Wigwe: US Authorities gives report

Mmadu Jude Egozor/Punch NG
11 Feb 2024

 

… Rain, wintry weather responsible for crash

 

United States authorities on Sunday said preliminary reports suggest that a wintry weather condition was among the factors that contributed to the chopper crash that killed the Group Chief Executive Officer, Access Holdings Plc, Herbert Wigwe.

 

Wigwe, his wife and son were onboard the helicopter when it crashed in California near the Nevada border on Friday.

 

Also on board was the  former group chairperson of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, Abimbola Ogunbanjo.

 

Speaking during a media briefing Saturday (3am Nigerian time, Sunday), a National Transportation Safety Board member, Michael Graham, said officials were on the scene to gather perishable evidence.

 

Graham said the team was “methodically and systematically reviewing all evidence” and considering all potential factors to determine the probable cause of the crash.

 

He added that although the information provided was only preliminary, witness reports suggested that a wintry weather condition was among the factors that contributed to the accident.

 

“The crew consisted of a pilot in command and a safety pilot. The accident flight was operated by Orbic Air LLC as a Part 135 charter flight

 

“Witness reports of the weather conditions at the time of the accident suggest rain and a wintry mix.

 

“The helicopter was not equipped with a cockpit voice recorder or a flight data recorder. This helicopter was not required to be equipped with those types of recording devices,” Graham said

 

Asked about more information on the passengers, Graham stated there were no details but added that “any names will be released through the coroner’s office” without specifying a time frame.

 

He added that the NTSB would look into the chopper’s airworthiness; maintenance and structure of the helicopter, operations, meteorology, and air traffic control.

 

“Parties to the investigation include the FAA and Orbic Air LLC. As the investigation continues, other parties could be named,” he said.

 

“The BEA — the French aviation accident investigation agency — will serve as an accredited representative because France is a state of the manufacturer of the Airbus helicopter and the Turbomeca engine.”

 

Meanwhile,  Access Holdings Plc has confirmed  the death of its CEO, Wigwe along with his wife and son.

 

The announcement was made in a statement signed by the Group Company Secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, on Sunday.

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