Thursday 4 February 2016

FG ‎suspends Bristow ‘ Sikorsky’ Helicopters operation in #Nigeria. - TheSun

The Federal Government has ordered Bristow Helicopters to stop the further usage of its Sikorsky-76C++ helicopter type in all its operation in Nigeria.
The suspension came following the accident involving the Sikorsky aircraft type which was deliberately plunged into the Atlantic Ocean by the pilot on Wednesday to save the lives of its 11 occupants following what many analysts fear could have been a major fault on the aircraft and for which the pilot found it difficult to manage to its final destination.

 The Sikorsky helicopter type forms the core of the fleet mostly deployed by Bristow Helicopters for its charter operations for energy companies and staff in Nigeria’s deep offshore oil and gas industry.

Last year (August, 2015), the same aircraft type operated by Bristow had crashed into a Lagos lagoon at Oworoshoki area killing six of the 12 souls on board. Bristow Helicopters had also recorded two other crashes in Eket and Port Harcourt with the aircraft type which claimed the lives of passengers on board.
Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt.Muhtar Usman at a press conference in Lagos on Thursday said the government could no longer allow the US helicopter firm the continuous usage of the Sikorsky aircraft given the obvious tragedies recorded in the country. “The Regulatory Authority views with utmost seriousness the successive mishaps of Bristow Helicopters’ operating aircraft SikorskyS-76C++ on the coastal waters of Lagos and as a responsible regulatory authority, it is important to stem this rapidity of occurrence and ensure the airline carry out safe operations,” said Usman.

“We have therefore decided to suspend the operation of the Bristow Helicopters Limited Sikorsky S-76C++ type till further notice. This suspension will enable the NCAA carry out a full scale audit on its operations with particular emphasis on its Sikorsky S-76C++ type and these decisions are without prejudice to the investigations being conducted by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB),” he added. Usman said the NCAA will fully support AIB in the investigation. A brief background on the Sikorsky S-76 aircraft shows it is an American medium – size commercial utility helicopter manufactured by the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.

The Siklorsky-76 features twin turbo shaft engines; four-bladed main and tail rotors. It has a retractable landing gear.
Sikorsky’s development began in the mid-1970s with the design goal of providing a medium helicopter for corporate transportation and the oil drilling industry.

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