The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, yesterday suspended Bristow Helicopter’s aircraft type SikorskyS-76C++ from further operations in Nigeria due to the successive mishaps of the said aircraft type on the coastal waters of Lagos. Disclosing this development to aviation reporters at the NCAA Annex, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA), Lagos, Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Muhtar Usman affirmed that the aircraft type had been suspended till further notice pending when the authority will carry out a full audit on it.
It will be recalled that Bristow Helicopters have had successive air mishaps on the Lagos coaster waters with its SikorskyS-76C++ aircraft type within the last six months. Captain Usman said “On the heels of the Bristow Helicopter’s 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 the entire process. The Authority will fully support AIB in the investigation” “The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has therefore decided to suspend the operation of the Bristow Helicopters SikorskyS-76C++ type till further notice” Usman stressed.
The NCAA boss pointed out that the suspension was necessary because of previous crashes of the airline involving it’s aircraft type adding that it was only responsible for the Regulatory Authority to stem the rapidity of the occurrences and ensure that the airline carry out safe flight operations henceforth.
It will be recalled that on Wednesday, a Bristow helicopter with 11 passengers returning from an oil rig in the Niger Delta developed technical fault and the pilot “ditched”, that is, made an emergency landing on the Atlantic ocean. The eleven passengers and two crew members were rescued by National Emergency Management Authority, NEMA, officials who were already alerted by the pilot of the chopper and were on standby.