• Airline, Helicopter was Certified
  • No Black Box in Helicopter
  • Helicopter not designed to dump fuel

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has revealed that the helicopter that crashed had a valid Certificate of Airworthiness (C of A) till Oct. 29, 2020, and Quorum Aviation had a valid Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) that would expire Nov. 20, 2020.

It also revealed that the ill-fated Helicopter does not possess a black box.

The Bureau’s Commissioner, Mr Akin Olateru, made the disclosure at a media briefing in Lagos on Tuesday.

The helicopter crash involved a Bell Helicopter 206-B III, Serial Number 3216, Engine Model Allison 250–C20B. The Nationality Registration marks 5N-BQW operated by Quorum Aviation.

The commissioner said from evidence gathered till date,

The flight originated in Port Harcourt with Lagos as its intended destination.

Olateru disclosed that the helicopter type does not fall into the category that has a Flight Data Recorder (FDR) or the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR), because of the weight and the seat size of the aircraft.

He said, “We are aware of the speculations circulating on social media and other public fora with regards to the probable cause of the crash and AIB’s retrieval of the Flight Data Recorder (FDR), popularly known as the Black Box.

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“We would like to clarify that AIB did not retrieve an FDR from the aircraft as the Bell 206 is certified at approximately 1,519kg (3,350lbs) and featured five seats.

“It does not meet the necessary criteria for an FDR and was not featured with one. The standard requirement for an FDR in any aircraft is 10 seats.

“It is extremely important to note that the aviation industry is the most regulated industry globally, and its operations are regulated in accordance with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

“The installation and application of FDRs in aircraft is guided by ICAO Annex 6, Parts 1 and 2.

“The basic standards for both Parts are essentially similar. Part 1 applies to commercial aircraft, while Part 2 is for non-commercial operations.”

On jettisoning fuel the commissioner of the Bureau simple stated,” The aircraft is not designed to jettison fuel”

Olateru explained that an FDR on the aircraft would have aided the investigation, but nevertheless, its world-class trained investigators were competent to retrieve information about a crash from the wreckage.

He added that several other components of the aircraft, the site of the crash, communication with the ATC, and other documents on the aircraft and the crew.

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