Nigerians Await Report Of Helicopter Crash At Opebi, Lagos, By AIB And Other Relevant Government Agencies – Buhari

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By Suleiman Umaru

With the Friday, August 20, 2020, Crash, involving Quorum Aviation Limited, Bell 206, Helicopter with registration number, 5N BQW, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCCA, an agency of the Federal ministry of Aviation, appears to have  beamed its search light onthe Aviation Companies  operating in the country.

This is  to  ensure that their passenger aircrafts and Helicopters are in  good working condition to forestall endangering the life of their passengers who patronise their services. The Quorum Helicopter which was said to have  left the oil city of  PortHarcourt, the Capital of Rivers state  the said Friday,  enroute to Lagos, with two Crew members and one passenger was said to have been  properly checked  before been given clearance  at  the airport to take  off .

It was therefore not very surprising why  the officials of the Aviation Company  were shocked when news broke out that the Helicopter had crashed  into  a residential building   in the Opebi area of Lagos, the nation’s Commercial hub center, which according to NCCA, officals is   some minutes  to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, local wing, Ikeja.  

Building Where The Quorum Helicopter Crashed At Opebi, Lagos

The question  on the lips of most people is: How did the Helicopter which had reached  Lagos without any noticeable  mechanical problem on air  suddenly develop K-leg, to have  crashed,  killing the two Crew members on board the Helicopter ?

. The only Passenger, on  board the Helicopter, who was said to have been rescued from the accident by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency Authority,  LASEMA,  officials,  and rushed to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital was said to have died  a few hours later  because of the shock and the heavy injury  sustained, thus bringing the number of death  from the Helicopter crash to three.

 Femi Osanyintolu Director General, LASEMA, reportedly said  that no  one on the ground of the scene of the crash was hurt. He was said   to have  mobilised  a Team to remove the wreckage from the scene of the accident.   

Although  the Helicopter crash had occurred in Lagos, the officials of Quorum Aviation Limited, were said to have alerted the NCCA and the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, about it.  The  agencies  were said to have gone into investigation immediately to ascertain the cause of the crash and in order  to forestall future occurrence.

Osanyintolu, the Director General ,LASEMA, who spoke on the death of  two Crew members and the lone passenger on board the Helicopter, who was said to have  died  a few hours  later at the Lagos Teaching Hospital, where he was  receiving treatment, revealed that  ‘’based on the Investigation that had been carried out  by the relevant government agencies  on the Helicopter crash, the mortalities were due to the impact of the crash.

Given the laws in the global  Aviation industry  whenever there is a plane  crash, the first thing the Aviation Authorities and AIB officials , look out for is to locate  the Black Box, which gives an insight to the cause of the accident. The AIB, officials, in  their  preliminary  report,  were  said to have discovered that the Helicopter crashed ‘’due to’’ a big sound and thick smoke on the blade’’.  

Quorum Helicopter Accident Scene At Opebi, Lagos

` Mrs. Adepeju Johnson, who was said to have narrated the incident  to  the Aviation and LASEMA officials, and neighbours, who trooped to the scene of the incident,  disclosed that  she was  in her residence  when she heard  a loud noise   but was not too sure what it was really. According to her, she initially thought it was about to rain but moments later she saw that the  thick  black smoke and  the loud noise heard  between her building  and that of her daughter-in law was from a  Helicopter crash.  SShe had  said that there was no fire.

Between the Friday , that the Quorum Helicopter  crash occurred and now, people were said have been trooping to the  location of the Accident at Opebi  to see things themselves and also  to Commiserate  with the families and victims.

LASEMA Team Helping Out The Victims Of Quorum Helicopter Crash At Opebi, lAgos

 President Muhammadu Buhari, who was said to be in the West African country of Mali, on the said Friday, where  the Economic Community of  West African States, ECOWAS, Heads of States and Governments were holding a virtual   meeting ostensibly  to resolve the  country’s political crisis  had Commiserated with the families and victims  of the Helicopter crash, no sooner he had returned back to the country on the Friday.

The Katsina state born Nigerian President may  not have  made a policy Statement  concerning the Crash  and the victims  as he had said  ‘’the nation is  awaiting for  the report  of the Investigation  into the incident by  the aviation Regulatory agencies’’.

Recall that in 2013,  an Associated  airlines plane which was bound for Akure, Capital of Ondo state,  had crashed  shortly after take-off, from MMIA, local wing, killing all the Crew members and the 20 Passengers on board.  There was also a  Dana  plane Crash which the NCAA had , confirmed  had headed from  Abuja to Lagos, with 153 Passengers.

 The plane was said to have crashed into a building and exploded in flames, at  the Iju Ishaga, a neighbourhood, just about 4 Km, north from the  edge  of the MMIA, Ikeja, , according to NCCA,  killing all the  153, passengers and the Crew members  on board,  including and 10 persons  on the  ground on a Sunday of the accident. The Dana plane crash was said to be the saddest in the country.

Note that there are several causes, according to aviation  experts to Helicopter and plane crashes  ranging from Pilot errors, which include loss of control of flight and  flight into terrain, CFIT, Mechanical defects, Weather problems ,Air traffic Controller error to other causes including  sabotage and   poor runway  maintenance.   .

 Many believe that  aviation accidents could also be caused by birds. Take for instance, if a large bird collides  a  plane or Helicopter windscreen or and engine, it could cause damage that may contribute to crash.

 In 2014, the   Company, Boeing,  had  reported that aviation accidents are caused  based on  the phase of the flight: take off,  climb, cruise, Decent Initial approach, final approach/landing. The North American country of the United States, US,  Company  had said that the most dangerous phase of  every flight is  landing, which may have been the problem of the Quorum Helicopter that crashed at Opebi in Lagos.

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