The United States authorities on Sunday indicated that preliminary reports suggest wintry weather conditions played a role in the helicopter crash that tragically claimed the life of Herbert Wigwe, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc.
Wigwe, his wife and son were onboard the helicopter when it crashed in California near the Nevada border on Friday.
Also on board was the former group chairperson of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, Abimbola Ogunbanjo.
During a media briefing early Saturday (3 am Nigerian time, Sunday), National Transportation Safety Board member Michael Graham stated that officials were present at the scene to collect time-sensitive evidence.
Graham said the team was “methodically and systematically reviewing all evidence” and considering all potential factors to determine the probable cause of the crash.
He further explained that while the information given was preliminary, witness accounts indicated that wintry weather conditions were a contributing factor to the accident.
He said, “The crew consisted of a pilot in command and a safety pilot. The accident flight was operated by Orbic Air LLC as a Part 135 charter flight
“Witness reports of the weather conditions at the time of the accident suggest rain and a wintry mix.
“The helicopter was not equipped with a cockpit voice recorder or a flight data recorder. This helicopter was not required to be equipped with those types of recording devices.”
Asked about more information on the passengers, Graham stated there were no details but added that “any names will be released through the coroner’s office” without specifying a time frame.
He added that the NTSB would look into the chopper’s airworthiness; maintenance and structure of the helicopter, operations, meteorology, and air traffic control.
“Parties to the investigation include the FAA and Orbic Air LLC. As the investigation continues, other parties could be named,” he said.
“The BEA — the French aviation accident investigation agency — will serve as an accredited representative because France is a state of the manufacturer of the Airbus helicopter and the Turbomeca engine.”
Sodiq Lawal is a passionate and dedicated journalist with a knack for uncovering captivating stories in the bustling metropolis of Osun State and Nigeria at large. He has a versatile reporting style, covering a wide range of topics, from politics , campus, and social issues to arts and culture, seeking impact in all facets of the society.