The Oasis Reporters
February 14, 2019
As the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) released a preliminary report of an investigation into the helicopter crash involving Agustawestland AW139 Caverton Helicopters which flew Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to Kabba in Kogi State, social media analysts question why the Buhari Buhari government should prevent the elected Vice President from using the Augusta Helicopter with air defense capabilities instead of having to hire unprotected and easy to shoot down Helicopter from Caverton.
In the report released on Wednesday, the AIB said the crew lost visual contact with the ground at about 50 feet owing to a brownout – (dust generated when landing on a sandy area) – that enveloped the helicopter.
According to the agency, the helicopter experienced a hard landing and consequently rolled over.
While the AIB says the investigation into the crash is still ongoing, the Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer, Akin Olateru, gave two safety recommendations to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the operator, Caverton Helicopters Limited.
Olateru asked the NCAA to issue an advisory circular to helicopter operators on the effects of brown out and how to mitigate its effects.
Secondly, he asked Caverton Helicopters to carry out proper risk analysis and assessment before operating flights into any unapproved landing pad.
The chopper carrying the Vice President, his entourage and three crew members, had crash-landed at the Kabba Stadium on February 2.
There were, however, no casualties.
According to Engr. Cade Agbugba a greener energy expert and social media commentator based in Germany, “Nigeria under Jonathan bought two Agustawestland 101 Helicopters with ballistic defense capabilities and defensive aid suite for the presidency (President & Vice President) in 2014.
“On June 7, 2018, a chopper that was to convey Osinbajo from the Nigeria Customs Command and Staff College, Gwagwalada in Abuja, was forced to land, few seconds after takeoff.
“We know that Boko Haram Islamist insurgency according to the Central intelligence Agency, CIA, have several Man-portable air-defense systems that can bring down the Caverton whereas we bought the Augusta 101 for the presidency.”
Meanwhile, the full and more comprehensive report is still being awaited by Nigerians.