VP Chopper Crash: AIB Concludes Field Investigation

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) said it has concluded field investigation into the helicopter crash involving the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

The bureau however, said that the preliminary report, which would be ready “soon,” would unravel the cause of the major incident, which occurred last Saturday in Kabba, Kogi State.

This is just as industry experts have frowned at frequent accidents involving helicopters in Nigeria.

They however urged the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), to increase its oversight functions on General Aviation.

Following the crash-landing of the helicopter assigned to the vice president, the Caverton Group has deployed another helicopter to Osinbajo to continue his campaigns, as the presidential election is less than two weeks away.

Caverton made this known through its twitter handle, @Caverton Group, where it stated, “A true statement of our commitment to safety and professionalism the Vice President Professor Yemi Osinbajo continues his campaign flying with Caverton.”

On the completion of field investigation by AIB, the General Manager, Public Affairs of the Bureau, Mr. Tunji Oketunbi, said the agency sent its investigators to the crash site on Sunday who conducted field investigation into the incident.

He, however, said that AIB could not ascertain the cause of the incident yet and urged the public and industry professionals to refrain from making comments on the crash until the outcome of the preliminary report.

He said: “Our investigators have done site investigation on the crash. The investigators were on ground at the crash site on Sunday. But, as it is, we don’t know the cause of the incident yet; we have to wait for the preliminary report. It is unprofessional to pre-empt the cause of the incident without waiting for the outcome of our investigation.”

AIB in earlier statement by its Commissioner and CEO, Akin Olateru, vowed that it would carry out detailed, thorough and timely investigation into the crash.

According to the statement, 12 persons, including Osinbajo, government officials and crew were onboard the helicopter when the crash occurred.

He however, noted that the investigation was not to apportion blame, rather to find out why the incident occurred and also make safety recommendations with a view to prevent recurrence.

The statement had read in part: “Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), the agency of government created under the Civil Aviation Act 2006 with a clear mandate to investigate air accidents and serious incidents has commenced investigation into this accident. I am assuring the entire public that this investigation will be detailed, thorough and timely.

“This is not to apportion blame; it is about fact-finding and making safety recommendations with a view to preventing future occurrences.

“As the Investigating agency, AIB needs and hereby solicits for your help. We want the public to know that we would be amenable to receiving any video clip(s), relevant evidence, or information any member of the public may have of the accident; that can assist us with this investigation.”

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