NCAA Orders Airlines To Carry Out Safety Inspection On Sikorsky Helicopters
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has ordered airlines operating the controversial Sikorsky S76C series to carry out a safety inspection on this helicopter type with immediate effect.
The order is coming on the heels of the suspension placed on Sikorsky Helicopter S76C operated by Bristow Helicopters following the ditching of one of its helicopters into the Atlantic Ocean on February 3, 2016.
The directive is also coming after the Bristow Helicopters said in a statement that the audit of Sikorsky S76C helicopters should be extended to other rotary wing operators in the country.
The General Manager, Public Affairs, NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, explained that as an interim safety measure, the under listed safety inspections affects all Sikorsky S76C series helicopters operating in Nigeria.
He listed the action required from the airlines to include: visual inspection in accordance with relevant S76C AMM 20-32-00,detailed inspection in accordance with relevant S76C AMM 66-00-00 and detailed Inspection in accordance with relevant S76C AMM 66-10-00,66-20-00,66-30-00,66-40-00.
He stated that the directive was contained in a letter earlier dispatched to all operators of the affected helicopters types and that the directives must be complied with within 72 hours.
According to him, “This safety inspection directive must be complied with within 72 hours on receipt of the letter and repeated after every 300 flight hours until further notice. The authority must immediately be provided with evidence of accomplishment of this directive.”
He however added that that this action is in addition to the suspension of Bristow Helicopters operations of S-76 C ++ series and the ongoing audit.
Adurogboye stated that it was pertinent to point out that this directive is without prejudice to the ongoing investigation by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) which the authority is fully supporting.
NCAA, he reiterated would not leave any stone unturned to ensure that air transport is safe and secure in Nigeria.
AbelNews recalled that Bristow Helicopters had in a statement stated that though it welcomes the decision of 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