|wreckage of the Helicopter|
The helicopter crash in the Oworonshoki area of Lagos on August 12, 2015 was due to an uncontained engine failure that lasted 12seconds, the preliminary report from the Accident Investigation Bureau has revealed.
The AIB specifically stated that field examination suggested that the aircraft’s number two engine suffered an uncontained failure, adding that the flight crew could not declare emergency before the crash occurred.
It, however, stated that the crew were certified and qualified to conduct the flight in accordance with applicable Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations, adding that the captain and co-pilot had 1,077.45 and 570 hours flight time on the aircraft type, respectively.
On August 12, the SikorskyS-76C+ chopper, with registration 5N-BGD, a domestic chartered flight operated by Bristow Helicopters Limited Nigeria, crashed into the lagoon at Oworonshoki area of Lagos.
The two flight crew members and four of the 10 passengers onboard lost their lives. The helicopter was destroyed and there was no fire. The flight departed from an offshore oil rig, SEDCO Express, and was heading to the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
The accident occurred when the helicopter was on the inbound flight of a round trip that originated from Lagos.
In its conclusion in the preliminary report, which was obtained by our correspondent on Monday, the AIB said, “The crew did not declare an emergency. According to FDR data, the upset lasted for 12 seconds. There were 12 souls on board, including two crew members at the time of the accident.
“There was no evidence of fire outbreak before and after the crash. The life rafts on the helicopter were observed deflated and floating in the lagoon but were not deployed. The wreckage of the helicopter was confined in a small area around the crash site in the lagoon.
“The surviving passengers reported that the flight was normal until the helicopter suddenly spiraled, descended and impacted the waters of the underlying lagoon. Field examination suggested that No 2 engine suffered an uncontained failure.”
The AIB noted that the combined Solid State Voice/Flight Data Recorder only contained information of the flight data.
It said that the preliminary flight recorder data indicated that at 1000ft and 120Kts, the helicopter experienced sudden pitch up, and left roll with varying attitude of yaw, roll and pitch for 12 seconds until it impacted the water at about 1531hrs.
The AIB stated that the main wreckage was submerged in the lagoon, adding that the two raft inflation bottles under the crew seats were still fully charged.
The bureau noted that the helicopter was manufactured in 2003, with total airframe hours of 10,258:0913, and it was maintained in accordance with approved maintenance schedules.
It added, “No records of any deferred defects in the tech log. The control pushrod tube separated from control rod end with the bearing and the Jamnut. The Jamnut was loose and was not seating against the control rod. The flight departed from the SEDCO Express Rig and was uneventful until about five minutes to landing.
“The flight preceding the accident aircraft was without incident. There was good communication between the helicopter and the tower before the accident.”
The rescue was promptly carried out by fishermen operating their boats around the crash site.”
The bureau, in the preliminary report, outlined some interim safety actions undertaken by Sikorsky and the Federal Aviation Administration of the United States.
It also recommended that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority should immediately carry out appropriate oversight action on all Sikorsky S-76 series helicopters flying in the country.
This, according to the AIB, is to ensure the implementation of the Emergency Airworthiness Directives and Alert Service Bulletin issued by the FAA and Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.
Source: Punch Newspaper.