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2019 Crash: Caverton’s pilot lacks techniques to land Prof. Osinbajo, says AIB



2019 Crash: Caverton’s pilot lacks techniques to land Prof. Osinbajo, says AIB

The Accident and Investigation Bureau (AIB) says the chartered Carverton helicopter crash of Feb. 2, 2019  involving Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo was caused by inappropriate landing techniques and non-adherence to the company procedures by the pilots.

The Commissioner of the bureau, Mr Akin Olateru, said this on Tuesday during a media briefing on the release of four accident occurrence reports at the agency’s headquarters.

The Agusta Westland 139 chopper with registration number 5N-CML owned and operated by Caverton Helicopters Limited had crash-landed at Kabba Stadium.

The chopper had on board Osinbajo and 11 others including the crew members and he was scheduled to inaugurate the distribution of Trader’s Money to market women in Kogi.

Olateru explained that given a synopsis of the serious helicopter crash involving the Vice-President, at about 1346 hours, the helicopter departed Abuja runway 22 for Kabba, Kogi.

He said: “On Feb.2,  2019, at about 0726 hours, an Agusta Westland (AW139) helicopter with nationality and registration marks 5N-CML operated by Caverton Helicopters Limited departed Lagos for the  Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

“This was to conduct a VIP charter flight from Abuja to Okene via Kabba and return to Abuja. The positioning flight to Abuja was normal. The helicopter was refueled and the flight crew prepared for the VIP charter flight to Kabba.

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 “At about 1346 hours, the helicopter departed Abuja runway 22 for Kabba. Onboard were 12 persons including the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, his entourage and three crew members (Pilot, Co-pilot and an engineer).

“The flight crew stated that they sighted the intended landing area as a result of the cloud of residual dust generated by the downwash of a Police helicopter.

“After sighting the football field, the flight crew approached with the speed of 20 kt to about a 100ft, and entered a hover to land. At about 50 ft above ground level, a brownout set in.”

According to him, the flight crew lost visual contact with the ground and external surroundings and the Co-pilot began radio altitude callouts “35, 30, 25, 20 and 15”.

“At about 1434 hours, the helicopter experienced a hard landing on the right main landing gear and rolled over onto its right side. All persons on board were evacuated uninjured.”

Olateru said that anticipated brownout condition during landing and lack of risk assessment, limited landing site preparation and planning prior to commencement of the flight by the crew were  part of the factors that contributed to the crash.

He said that as part of the safety recommendations, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) was to conduct a Safety Management System (SMS) audit of Caverton Helicopters.

Olateru said: “ The NCAA  is  to ensure that the company implements the immediate safety recommendation 2019-003, the NCAA all operators Letter (FSG 002), and the recommendations documented in the Caverton Helicopters internal SMS investigation of the accident.”

He directed NCAA to also ascertain that the Caverton Helicopters internal SMS processes in the maintenance activities require the establishment of the reasons/causes of equipment failure and the unavailability of the reasons of the failures.

Olateru said that others were the final accident and serious incident reports including those involving the Bombardier DHC-8-Q400 aircraft owned and operated by Aero Contractors Company of Nigeria Ltd.

The commissioner said this was with nationality and registration marks 5N-BPU, which occurred at FL240, 80 NM to Lagos on April 18, 2017.

He said that the third report was on the serious incident involving a Diamond DA-42 aircraft with Nationality and Registration Marks 5N-BNH.

According to him, this aircraft is owned and operated by the International Aviation College which occurred on Runway 23 Ilorin International Airport on May 1, 2019.

“The fourth report was on the serious incident involving a Diamond DA-40 aircraft with registration Marks 5N-BRM owned and operated by International Aviation College which occurred on Runway 23, Ilorin International Airport on March 27, 2014.”

Olateru then warned that any airline found wanting in tampering with recordings of Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) in the event of crash or serious incidents would be dealt with according to the law of the land.

