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Wigwe: Nigeria, US synergize to unravel cause of chopper crash

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Following last Friday’s Airbus helicopter EC130B4 crash which claimed the lives of the former Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Bank Holdings Plc, Dr Herbert Wigwe, two crew members, his wife, son, and Mr Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former Group Chairman of the Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, (NGX Group),

the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) has offered its full cooperation to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of the United States to unravel the root cause of the disaster.

Mrs Bimbo Oladeji Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection at NSIB who made the disclosure in a statement said the Director General of the Bureau, Captain Alex Badeh, has since established contact with NTSB, in accordance with Chapter 5 subsection 27 of ICAO’s Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation–Aircraft Accident and Incident Investigation,

which grants a State (nation) special interest in an accident involving its citizens. ICAO’s Annex 13 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, therefore, grants Nigeria, through the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau, the prerogative to appoint an expert to actively participate in the investigation.

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“Correspondence between the NSIB and NTSB further revealed that the NTSB investigation into the crash is being led by Aaron Sauer as the investigator in charge, supported by Mark Ward as the deputy investigator in charge.

“All significant components of the helicopter, including the main transmission, engine, and various avionic elements, were identified and accounted for at the accident site.

“The duration of the accident investigation being conducted by NTSB is expected to take approximately 18 to 24 months to complete. The actual duration depends on many factors.

“The first is the preliminary investigation report, which contains information gathered by investigators during the on-scene examination. This report is expected to be released within 14 to 21 days following the date of the examinations. The next milestone involves the compilation of the public docket, which includes a collection of information gathered throughout the investigation. This typically includes photographs, interview summaries, documentation, and other relevant data” she explained.

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