AIB To Send Ditched Bristow Helicopters Cockpit Image Recorder To UK
…Says Crew Declared May Day Twice
The Accident Investigation Bureau(AIB) has said that the agency will take the Cockpit Image Recorder of the Bristow Helicopters’ Sikorsky 76C++ with registration number 5N-BQJ that ditched into the Atlantic Ocean on February 3,2015 to United Kingdom for downloading.
The AIB Commissioner, Dr Felix Abali stated this while briefing aviation correspondents at the Agency’s Safety House at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos on the update of the investigation of Bristow Helicopters.
This is just as the agency stated that essential flight recorders would be flown out for downloading while TRIM actuators would be sent to the manufacturers for investigative testing.
He explained that initial field investigation was carried out by AIB and that vital components relevant to the investigation including Flight Data Recorder (FDR), Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) and the Cockpit Image Recorder were retrieved for further investigation.
According to him, “The black boxes will be flown outside the country especially one of the boxes that we have is Cockpit Image Recorder and these boxes unfortunately we do not have the equipment to download them here”
Abali stated that the Cockpit Image Recorder would be taken to the United Kingdom for downloading because the equipment could not be downloading.
The manufacturer’s representatives, he hinted were still being expected as AIB was carrying out the investigation along with them.
The aircraft, he said carried nine passengers and two crew members had departed ERHA Oil Platform en route Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and that the crew declared May Day twice.
The first May Day, he disclosed was declared by the crew at the 78 nautical miles from Lagos complaining of instrument problems and that the aircraft descended from 3,000 feet to 1,500 feet.
He added that at this time the Flying Officer (FO) was the Pilot Flying (PF).
Abali stated that the Captain took over control expecting to stabilise the helicopter but that the aircraft was not responding to control inputs, adding that she declared the 2nd May Day to the Radio Operator at the offshore platform, which was relayed to the Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) by two separate aircraft.
One of the aircraft, he said was followed the communication and relayed the ditching, which occurred at 10:20am at 29 Nautical Miles away from the platform.
He said that the rescued passengers and were met on arrival by AIB at the Eko Support Quay where they were transferred to Lagoon Hospital, Lagos Island, adding that toxicological tests were administered on the crew, which proved negative of any substance abuse and that one passenger was interviewed.
On the recovered aircraft, the AIB boss stated that it was recovered from the accident site on February 5, ferried onshore and transferred on a trailer to a storage warehouse.
Further investigation, he stated would focus on the aircraft controls with avionics interface and that there would be further interviews with the crew, maintenance personnel and others relevant to the investigation are ongoing.
Other areas the accident investigators will also concentrate on maintenance records including examining Technical Logs, adding that Bristow Helicopter is cooperating with AIB in this regard.