Following the crash of the Sikosky 76 helicopter marked 5N-BGD and operated by Bristow Helicopters on Wednesday at the lagoon in Oworonshoki, Lagos, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) on Friday announced recovering the flight recorders and the aircraft’s black box.
The Flight Data Recorder (FDR) contains various data generated between the aircraft’s engines and avionics as well as other crucial parts of the helicopter, and the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) records conversations made within the cockpit as well as communications between the pilots and the Control Tower.
Rescue mission and professional divers recovered the main wreckage of the crashed helicopter but without the black boxes, with search continuing till mid Friday when they were located.
It is believed the ill-fated helicopter left SEDCO oil platform offshore and was on its way to the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos before it crashed into the waters.
Six passengers including two crew members are believed to have died in the crash. Six others are currently receiving treatment at an undisclosed hospital. Among the casualties are Captain Joseph “Jay” Wyatt of Oklahoma, US, and First Officer Peter Bello of Nigeria.
AIB spokesman, Tunji Oketunbi, while displaying the recovered boxes to aviation correspondents revealed Julius Berger led the search mission, together with hired divers before the black boxes were recovered.
AIB said it will contact the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) as well as Bristow Helicopters for documents and other information that will assist in the investigations of the crash.
“We are shaken and deeply saddened by this tragic accident,” Bristow’s Regional Director Africa, Duncan Moore, had said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the families, friends and loved ones of all those on board.”