Private Helicopter That Crashed in Osun State Recovered

NEMA personnel at the crash site, 30 July 2011.

The crash occurred on Friday afternoon. A combined team of NEMA officials from Abuja and Lagos spent more than six hours trying to locate the helicopter after the malfunction of the Emergency Locator Transmitter. By The Will

Rescue personnel of the National emergency Management Agency (NEMA) have retrieved the bodies of victims of a crashed helicopter on a mountainous area of Ife Odan Village in Osun state.

The crash occurred on Friday afternoon. A combined team of NEMA officials from Abuja and Lagos spent more than six hours trying to locate the helicopter after the initial alert sent by nomadic Fulani and hunters. Osun Emergency Volunteers groups and the police also joined in the effort.

The helicopter which belongs to a private operator, OAS Air Services had three passengers on-board, including a male pilot and two women.

The bodies of the Chief Executive Officer of Bacita Sugar Company, Mrs. Josephine Kuteyi, an expatriate pilot, Captain Annord and Mrs. Kuteyi’s Personal Assistant, Mrs. Adedoyin Ogunbanjo were removed from the scene.

The delay in locating the helicopter after the crash was due to malfunction of Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) Beacon which could have sent a distress alert to Mission Control Centre (MCC) of NEMA for accurate detection of the crash site.

Meanwhile the Director General of NEMA, Muhammed Sani-Sidi has sent an invitation to all airline and aircraft operators in Nigeria to an emergency meeting next week Thursday at the Sheraton Hotel Lagos on the use of 406 MHZ Beacon for the purpose of Cospas-Sarsat Alerting system. He said the agency finds it necessary and urgent to collaborate on the issue and take a clear position on the use of Emergency Locator Transmitters Beacon where it would be mandatory for any aircraft flying in Nigeria to install it.

Sani-Sidi said: “The Agency, in the light of the seriousness it attaches to safety in the country called for the emergency meeting to deliberate on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) mandate on the use of 406 MHZ Beacon. 

The recent crash as well as that of Beech Craft N364 UZ in Kaduna without receipt of any alert on NEMA’s Cospas-Sarsat was a serious threat to the Federal Government’s mandate on Aviation and Maritime Safety in particular and safety generally.

Under the NEMA’s Act, the agency is mandated to monitor the state of preparedness of all organisations or agencies which contribute to disaster management in Nigeria.

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