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Lagos Helicopter crash: Preliminary report show pilot’s medical examination, proficiency check were not valid

The Accident Investigation Bureau Nigeria, (AIB-N) has released a preliminary report on the recent Lagos Helicopter crash revealing that the Pilot’s medical examination and proficiency check were due for renewal before the crash.

The report shows that the last medical examination was valid till 6th August, 2020 and last proficiency check was valid till 24th August 2020.

The report further stated that there was no evidence to show that an application for the exemption provided by the All Operators’ Letter had been submitted to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) to these effects.

Recall that on Friday 28 August, a Bell Helicopter 206-B III, Serial Number 3216, Engine Model Allison 250–C20B with the Nationality registration Marks 5N-BQW operated by Quorum Aviation crashed into a building at Opebi, Ikeja Lagos State.

Read also: Non-deployment of drones didn’t affect material gathering at the recent helicopter crash – AIB-N boss

The flight originated in Port Harcourt with Lagos as its intended destination.

However, the airline has disclosed a letter it wrote to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA), requesting for extension of its pilot’s recency.

The letter dated 18th, August, 2020 reads, “Given the challenges of COVID-19 in organising additional crew travel and training, we hereby wish to request for the extension/exemption, of our pilot, Captain Chika Prudence Ernest Licence ATPL(H) 6245 under the above exemption granted by the DG in the above referenced circular.

“His proficiency expires on the 24th of August, 2020 and his comprehensive medical is valid until the 6th of August 2023.”

The preliminary report which was released on Monday show that the helicopter had a valid Certificate of Airworthiness and was topped to full tank capacity on 27th August, 2020 and after refuelling, 10 minutes of engine run and 20 minutes of test flight were carried out on 27th August, 2020 at Port Harcourt.

“The helicopter was fitted with a range-extender fuel system. No fuel jettisoning capability on this helicopter. The helicopter has an endurance of 3:24 h. The operational flight plan filed by the pilot indicated an endurance of 3:15 h and an estimated flight time of 2:45 h.”

“The helicopter engine started at 09:15 h, took off at 09:20 h, and crashed at 12:14 h.

“There was no fuel left in the fuel tanks after the crash. The mast and main rotor blades were found intact during the post-crash inspection,” the report read.

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