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Wigwe: There was rain with wintry mix when helicopter crashed – NTSB

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of the United States Sunday said a preliminary report of the helicopter crash which killed the Group Managing Director…

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of the United States Sunday said a preliminary report of the helicopter crash which killed the Group Managing Director of Access Holdings, the parent company of Access Bank Plc, Mr Herbert Wigwe, will be released in a couple of weeks.

However, a member of the NTSB Board, Michael Graham, said the investigation and the full report would last between 12 and 24 hours.

Daily Trust reports that Wigwe, along with his wife and son, as well as a former Chairman of the Nigeria Exchange Group (NGX), Bimbo Ogunbanjo, were among the six people killed in a helicopter crash in the Mojave Desert near the California-Nevada border late Friday.

The chartered Airbus EC130 helicopter was flying from Palm Springs, California, to Boulder City, Nevada, just outside of Las Vegas.

The aircraft, operated by California-based charter company, Orbic Air, took off at 8:45pm and crashed at 10:08pm.

While providing updates on the incident, Graham told journalists that a witness report indicated that there was rain with “wintry mix”.

He said, “The NTSB is an independent agency charged by congress to investigate every civil aviation accident and significant accidents in the other transportation modes.

“We are on scene now to gather perishable evidence. Our team will systematically and methodically review all evidence and consider all potential factors to determine the palpable cause.

“This is the beginning of a long process. We will not jump to any conclusion, and the information that I provide tonight is preliminary.”

He further stated that the investigation would be looking into the flight crew’s records, helicopter maintenance record and flight dispatch records.

He added that, “Witness report and the weather condition at the time of accident suggest winds and wintry mist. The helicopter was not equipped with a Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) or a Flight Data Record (FDR). This helicopter was not required to be equipped with those recording devices.

“We are aware of media reports of some down power lines near the accident site; we will be looking into this during our onsite investigation to the investigative phase of this investigation.

“Several other NTSB investigators are on scene and they would be examining the following areas: airworthiness to include maintenance and structure of the helicopter, meteorology and air traffic control.”

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