Bristow Helicopter

All Sikorsky S-76++ aircraft in Bristow Helicopter’s fleet have been suspended from flying until further notice by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

The suspension is to enable NCAA audit on Bristow’s operations, with emphasis on its Sikorsky S-76C++ aircraft.
One of such aircraft landed on water on Wednesday, with all those aboard rescued.

Another crashed in Lagos last August 12, killing the pilot, co-pilot and four passengers on board.

At a briefing in Lagos yesterday, NCAA Director-General, Muhtar Usman said it had become important to stem the frequent occurrences and ensure the airline carries out safe operations.

The suspension, he said, would not affect investigations into Wednesday’s crash by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).

Usman said the recurring Bristow Helicopters accidents would also not affect next month’s safety audit to be done on Nigeria by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

He said: “I must mention that this suspension of the operations for the impending wholesale audit is not a vote of no confidence on the airline. It is to ascertain the adequacy and the propriety of the operating aircraft.”

This action, he added, is not new to the industry, but one of the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) all over the world.

NCAA, Usman said, would continue to carry out safe and secure operations, adding: “These decisions are without prejudice to the investigations being conducted by 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.

“If you may recall, in August, 2015, a Bristow Helicopter operated Sikorsky S-76 series crashed around Oworonsoki axis in Lagos.

“What this means is that yesterday’s (Wednesday’s) incident is occurring a little over six months after the preceding one.

“Therefore as a responsible regulatory authority, it is important to stem the rapidity of occurrence and ensure the airline carry out safe operations.

Also in a statement yesterday, Bristow confirmed that NCAA has advised it to temporarily stop operation of the Sikorsky S-76++ aircraft.

The statement reads:” We are continuing to cooperate fully with NCAA and AIB in its investigation concerning the Bristow helicopter that was involved in the controlled water landing near Lagos on Wednesday.”

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Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria

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