Herbert Wigwe: US Gives Fresh Update On Why Helicopter Crashed


The Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) announced on Saturday, February 24, that it had received the preliminary report from the United States National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) on the helicopter crash that killed Dr Herbert Wigwe, former Group CEO of Access Holdings, his wife, son, and two others.

Bimbo Oladeji, Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection at the NSIB, made the admission in a statement in Lagos.

The terrible event occurred on February 9, involving an Airbus Helicopter EC130B4 in Halloran Springs, California.

According to preliminary investigations, the helicopter sustained catastrophic damage when it caught fire prior to the accident owing to inclement weather.

Speaking about the NTSB report, Oladeji stated:

"The preliminary investigation on the Airbus Helicopter EC130B4, registered as N130CZ and operated by Orbic Air, LLC under Part 135 regulations for on-demand flights, provides critical information about the terrible occurrence.

"After departing from Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California, the helicopter flew to Boulder City Municipal Airport in Nevada via Palm Springs International Airport.

"However, during its flight, witnesses reported encountering unfavorable weather conditions typified by rain and a mix of snow.

"Law enforcement and eyewitnesses also reported that several people traveling along Interstate 15 (I-15) saw a "fireball" in the area, prompting calls to emergency services."

"The wreckage of the helicopter was later discovered in the high, mountainous desert and scrub-brush-covered terrain near Halloran Springs, California."

"An analysis of the accident site found a scattered debris pattern of 300 ft along a 120° magnetic, indicating a trajectory from an original impact point that was 1.5 ft deep, 12 ft long, and 10 ft wide ground crater.

"Includes fragments of the right landing gear skid, cockpit wiring, and cabin floor construction. The right skid step protruded upward at a 45° angle from the ground crater's extreme eastern side.

"Every significant helicopter component was discovered at the accident site. The helicopter's fuselage was broken apart, and the cockpit and cabin were destroyed.

"Some debris and vegetation showed thermal damage, indicating the magnitude of the collision's force." The flight control tubes and linkages that connect to the flight control servos were fragmented, and continuity could not be guaranteed.

"All three pitch control links were connected to the swashplate and blade pitch change horns. The primary rotor blades were fractured and broomstrawed, with blade sleeves and tips still present.

"Data analysis utilized sources including automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast (ADS-B) data, operator personnel reports, and eyewitness accounts to reconstruct the flight path and sequence of events leading to the accident."

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