15 August 2015, Lagos – Bristow Helicopters,Saturday, confirmed that it has resumed flight operations in Nigeria after conducting an enhanced inspection review of its S-76 fleet and with the full endorsement of the regulatory authorities, has resumed flying those aircraft that have been inspected.
Bristow’s Regional Director Africa, Duncan Moore in a statement said “We would wish to reiterate our appreciation for the help, support and understanding we have received from the NCAA, the AIB, our clients and other industry stakeholders during this very difficult period.”
“Bristow continues to cooperate fully with the AIB on the ongoing investigation and has recovered the aircraft that was involved in an accident in Lagos on August 12, 2015. The aircraft, a Sikorsky S76 C+, was certificated to carry 12 passengers plus two crew members. Bristow operated the aircraft configured for 10 passengers and two crew members.”
It will be recalled that Bristow Helicopters on Thursday said it has suspended flight operations in Nigeria because of the crash involving one of its aircraft in Lagos on Wednesday. Making this disclosure the Media Consultant for Bristow Helicopters, Mr Cornelius Onuoha said the decision concerning operations will be made on daily basis.
According to him “We have stood down operations at Bristow Helicopters Nigeria as of 8/13/15.
Decisions will be made on a daily basis.” On whether the aircraft was too old to fly, he said
“No. Bristow is in full compliance with regulatory directives issued for our aircraft. Special maintenance and monitoring programs developed by the aircraft and engine manufacturers, the helicopter operators and the FAA/CAA in recent years have ensured all our aircraft are maintained to optimum standards.
When asked if the accident was due to pilot error, Onuaha said “ its much too early to talk about the cause of this incident. It will take weeks or months of investigation to determine why the incident happened.
The investigation will be conducted by the AIB, and we will cooperate fully in that investigation. We will not speculate about what may have been the cause, and we encourage others not to speculate. Our pilots are trained to the highest standards in the industry.”
*Lawani Mikairu – Vanguard