Ill-Fated Quorum Aviation Helicopter Fuel Tank Was Empty –AIB Preliminary Report

* Wreckage of the crashed helicopter

 

 

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigeria today made public the Preliminary Report on the accident involving a Bell 206B III Helicopter with nationality and registration marks 5N-BQW operated by Quorum Aviation Limited that crashed at Opebi Area, Lagos on August 28, 2020.

The incidents and accidents investigative body in Preliminary Report revealed that the helicopter had no capacity to jettison fuel, as according its findings that there was no fuel left in the fuel tanks after the crash even after the helicopter was topped to full tank capacity on August 27, 2020 at Port Harcourt Military airport (DNPM).

AIB Preliminary Report also revealed that the that there was no evidence that the pilot of the ill-fated helicopter  applied for exemption provided by the Nigerian Civil  Aviation Authority’s(NCAA’s)  All Operators’ Letter(AOL) DG020/20 or was there evidence of an application for the exemption provided by the AOL DG018/20 for proficiency check.

“The Pilot’s last Proficiency Check was valid till 24th August 2020. There was no evidence to show that an application for the exemption provided by the AOL DG018/20 had been submitted to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority,” the report said.

According to AIB, Nigeria, the crashed helicopter crashed into the roof of a building and a wall fence impacting two vehicles parked in the compound at Salvation Street Opebi, Ikeja Lagos.

“On August 27, 2020, a Bell 206B III Helicopter with nationality and registration marks 5N-BQW, operated by Quorum Aviation Limited, was topped up with 247 litres of fuel to full tank capacity on ground Port Harcourt Military airport (DNPM). The technical logbook entry revealed that there was an engine run for 10 minutes and a test flight of 20 minutes in preparation for a positioning flight the next day.

“The helicopter was topped to full tank capacity on August 27, 2020. After refueling, 10 minutes of engine run and 20 minutes of test flight were carried out on 27th August, 2020 at Port Harcourt.   The helicopter was fitted with a range-extender fuel system.  No fuel jettisoning capability on this helicopter.

“The helicopter has an endurance of 3:24h. The operational flight plan filed by the pilot indicated an endurance of 3:15h and an estimated flight time of 2:45h. “The helicopter engine was started at 09:15h. The helicopter took off at 09:20h.The helicopter crashed at 12:14h.There was no fuel left in the fuel tanks after the crash. The mast and main rotor blades were found intact during the post-crash inspection,” AIB, Nigeria Preliminary Report reads.

The AIB, Nigeria Preliminary Report informed that the Bell 206B III helicopter had a valid Certificate of Airworthiness (CoA), that is valid till October 29, 2020.

AIB, Nigeria also added that the aircraft maintenance engineers’ license was valid till February 14, 2022.

The Preliminary Report also showed that, the Pilot’s last medical examination was valid till August 6, 2020 and that there was no evidence to show that an application for the exemption provided by the All Operators’ Letter AOL DG020/20 had been submitted to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

 

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