On February 3, 2016, shortly after 10 a.m. local time, the crew of Bristow S76C++ helicopter 5N-BQJ elected to make a precautionary landing of the aircraft on water while en-route from an offshore location to Lagos.
After landing, the crew assisted nine passengers to board the life rafts directly from the cabin. The aircraft was recovered quickly and is now in the custody of the Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau (NAIB).
With assistance from other assets in the vicinity, including those of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and the offshore Marine Mutual Aid group, all onboard were safely returned to shore by 1700 the same day.
“I have personally thanked the crew and commended them highly for performing a well-executed precautionary landing and ensuring the safety of those onboard, which is of absolute and paramount importance to Bristow,” said Duncan Moore, Managing Director of Bristow Helicopters (Nigeria) Limited. “We also owe a huge debt of gratitude to the emergency response and rescue agencies, and countless others for their swift call to action. They have our utmost respect, admiration and gratitude.
“Bristow’s flight training programs are in compliance with the regulatory requirements of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and provide comprehensive training for these types of scenarios. Our flight training programs are also designed in coordination with the aircraft manufacturer and we follow their recommendations for training our crews to operate the aircraft.”
Tolu Olubajo, Bristow Nigeria’s Director of Nigerian Affairs, said, “In recent years Bristow has trained more than 150 national pilots and 130 national engineers, and we firmly hope to be able to maintain this momentum. Bristow Helicopters was incorporated in Nigeria in 1969 and has long demonstrated its commitment to supporting Nigeria’s energy industry and local content policies. The all Nigerian crew of this aircraft received their ab-initio training at Bristow Academy in Titusville, Florida.”
Alhamdu Haruna, Bristow Helicopters (Nigeria) Limited’s Quality & Safety Manager, said, “Bristow is cooperating fully with the Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau (NAIB) as part of the process to establish the sequence events and probable cause leading to the precautionary landing. We’re also engaging fully with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority as they undertake their review of the S-76C series of helicopters at our operation. Like all airlines, Bristow is subject to regular and detailed regulatory oversight and welcomes the review that the NCAA is currently undertaking and will act quickly and decisively on any recommendations or directives forthcoming.”