Barely one month after an helicopter belonging to Quorum Aviation crashed into Opebi killing all the three crew members on board, it has been revealed that the inflated chopper did not have fuel onboard.
The preliminary report released on Monday by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), said that at the time the helicopter crashed, there was no fuel left in the helicopter and it was also discovered that the chopper did not have the capacity to jettison fuel.
The report also revealed that the fuel tanks were topped to full tank capacity on August 27, 2020 in Port Harcourt.
According to the preliminary report: “The helicopter was topped to full tank capacity on August 27, 2020. After refuelling, 10 minutes of engine run and 20 minutes of test flight were carried out on August 27, 2020 at Port Harcourt.
“On August 27, 2020, a Bell 206B III helicopter with nationality and registration marks 5N-BQW, operated by Quorum Aviation Limited, was topped up with 247 litres of fuel to full tank capacity on ground Port Harcourt Military airport (DNPM).”
The AIB also said that the helicopter had an endurance of 3:24 hours, adding, “the operational flight plan filed by the pilot indicated an endurance of 3:15h and an estimated flight time of 2:45 hours.”
“The technical logbook entry revealed that there was an engine run for 10 minutes and a test flight of 20 minutes in preparation for a positioning flight the next day.
“The helicopter engine was started at 09:15h. The helicopter took off at 09:20h. The helicopter crashed at 12:14h. There was no fuel left in the fuel tanks after the crash. The mast and main rotor blades were found intact during the post-crash inspection,” the report added.
The crew, the AIB report also revealed that the Pilot’s last medical examination was valid till August 6, 2020 and there was no evidence to show that an application for the exemption provided by the All Operators’ Letter AOL DG020/20 had been submitted to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
“The Pilot’s last Proficiency Check was valid till August 24, 2020. There was no evidence to show that an application for the exemption provided by the AOL DG018/20 had been submitted to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority,”it said.
The AIB said the Crashed Quorum helicopter had a valid Certificate of Airworthiness as The Aircraft Maintenance Engineers’ License Validity was till February 14, 2022 and Aircraft Ratings: Category A&C Agusta/Bell 206, Bell 212, Sikorsky S76, Eurocopter EC 155 helicopters while the Certificate of Airworthiness of the helicopter was Valid till 29th October 2020.