The investigating commission in charge of all aviation-related accidents and incidents in Nigeria, Accident and Investigation Bureau (AIB has revealed why an AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo and 11 others onboard crashed in the Kabba area of Kogi State.
In a report released by the Commissioner of AIB Akin Olateru on Tuesday July 28, it was gathered that the crew lost visual contact with the ground and external surroundings while trying to land at the stadium.
He also faulted the crew for not understanding appropriate landing techniques and not planning thoroughly before the commencement of the flight.
The commissioner said the AIB had recommended that the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) involved the Presidential Air Fleet (PAF) Unit in the coordination and preparation of all “Executive VIP” flights.
After sighting the football field, the flight crew approached with the speed of 20ft to about a 100ft, and entered a hover to land.
“At about 50ft 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 14:34h, 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.
other contributory factors aside the visual disorientation include “inappropriate landing technique used, non-adherence to company procedures for known or anticipated brownout conditions during landing, lack of risk assessment, limited landing site preparation and planning prior to commencement of the flight.”
The Commission advised the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to conduct a Safety Management System audit of Caverton Helicopters.