Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has again released final reports of past four crashes classified as two accidents and two serious incidents with a safety bulletin also released.
The reports were read by the Bureau’s Commissioner, Mr Akin Olateru, at the Abuja corporate headquarters of the investigative agency.
The report which covered the period between 2018 and 2020 were those of accidents that involved Quorum Aviation Limited’s Bell 206B3 Helicopter with registration 5N-BQW which occurred at Opebi, Lagos State on August 28, 2020.
Also released was the report involving Skypower Express Airways Nigeria Limited’s Air Tractor AT-401B Aircraft with registration 5N-BTV which occurred at Rukubi village 90 NM South-East of Abuja on the October 4, 2018.
The serious incident involving Nigeria Police Airwing Bell 429 Helicopter with registration 5N-MDA occurred at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja on the August 3, 2019 and the one involving Skypower Express Airways Nigeria Limited Cessna 172 Aircraft with registration 5N-APE at Bini Village, Niger State on November 19, 2019.
The bulletin report released was the one on the ground collision involving a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Truck with registration AKD765FK and Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Bell 412 Helicopter with registration NAF 600 which occurred at Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja on June 15, 2020.
The reports, however, indicated that human factors played prominent roles in the causes of the accidents and the serious incidents.
Speaking on the reports, Olateru said: “The reports we are releasing today cover the period between 2018 and 2020. While two are classified as accidents, two are serious incidents and one safety bulletin. It is, however, important to note that investigation of aircraft accidents or incidents entail the same procedure and processes, all geared towards the same destination – air safety.”
He, however, regretted that one of the accident reports had three fatalities.
With these reports, AIB had released a total of 72 accident reports since its establishment in 2007 and a total of 53 reports released since the inception of the current administration.
According to Olateru, the five reports contained a total of 12 safety recommendations, which were addressed to the regulatory body, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the affected airlines, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), among others.
The Bureau has since its inception released 232 Safety Recommendations with 151 of the recommendations released.
On the accident involving Quorum Aviation Limited Bell 206B3 Helicopter with registration 5N-BQW), AIB in its findings discovered that the plane suffered fuel exhaustion at low altitude and low speed leading to loss of control in flight which was the main cause of the accident while it also attributed the contributory factors to the accident as: The decision to continue the flight towards the intended destination with insufficient fuel instead of landing as soon as practicable in line with section 12.12 of Quorum Aviation Limited Operations Manual Part A. Also, lack of effective management supervision of the airline’s flight operations was noted.
In its recommendations, AIB advised the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to ensure that Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders who wish to combine flight duties with multiple post holder positions provide NCAA with comprehensive safety risk mitigation measures to ensure that safe operation can be achieved.
Quorum Aviation Limited was also told to ensure that all its personnel were well acquainted with their respective schedules of responsibilities and capable of discharging their duties effectively in accordance with the company’s Approved Standard Operating Procedures.
On the accident involving Skypower Express Airways Nigeria Limited Air Tractor AT-401B Aircraft with registration 5N-BTV), the Bureau reported that the causal factor was as a result of an undetermined engine failure at low altitude that necessitated the execution of emergency forced-landing on farmland.
No safety recommendation was made by the investigation agency.
The third report which was on the serious incident involving Nigeria Police Airwing Bell 429 Helicopter with registration 5N-MDA) that occurred on August 3 2019, the causal factor was attributed to the lack of communication to update the crew on the current serviceability status of the ground handling wheel prior to arrival at DNAA.
It gave the contributory factor as the decision to hover-taxi to reposition the helicopter to the ramp without guidance.
It was recommended that Nigeria Police Airwing should develop a proper communication procedure for departing and arriving aircraft for information dissemination where necessary while it should adhere to all relevant provisions of Nig. CARs.
On the serious incident involving Skypower Express Airways Nigeria Limited Cessna 172 Aircraft AIB reported that the Causal factor was the shifting of engine oil seal at the top of the push rod which created a clearance through which the oil escaped from the engine; resulting in low oil quantity and high oil temperature indications and subsequently a drop in engine rpm.
The two safety recommendations issued in this report advised that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority should ensure that holders of Aerial Work Certificate carry out their activities in accordance with Nig. CARs Part 11 (Aerial Work), including strict compliance with the terms and conditions specified in the Aerial Work Certificate Operations Specifications.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority should also consider having separate Operations Specifications for the scientific evaluation of aerial work such as Radiometric and Geochemistry Aerial surveys which are not mapping and photography as specified in the current Operations Specifications.
The fifth issue made public by AIB-N was the bulletin-Report on the ground collision involving a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Truck with registration AKD765FK and Nigeria Air Force (NAF) Bell 412 Helicopter with registration NAF 600).
The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB-N) Nigeria, reported that the Causal factor was the driver’s poor judgment of the clearance between the truck and the helicopter main rotor blades.
It gave the contributory factors to include the fact that the truck driver was not professionally, technically qualified to operate the truck at the airside. It also adduced a lack of training and proper sensitization of CBN personnel (drivers, security, operations) accessing the airside as another contributory factor.
Even as it advanced that the inadequate oversight on CBN personnel (drivers, security, operations) accessing the airside by FAAN and NCAA contributed to the serious airside incident.
AIB, therefore, issued five safety recommendations to be enforced immediately to stop future occurrences.
The five safety recommendations include: that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should ensure that all its personnel assigned to drive vehicles or access all Nigerian Airports are adequately and properly profiled and provided with Airside driving and compliance training.
It was again recommended that the CBN should ensure that all its operated vehicles, equipment and personnel assigned to operate within or drive vehicles or access all Nigerian Airports are provided with appropriate Apron permit and access cards for identification and proper operational control at the airside of all Nigerian airports.
FAAN should ensure that all CBN personnel assigned to drive vehicles at all Nigerian Airports are provided with Airside driving and compliance training while all the agencies and organizations operating at the airside adhere strictly to all provisions of the Airside Vehicle Control Manua