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Bristow: Stakeholders seek measures to curb incessant crashes

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Director General Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Muhtar Usman (right), Benedict Adeyileka of the NCAA, Nigerian representative at ICAO council Martins Nwafor, General Manager Public Relations, NCAA Sam Adurogboye at a press briefing in Lagos on the ill-fated Bristow chopper…recently

Director General Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Muhtar Usman (right), Benedict Adeyileka of the NCAA, Nigerian representative at ICAO council Martins Nwafor, General Manager Public Relations, NCAA Sam Adurogboye at a press briefing in Lagos on the ill-fated Bristow chopper…recently

Airline cautions against speculation on crashed chopper.

THE two air mishaps recorded within six months by Bristow Helicopter have become a matter of concern to Nigerians in general, the flying public and stakeholders in the sector in particular.

However, Nigerians are not only expressing worries, they have also started to proffer solutions to avert future occurrence.

The latest mishap which occurred on Wednesday last week involved a S76 C++ helicopter marked 5N-BQJ, which departed ERHA Platform in Rivers State and was ditched into the Atlantic Ocean 95 nautical miles to Lagos. All the eleven souls on board including two crew members were however rescued alive.

Speaking with The Guardian on the, an aviation expert, Olumide Ohunayo said that Nigerians have to thank God, that the pilot was able to save the lives of the passengers and crew members aboard.

“I think should commence in earnest, to find out what actually happened and why it happened and what safety measures to take in order to avoid a re-occurrence.

“Bristow is now on the spot light, as this air crash has occurred within a space of six months. There should be a review of the management and safety procedures of Bristow, there should be a review of what is happening there now in the operations. So until the report comes out, it will be very difficult to make comments”.

According to him, I expect the authorities to do thorough investigations on Bristow’s safety standards.

He noted that as it is the case all over the world over, there has been more emphasises on the scheduled operators than that of chartered operators in terms of safety compliance.
Ohunayo, who stated that safety rules are stricter on the scheduled operators, said: “I think the regulatory authority should bring the standards and rules of safety applicable to both schedule and unscheduled operators”.

“It should not be because of the number of passenger volume that should make the scheduled operation on safety arrangement stricter, considering the number of casualty, but the safety standard should be for both operators”, he added.

Also, a member of the Aviation Round Table (ART), Group Captain John Ojikutu, who revealed that Bristow Helicopters had involved in many air crashes, expressed fear that it is coming from one operator.

According to Ojikutu: “These incessant accidents need special surveys on the operations, maintenance and crew licensing of the operator and not audit.

He blamed the NCAA for not ensuring that all the safety recommendations made by AIB were complied with and called for special surveys of the Bristow Helicopters operations and not audit as stated by the regulatory authority.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) has suspended the operation of the Bristow’s Sikorsky S-76C++ type until full-scale audit is conducted on them.

NCAA, said the ‘suspension will enable the Authority carry out a full-scale audit on its operations with particular emphasis on its Sikorsky S-76C++ type’.

Meanwhile Bristow has cautioned that it was too premature to conclude on why the Sikorsky  S – 76c fell into the Atlantic Ocean last week.



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