Lagos Helicopter Crash: Stakeholders Must Address Multiple Aviation Flaws – Ojikutu

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By Ayoola Olaitan

Following the recent Lagos helicopter crash, the Secretary General of the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative and Chief Executive Officer, Centurion Securities, Group Captain John Ojikutu (Rtd), has called on aviation stakeholders to carry out a thorough investigation.

The helicopter which belongs to Quorum Aviation, a Bell 206B3, registration number 5N BQW, crashed into a fence in-between the two houses at 16A, Salvation Road, with three crew members on board with less than two minutes to land at Murtala Muhammed Airport, on Friday.

Although condolences have been lavishly poured out following the crash of the helicopter, Ojikutu lamented that serious concern hasn’t been channeled towards oversight on safety issues by the regulatory authorities.

His words: “My first reaction immediately after the crash was to wonder how a registered commercial aircraft without airworthiness and possibly without insurance, could have been cleared to fly over public areas. This would need more than the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) investigation. It would need a thorough investigation on everyone along the operational and safety oversight values chains”

According to him, the crashed helicopter had been declared non airworthy three years ago.

He faulted how air worthless aircraft are cleared to fly and serious lack of oversight on the safety records of aircraft as well as those of the crew members.

“The crashed aircraft was declared non-airworthy three years ago but no date was specified nor stated; a Letter dated 20 August, 2020 extended the aircraft airworthiness to November 2020, but from when? How many such clumsiness or air worthless aircraft are cleared in these manners are flying over our urban public areas”

“If the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) inspectors are deceived, are there no quality control system in the Air Traffic Control Services to checkmate the aircraft flight plan from becoming risk to other operators and the public? he queried.

Ojikutu admonished stakeholders of the aviation industry and regulatory agencies to show concern for safety and the security of the industry, especially NCAA inspectors and AIB investigators to see how the industry have jettisoned safety protocols.

“Let us always remind ourselves of the main objectives of International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO); mainly to protect the crew, passengers and the public,” he added.

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