircraft owned and operated by Aero Contractors Company of Nigeria Ltd. with nationality and registration marks 5N-BPU, which occurred at FL240, 80 NM to Lagos on 18th April 2017.

2. Report on the Serious Incident involving a Diamond DA-42 aircraft with Nationality and Registration Marks 5N-BNH owned and operated by the International Aviation College, which occurred on Runway 23 Ilorin International Airport on 1st of May, 2019.

3. Report on the Serious Incident involving a Diamond DA-40 aircraft with Nationality and Registration Marks 5N-BRM owned and operated by International Aviation College, which occurred on Runway 23, Ilorin International Airport On 27th of March, 2014.

4. Report on the Accident involving an Agusta-Westland AW139 Helicopter operated by Caverton Helicopters Limited with Nationality and Registration Marks 5N-CML, which occurred at Kabba Stadium, Kogi State on 2nd February, 2019.

Via Air Transport

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