The Accident Investigation Board (AIB) constituted by the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to ascertain the cause of the ill-fated Augusta helicopter crash of December 15, 2012 that killed six people on board, including the Governor of Kaduna State, Patrick Yakowa, and former National Security Adviser (NSA), Gen. Andrew Azazi, has submitted an interim report to the Nigerian Navy.
The interim report of the investigative board, which was set up at the instance of the navy, will be subjected to further investigation.
In a statement issued by the Naval Director of Information, Commodore Kabiru Aliyu, yesterday the navy said the real cause of the crash could not be ascertained, but added that it might have been caused either by human error or material failure or a combination of both. Aliyu however said that in order to be certain of the immediate and remote causes of the tragic air mishap, the aircraft’s engine would have to be subjected to a detailed forensic analysis.
He noted that the naval headquarters had already mandated the manufacturers of the NN07 Agusta-Westland engine, Turbomeca, to carry out the forensic analysis phase of the investigation. He said: “The investigation which was conducted by aviation experts in collaboration with the manufacturers of the aircraft – Agusta Westland – has stated that the cause of the crash could either be human error or material failure or a combination of both.
“However, to determine the actual cause of the crash there is the need to tear down the engine of the helicopter in order to carry out a detailed forensic analysis.
“This aspect of the investigation will be carried out by Turbomeca, the manufacturers of the engine.”