More facts have been released by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) on the helicopter crash which occured on August 28, 2020 at the Opebi area of Ikeja, Lagos.
In the preliminary report released by the agency on Monday, AIB said regarding the pilot’s proficiency licence that there was no evidence of application to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for exemption but Quorum Aviation says it is not true.
“The pilot’s last proficiency check was valid till 24th August 2020. There was no evidence to show that an application for the exemption provided by the AOL DG018/20 had been submitted to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority,” AIB said.
The report revealed that the late pilot’s last medical examination was valid till August 6, 2020, 22 days before the crash.
It, however , noted that the helicopter had a valid Certificate of Airworthiness.
The aircraft had crashed on August 28, 2020 with the three persons onboard dead as a result of the impact of the crash.
The flight was operated on a Visual Flight Rules (VFR) flight plan. According to the flight plan, on board were one pilot, an engineer and a fitter mechanic.
The agency also said that at the time of the crash, the tank of the Bell 206B 111 helicopter was empty.
The helicopter with the registration number; 5N-BQW, had 3:15 minutes endurance fuel, while the estimated flight time was 2:45hrs.
According to the report, rather than the 2:45hrs of estimated flight time to Lagos from Port Harcourt, the aircraft crashed at 2:59hrs, indicating 14 minutes behind estimated time. It was not clear how the fuel, which ought to have lasted for 3:15hrs could be empty at 2:59hrs of the flight.
The report also indicated that the aircraft had no fuel jettisoning capability. It said the helicopter was full on August 27, 2020 and after refuelling, it had 10 minutes of engine run and 20 minutes of test flight were carried out the same day at Port Harcourt.
“The helicopter has an endurance of 3:24hrs. The operational flight plan filed by the pilot indicated an endurance of 3:15hrs and an estimated flight time of 2:45hrs. The helicopter engine was started at 09:15hrs…”