He said that he had given the last warning to  Air Peace Airlines which he accused of engaging in this practice and other airlines to desist from the action that is capable of making accident probes difficult.

Olateru explained that AIB would sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Air Peace Airline on this.

He noted that a total of 32 final reports had been released since January 2017, which makes up 62.7 per cent of AIB’s total of 51 Final Reports released since inception (2007).

Olateru said 106 safety recommendations had been issued since 2017, saying this accounts for 56.7 per cent of the 187 reports issued since inception.

The commissioner said before the end of 2020 , they should be able to release an additional six final reports to the public.


Health and Safety

GOUNI: After 18 Years, Varsity May Give Mass Burial To 33 Corpses



…Abandoned In Its Mortuary***

 Godfrey Okoye University (GOUNI), Enugu, has given families of 33 corpses abandoned in its hospital mortuary 21 days to evacuate them, failing which the corpses would be given mass burial.

Some of the corpses had been in the mortuary for more than 18 years.

Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Christian Anieke, told a news conference in Enugu on Sunday that the ultimatum, given on Nov. 13 became necessary to enable the university to renovate the mortuary.

GOUNI is owned by the Catholic Diocese of Enugu. It recently converted and upgraded one of its hospitals hosting the mortuary to serve as the varsity’s medical teaching hospital.

Anieke said the renovation and upgrading would make the mortuary a fitting one for a teaching hospital.

“We have gotten a court injunction to carry out the mass burial of the 33 abandoned corpses in our teaching hospital morgue.

“Some of the corpses have been in the mortuary for more than 18 years and it is quite challenging as we want to renovate and make the hospital a befitting one for a teaching hospital,’’ he said.

While confirming ignorance of what could be responsible for the long stay of the corpses, he opined that some probably had no relations or they were criminals.

“I am appealing to those who have corpses in the mortuary to come and remove them.

“We are talking about human beings here and not animals. Go and check if your relationship is there,’’ he admonished.

Anieke added that in Igbo tradition, families have to give a befitting burial to the deceased.

“`It is believed that if the dead is not given befitting burial it will have bad consequences on the family,’’ he said.

In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the teaching hospital, Prof. Cajetan Nwadinigwe, said many of the corpses did not have name tags, while about 14 of them bore the same name.

He said there were no records of dates in which some of the corpses were deposited at the mortuary, while it was evident that some had been there for more than 10 years.

“This is our basis of approaching the court and advertising the warning in newspapers for families to see,’’ Nwadinigwe said. 

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Health and Safety

Kidnapped UNTH Doctor Escapes From Abductors’ Den – NMA Confirms



…First crawled, then trekked a while before breaking into a run…!

Those who think educated doctors are weaklings would be shocked as the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) confirms the escape of an abducted resident doctor, Dr Orockarrah Orock attached to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Ituku-Ozalla, Enugu State.

The kidnapped doctor who has now rejoined his happy family gave an account of how he first crawled like an agile soldier, before trekking miles, like a Spartan, to escape and secure freedom.

The Maritime First learnt that Orock attached to the Anesthesia Department of the UNTH was on Saturday night kidnapped within the hospital premises, while on call duty.

The Chairman of NMA, Enugu State Chapter, Dr. Celestine Ugwoke, who gave the confirmation to newsmen in Enugu on Monday, stressed that Orock miraculously made his escape after the kidnappers felt satisfied with the agreement by his wife to pay the ransom demanded,  decided to go and have a “nice time with their weeds and spirits and fell into a deep sleep”

Chairman of NMA, Enugu State Chapter, Dr Celestine Ugwoke

The abducted doctor thereafter, “”gradually crawled away from the spot he was kept in the kidnappers’ den and later trekked and ran a distance before sighting human activities”, before finally coming out, near the Four Corner Junction of Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.

“He called his wife and the wife called the UNTH chief security officer that picked him up that midnight of Saturday. We are profoundly grateful to God for his miraculous escape,” he said.

