AIB launches probe, deploys team to crash scene

AIB launches probe, deploys team to crash scene

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Accident investigators have been deployed to the scene of the weekend helicopter crash involving Vice President Yemi Osinbajo in Kogi State.

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) is investigating why and how Agusto Westland AW139 helicopter crash-landed in Kabba.

AIB spokesman Tunji Oketumbi told The Nation in a telephone interview yesterday that besides the assessment of the crash scene, the AIB team will ascertain the cause(s) of the accident.

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The team will also interview the crew – pilots and engineers and other professionals from Caverton Helicopters – that operated the ill-fated chopper.

The investigators will examine the chopper’s wreckage and other relevant materials connected to its operations.

Oketumbi said a preliminary report on the accident will be released “in a matter of days”, adding that relevant aeronautical agencies have swung into action to unravel the cause of the crash.

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) reported the crash to the AIB.

Its General Manager, Public Relations, Mr. Sam Adurogboye, said: “The NCAA has been notified about the incident and we have notified the AIB to begin investigations in line with its mandate.”

Caverton Helicopters, in a statement by its Managing Director, Capt. Josiah Choms, said aviation agencies had been informed about the incident.

Choms said: “An Augsto AW139 Helicopter under management by Caverton Helicopters was involved in a mishap on landing in Kabba, Kogi State on February 2, 2019 as a result of unusual weather conditions.

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“There were no injuries to the passengers or crew on board and they were all quickly and safely evacuated. The relevant authorities have been duly informed and an investigation into the incident has commenced. We will, of course, support the authorities as required.

“We wish to reassure the public and our various stakeholders of our unwavering commitment to safety in all our operations.”

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