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AIB to work with own investigators over Bristow crash


Bristow-Helicopter-CopyPerm Sec visits victims

FOLLOWING the adequate training its investigators have received from the Canadian firm that supplied the laboratory equipment on how to download content from any black box, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) may not hire foreign experts to decode the black box of the ill-fated Bristow helicopter.

Meanwhile, victims of the ill-fated helicopter, The Guardian learnt, would receive a compensation of $100,000 according to the standards of the International Civil Aviation Authority. The compensation was raised from $10,000 to $100,000 a few years ago by the regulatory body in according with the Warsaw Convention.

Similarly, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Binta Bello, yesterday visited the victims of the ill-fated crash at St Nicholas Hospital in Lagos, after which she disclosed that they were responding to treatment.

Bello also expressed satisfaction with the response of all the concerned agencies when the crash occurred just as she sympathized with the families that lost their loved ones.

AIB General Manager, Public Affairs, Tunji Oketunbi, disclosed yesterday in Lagos that the agency’s investigators are competent to download information from the device, adding: “We will need technical assistance from foreign experts only if the need arises.”

According to him, “the supplier of the laboratory equipment came to Nigeria sometime ago to train our accident investigators on its use for about a week. Our investigators are now competent to extract stored information from any black box brought to the laboratory.”

The AIB used to spend millions of dollars flying the vital objects overseas to be decoded. However, Oketunbi said the training and technical support was part of the AIB’s deal with the supplier. He noted: “It is not just to supply us the equipment, there is also the technical support because it will take time.

“It may be over a period of time, because our investigators cannot understand the equipment overnight since they are not used on daily basis to make them well grounded in the handling of the equipment. While using the equipment, the bureau may still need technical support, and this supplier is just a phone call away.”

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