The chairman, however, said that doctors had become endangered professionals in the state, as kidnappers always target them especially those working in tertiary health institutions in the state.

“We are really in trouble as doctors are now their target and we are living in fear as the kidnappers now chase us as if they are chasing rats,” he said.

The chairman said that any more abduction of any doctor in UNTH again, doctors in the teaching hospital would totally down tools adding that this warning would be extended to other tertiary hospitals in the state.

Ugwoke said that the association would be meeting with the Chief Medical Director (CMD) of UNTH to mandate to release of security protocol for the hospital, to ensure the safety of all doctors, management staff, staff, and patients in the hospital.

“We also want the hospital management to beef up security within the hospital, ensure adequate perimeter fencing of the entire hospital, and installation of Close Circuit Television Camera (CCTV) and its monitoring base within the hospital.

“As an association, we have previously met the state’s Commissioner for Health and the Commissioner of Police on the spate of insecurity our members face even in the discharge of their life-saving professional duties.

“All efforts through official letters and other means to pay a courtesy call on Gov. Peter Mbah and intimate him on the vital issue of doctors’ security in the state had proved abortive.

“Maybe, the government wants doctors to leave their duty posts and carry placards to the Enugu Government House before listening to us. This will be very bad if allowed to drag to this point,” he said.

Efforts made to get the Spokesperson for Enugu State Police Command, DSP Daniel Ndukwe, to speak on the matter proved abortive as he did not pick up several calls made to his cellphone.

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Health and Safety

Lagos Rallies Volunteer Groups On Environmental Conservation



Sanwo-Olu tasks MSMEs on digitalisation to harness AfCFTA benefits

The Lagos State Government rallied environmental groups to collaborate with it and explore innovative solutions to achieve environmental conservation.

 The Permanent Secretary, Office of Environmental Services, Gaji Omobolaji during a workshop for Coalition of Lagos Environmental Group (COLEG) at LCCI Building, Ikeja,  said the objective of the workshop is a commitment to the protection and preservation of the environment.  

Gaji, represented by the Deputy Director of Sanitation, Mr. Jide Adeoye said the Coalition of Lagos Environmental Volunteer Group (COLEG) is a coalition of Non-Governmental Organisations that offer non-profit voluntary services and intervention exercises across the State.

He mentioned that the group was created by the Ministry as an umbrella body to coordinate and regulate the activities of the group to check abuses as well as to ensure interventions carried out by the group are guided and focused to achieve maximum environmental gains.

“Consequently, this technical workshop will focus on training environmental NGOs registered as COLEG; cover expectations of the Ministry for the groups which includes proper processes for carrying out environmental interventions in the State as well as compliance with rules and regulations”, he said.

The Permanent Secretary said the duty of non-governmental organisations in the field of environmental conservation is truly invaluable, each playing a vital role in the collective effort to address various environmental challenges, adding that they are the driving force to provide innovative solutions, public awareness, and advocacy for achieving a sustainable future.

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*Sanwo-Olu, Executive Governor, Lagos State

He highlighted the environmental challenges faced in the state to include improper solid waste management, littering of public places, inadequate waste sorting and removal of recyclables leading to littering of the environment with PET containers as well as the impact of climate change and pollution, saying “All these are responsible for reducing the aesthetic and tourism potentials of Lagos State”.

The Permanent Secretary also gave the assurance of the government’s support, stressing that the present administration recognises the significance of NGOs in shaping environmental policy, implementing initiatives, and being the voices of conscience for the planet.

In a lecture, titled: “Process and Procedure for Environmental Interventions and Compliance with Lagos State, Rules and Regulations”, the Guest Lecture, Mr. Olasunkanmi Sojinu pointed out all areas where the NGOs can effectively partner with the Government, adding that the NGOs need to be a voice for the Environment.

He charged the NGOs and others, on the need to stop provoking the earth, adding that most waste can be used as raw materials for other products.  

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