… Says Ditched Chopper Crew Recruited, Trained In Nigeria
…As NCAA Debunks rumoured EFCC Visit
Bristow Helicopters Nigeria Limited has stated that the crew; Captain and the First Officer of Bristow S76C++ helicopter with registration Number 5N-BQJ that ditched into the Atlantic Ocean on February 3, 2016, were recruited and trained locally in Nigeria
This is just as it said that it welcomes the decision of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to carry out audit on Bristow but that the audit should be extended to other business entities carrying out similar business in the Nigeria oil and gas industry.
“Furthermore, but without prejudice to the ongoing investigations, Bristow welcomes an industry led external audit of its operations in Nigeria, with the expectation that such initiative will also extend to include the audit of other similar entities active in the Nigerian oil and gas industry, such that any findings can be shared laterally across all operators to further enhance safety.” the statement reads
It also said that they were also at the Bristow Academy in Titusville, Florida, in the United States, in accordance with Bristow’s training programme.
The rotary wing organisation in an online statement by its Media Consultant Cornelius Onuoha of Verdant Zeal stated that Bristow’s training programme fully complied with the regulatory requirements of both the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and international standards.
The statement added that following their qualification as pilots, the crew was employed by Bristow and continued to undergo recurrent training in line with Bristow’s operating procedures and client requirements and in full compliance with regulatory requirements.
It added that the successful water landing of the aircraft by the crew on February 3, 2016, was accomplished safely and without any significant injuries or loss of life.
The Captain, who according to the statement is the first Nigerian female helicopter commander, performed admirably and remains an important member of the Bristow team.
“Safety underpins the company’s core values and the Company supports the NCAA’s audit of its operation of the Sikorsky S76 fleet and the investigation by the Nigerian Aircraft Investigation Bureau (NAIB) into the incident on 3 February, 2016.” It stated
Bristow Helicopters Nigeria Limited has operated in Nigeria since 1969, primarily in support of the oil and gas industry and has made and continues to make important contributions to the country over the years, including the training and employment of a significant number of Nigerian national pilots and engineers.
Meanwhile, NCAA has debunked insinuations making the round in the aviation industry that the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) visited the agency to pick up some staff over graft.
Speaking to AbelNews on phone, the General Manager, Public Affairs NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, Stated that he was not aware of the anti graft agency’s visit, adding that nothing of such took place in the agency.
Recalled that EFCC invaded the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), where it arrested the agency’s Managing Director, Ibrahim Abdulsalam, Director of Finance and Accounts, Mrs. Clara Aliche, Acting Director of Procurement, Muyiwa Adegorite, General Manager (Finance) Nurudeen Segun Agbolade and Project Manager, Felicia Agubata.
As at the time of compiling this report, sources close to the airspace agency told AbelNews that the four officers were still in EFCC detention.
AbelNews learnt that as a result of the event in NAMA there has been apprehension in the agencies, as workers in the industry are wondering which agency will play host the anti graft agency next.