The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), on Thursday, gave an insight into last Friday’s Quorum Helicopter crash which killed three crew members, saying the pilot lost contact with the air traffic controller (ATC) few minutes to landing.
The helicopter crashed in between two buildings at Opebi Area of Lagos.
The accident involved a Bell Helicopter 206-B III, with Serial Number 3216, Engine Model Allison 250-C20B with the Nationality registration Marks 5N-BQW.
AIB Commissioner/CEO, Engr. Akin Olateru, who briefed newsmen at Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, explained that the helicopter departed Port Harcourt Military Airport (DNPM) for EAN Hanger in Lagos at 9:20 am.
According to him, at 11:45 am, the aircraft established contact with Lagos Tower, maintaining 1000 feet and estimating the station at 12:18 pm.
He said: “In the ensuing communication, the pilot was advised of station weather.
“At 12:10hr, the pilot reported sighting the airfield and was instructed by ATC, to report downwind for runway 18L.
“At 12:16h, the ATC tried unsuccessfully to establish contact with the aircraft. At 12:36h, ATC was informed of the crash of the helicopter by MMF02, a MMIA fire station.”
He, however, said findings on the causes of the crash would be released in due course even as he clarified that the aircraft was airworthy contrary to speculations.
The commissioner further clarified that AIB did not retrieve a flight data recorder from the aircraft as the Bell 206 is certified at approximately 1,519kg (3,350lbs) and featured five seats.
“It does not meet the necessary criteria for an FDR and was not featured with one.
‘The standard requirement for an FDR in any aircraft is 10 seats,” he said.
“All relevant stakeholders have been notified including the aircraft and engine manufacturers,” he said, adding that the bureau is in the stage of data gathering.
Meanwhile, the state government has commenced the post-disaster reconstruction of the Opebi Helicopter crash site.
Daily Trust reports that the reconstruction of the affected fence and buildings at 14 and 16, Salvation Road, Opebi in Ikeja started on Monday following the pledge by the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The state emergency management agency (LASEMA) is handling the reconstruction.