Wigwe: Rain, wintry weather responsible for crash — US authorities
THE United States authorities said rain , winty weather could be responsible for the crash in the helicopter that claimed the lives of Herbert Wigwe, Group Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, his wife and son, including Abimbola Ogunbanjo, immediate past Chairman, Nigerian Exchange Group Plc.
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.”