By Ime Akpan
The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) yesterday released the final reports on three serious aircraft incidents and one accident which occurred in 2009, 2013, 2014 and 2015.
The accident involved Gitto Construczioni Generali Nigeria Limited Bell 407 helicopter marked 5N-BIC which occurred at Uyo Airport International Airport on October 21, 2009, while the incidents involved aircraft belonging to Aero, June 5, 2015; the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria, May 21, 2013; and the International Aviation College (IAC) Ilorin, August 18, 2014.
The Aero incident involved a Boeing 737-500 aircraft marked 5N-BLE and it occurred at FL330 en route Kaduna Airport; the one involving NCAT-operated Socata TBM 850 aircraft marked 5N-BZA occurred near Kaduna Airport, while the one involving IAC-operated Diamond DA42 aircraft marked 5N-BNH, occurred at the Ilorin International Airport.
The commissioner and chief executive of AIB, Mr. Akin Olateru who briefed the media in Lagos yesterday said investigations by a team of experts from the AIB linked the four mishaps to either weather-related problems, mechanical faults on the aircraft, or poor judgement on the part of the pilots.
AIB traced the cause of the Bell 407 helicopter accident to improper maintenance of the oil system which led to oil starvation resulting in the failure of the No. 6, 7, and 8 bearings in the power turbine section of the engine, leading to power loss, improper identification by the pilot of the transmission chip light illumination during flight instead of the engine chip light.
The accident was also linked to the pilot’s decision to continue with the flight from Uyo to Port Harcourt International Airport without identifying the cause of the transmission chip detector indication.
The report attributed the Socata TBM 850 incident to the crew’s decision to depart the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja NAIA with the knowledge of weather forecast, and failure to follow the guidance provided by the weather radar advisory to avoid the impending adverse weather.