The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has released a preliminary report on the helicopter crash involving Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, blaming Caverton Helicopters for the incident.
Speaking at a press briefing at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Wednesday, AIB Commissioner/CEO, Akin Olateru said Caverton failed to carry out risk assessment test at the Kabba Stadium, Kogi State, where the helicopter crash-landed, before the flight.
“Caverton Helicopters Limited did not conduct site survey of the landing field prior to the flight and did not carry out safety and risk assessment,” Olateru said.
The AIB chief attributed the crash to the effects of a “brown out” generated during its landing in a dry, dusty environment. Brown out in aviation means a condition generated during landing in a sandy, dusty environment. It causes reduced flight visibility due to airborne particles.
He said though further investigation into the crash is ongoing, the Bureau has issued two safety recommendations to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Caverton.
He asked the NCAA to issue advisory circular to helicopter operators on the effects of brown out and how to mitigate it.
He added that the second safety recommendation is for Caverton to carry out proper risk analysis and assessment before operating flights into unapproved landing pad.
He said the final report on the accident will be released in few months.
The ill-faed chopper conveying Osinbajo and members of his team crash-landed in Kabba, Kogi State, while the Vice President was on his way for a campaign trip penultimate week. Osinbajo and his aides as well as the crew escaped unhurt.
Caverton Helicopters, owners of the aircraft, had said the crash was as a result of “unusual weather condition” and promised to carry out an investigation.