Osinbajo Chopper Crash: AIB indicts Caverton Helicopter for crash in Kogi

A collage of Nigeria's Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and the crashed helicopter in kabba, Kogi Sate. The incident occurred in 2019.

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) on Tuesday released its final report on the cause of a near fatal crash of a helicopter conveying Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, in Kabba, Kogi State, over a year ago.

According to the report released by AIB Commissioner/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Engineer Akin Olateru, the Bureau blamed the crew members for what it described as a misjudgment of distance, inappropriate landing techniques and non-adherence to the landing process.

Olateru in the report, did not spare the helicopter operator as Caverton Helicopters was indicted for its failure to conduct a risk assessment of the landing preparedness.

According to a statement issued after the incident in 2019, Caverton Helicopters had blamed “unusual weather conditions” for the crash landing of an Agusta Westland 139 chopper with registration number 5N-CML carrying Osinbajo alongside 11 others including the crew members.

The Vice President was scheduled to flag off the distribution of traders’ money to market women in Kogi State.

File Photo: Vice President Yemi Osinbajo went ahead with his activities in Kabba, Kogi State despite the crash of his chattered chopper, 2019.

The commissioner said the helicopter crew had initially sighted the football field before losing visual contact with the ground and the external surrounding.

The report stated that at 1:43 p.m, the helicopter experienced a hard landing on the right main landing gear and rolled over and the occupants were evacuated without injuries.

However, the Commissioner said 11 days after the crash, the bureau issued two interim safety recommendations to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Caverton.

The other three reports were two incidents involving Ilorin Aviation College at the Ilorin International Airport and Aero Contractor Port Harcourt- Lagos flight which experienced smoke on board.

Tobiloba Kolawole