Opebi helicopter crash caused by insufficient fuel, says AIB-N



Accident Investigation Bureau, Nigeria (AIB-N) has released a report on the crash involving a Quorum Aviation operated Bell 206 helicopter, 5N- BQW which crashed at the Opebi area of Lagos, on August 28, 2020, killing all crew members aboard.

The Quorum Aviation helicopter crash site in Opebi area of Lagos in August, 2020

According to the AIB-N, the helicopter’s crash was caused by inadequate fuel in the aircraft. The bureau added that the pilot’s insistence on getting to his destination on noticing the fuel shortage also contributed to the crash.

Fuel endurance means the total time that an airplane stays in the air on a full tank of fuel.


AIB-N Commissioner, Engineer Akin Olateru, explaining said: “Endurance is not measured from zero to end, you must have a minimum at any given time and you have to calculate your alternate airport.”

The helicopter crash site in Opebi in 2020

According to the report there was fuel exhaustion at low altitude and low speed landing leading to loss of control in flight.

The report also stated that the decision of the pilot to continue the flight to the intended destination with insufficient fuel instead of landing as soon as practicable in line with section: 12.1.12 of Quorum Aviation limited operations manual Part A.

The report also blamed lack of effective management supervision of the airline’s flight operations as well as inadequate safety oversight.

Following the report, the AIB- N issued three safety recommendations:

“The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) should ensure that air operator certificate holders who wish to combine flight duty with multiple post position, provide NCAA with comprehensive safety risk mitigation measures to ensure that safe operations can be achieved.

” Safety recommendation two: the NCAA mist try to ensure that Quorum Aviation Limited takes steps to ….further violation of its approved safety procedures and the Nigerian Civil Aviation regulations (NCARs).

“Quorum Aviation limited must make sure that all its personnel are well acquainted with their respective schedules of responsibilities and are capable of discharging their duties effectively in line with their standard operating procedures.

The AIB-N boss also reeled out other accidents and serious incidents reports including Sky Power Express with registration marks 5N- BTV which occurred near Abuja on October 4, 2018, serious incident involving Nigeria Police aircraft with registration 5N- MDA on August 3, 2019; another Skypower Express Cessna aircraft 5N- AP which happened in Niger State November 19, 2019.

Finally, Engineer Olateru announced the Bulletin which gave insights to the ground collusion between a Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) truck AKD765FK and a Nigerian Air Force Bell 412 helicopter with registration NAF 600 at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja in 2020.

According to the AIB-N, 12 safety recommendations addressing the regulatory agency, airlines and airport managers were released.