May 19, 2022

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QUORUM HELICOPTER CRASH: INSUFFICIENT FUEL MAJOR CULPRIT, OTHERS

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L-R Director of Operations, Capt Dayyabu Danraka, Commissioner/CEO, Engr Akin Olateru, Director of Engineering, Engr, Muhammed Wali,

Quorum Aviation Limited has been found culpable of reneging in ensuring enforcement of its approved operating procedures and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations which were among the causative factors of the crash that occurred at Opebi, Ikeja, Lagos State on 28th August 2020.

Also fingered as responsible for the crash was the fatally flawed decision “to continue the flight towards the intended destination with insufficient fuel instead of landing as soon as practicable in line with section 12.12 of Quorum Aviation Limited Operations Manual Part A”.

Other incontrovertible findings by the Accident Investigation Bureau-Nigeria, AIB-N, as published in its final report released today was the gross “lack of effective management supervision of the airline’s flight operations and the adequate safety oversight of Quorum Aviation Limited”

According to the final report of which its public presentation was done by AIB-N Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer, Engr Akin Olateru, he reiterated that “Fuel exhaustion at low altitude and low speed led to the loss of control in-flight” and subsequently, the crash in which three souls died in the avoidable crash.

Of the three safety recommendations by AIB, two were directed to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA and only one to Quorum Aviation Services Limited.

AIB in its safety recommendations advised the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, to focus its safety oversight to ensure that the Quorum Aviation Limited takes steps to prevent further violation of its approved operating procedures and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations.

L-R: Bureau’s Legal Adviser, Mr Dalhatu Kakangi, Director of Operations, Capt Dayyabu Danraka, Commissioner/CEO, Engr Akin Olateru, Director of Engineering, Engr Muhammed Wali, Director of Human Resources & Administration, Alh Salisu Auwal, at the release of final accident reports at the Bureau’s Headquarters in Abuja on Thursday.

The second advice to the regulatory authority is that the “Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority should ensure that Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders who wish to combine flight duties with multiple post holder positions provide NCAA with comprehensive safety risk mitigation measures to ensure that safe operation can be achieved”.

The only safety recommendation urged the operating company to up the ante on capacity building and eagle eye oversight of its procedures and processes.

Engr Olateru said, “Quorum Aviation Limited should ensure that all its personnel are well acquainted with their respective schedules of responsibilities and capable of discharging their duties effectively in accordance with the company’s Approved Standard Operating Procedures”.

Another report released was the accident involving Skypower Express Airways Nigeria Limited, Air Tractor AT-401B Aircraft with registration 5N-BTV, which occurred on 4th October 2018.

Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) was notified of the occurrence by Olam Nigeria Limited on 4th October 2018. Investigators arrived at the site the following day and commenced post-accident assessments. All relevant stakeholders were notified.

Olateru said the Air Tractor AT401B aircraft with nationality and registration marks 5N-BTV, operated by Skypower Express Airways Nigeria Limited, was on agricultural aerial spray (operation) on a Visual Flight Rules (VFR). The operation was scheduled for three sorties at Olam rice farm, located at Rukubi, about 90 NM South-East of Abuja, Nigeria. Onboard was one occupant (pilot) and fuel endurance of two hours ten minutes.

AIB-N helmsman said “halfway into the run, the pilot heard the engine sputter, backfired and stopped. He also stated that the oil pressure, oil temperature and fuel pressure indications were all within the green arc. Then, he primed the engine and tried to re-start it, the engine cranked but did not start”.

He narrated further that, “at this point, the pilot decided to dump the liquid chemical and force-land the aircraft on a field referred as N803 which is 1.5 km from where the engine failed”.

AIB identified as a causal factor, “an undetermined engine failure at low altitude that necessitated the execution of emergency forced-landing on farmland.

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