DG NCAA to give a press conference today on Bristow Helicopter crash.
Being the address of the Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Muhtar Usman during a Press Briefing at the NCAA Headquarters Annex Conference Facility on the 4th February,2016.
Good afternoon, gentlemen of the Press.
I wish express my gratitude to all of you for honouring our invitation at a very short notice. It is a further evidence of our thriving partnership that has brought lofty developments to the aviation industry.
However, on the heels of the Bristow Helicopters’ controlled ditching yesterday, 3rd February, 2016. I consider it expedient to communicate to you certain decisions that the Authority has taken concerning the incident
These decisions are without prejudice to the investigations being conducted by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB). As a matter of fact, it will serve to assist in the entire process. The Authority will fully support AIB in the investigation.
Therefore, the Regulatory Authority views with utmost seriousness the successive mishaps of Bristow Helicopters’ operating aircraft SikorskyS-76C++ on the coastal waters of Lagos.
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has therefore decided to suspend the operation of the Bristow Helicopters Limited’s Sikorsky S-76C++ type till further notice.
This suspension will enable the Authority carry out a full scale audit on its operations with particular emphasis on its Sikorsky S-76C++ type.
Let me give you a brief background on the Sikorsky S-76 aircraft. It is an American medium – size commercial utility helicopter manufactured by the Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation.
The S-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.
The prototype first flew on March 13, 1977, while initial United States Federal Aviation Administration type certification was granted on November 21, 1978.
If you may recall, in August, 2015, a Bristow Helicopter operated Sikorsky S-76 series crashed around Oworonshoki axis in Lagos.
What this means is that yesterday’s incident is occurring a little over six months after the preceding one.
Therefore as a responsible Regulatory Authority, it is important to stem this rapidity of occurrence and ensure the airline carry out safe operations.
I must also mention that this suspension of operations for the impending wholesale audit is not a vote of no confidence on the airline. It is to ascertain the adequacy and propriety of the operating aircraft type..
This is not new in the industry, it is one of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) all over the world.
Once again let me reiterate that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), will continue to ensure our airline operators continue to carry out safe and secure operations.