The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has commenced investigation into the Caverton Augusta AW139 helicopter conveying Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo that crashed in Kabba, Kogi State on Saturday.
The Agusta Westland AW139 is a 15-seat mediumsized twin-engine helicopter developed and produced principally by Augusta Westland. It is marketed for several different roles, including VIP/corporate transport, offshore transport, fire fighting, law enforcement, search and rescue, emergency medical service, disaster relief, and maritime patrol.
The AW139 was originally designed and developed jointly by Agusta and Bell Helicopters and marketed as the Agusta-Bell AB139, being re-designated AW139 when Bell withdrew from the project. A source in the agency told New Telegraph that a team of investigators from AIB had begun probe into the crash that left no one injured. AIB is the statutory agency saddled with the task of investigating such serious incidents and accidents.
Since entering service in 2003, the AW139 has become one of Agusta Westland’s most influential products; it has been subsequently developed into two enlarged medium-lift helicopters, the military-orientated AW 149 and the AW189 the civil market. New Telegraph learnt that the aviation regulatory body, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had been notified as the accident investigation agency begins investigations in line with its mandate.
AIB had already deployed its team of investigators to the crash site to ascertain the remote and immediate cause of the incident. Commissioner of AIB, Akin Olateru said his agency would release in 10 days the preliminary report which will include factual information about the crash.
In a statement issued last night, the AIB boss commended the professionalism of the rescue team, without whose effort there may have been recorded casualty and/ or injury. He assured that the entire public that this investigation will be detailed, thorough and timely, stressing that accident investigation is not to apportion blame, saying it is about fact and making safety recommendations with a view to preventing future occurrences.