The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), on Sunday, provided details on some of the items recovered from the scene of the helicopter crash that led to the death of the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc, Herbert Wigwe, his wife, son and other crew members onboard.
The board also provided a brief insight into the aircraft’s flight trajectory before crashing near Halloran Springs in California.
The details were provided by a board member with the NTSB, Michael Graham, during a press briefing held Sunday afternoon in Barstow, California.
At the briefing, Mr Graham notes that they were at the crash scene to gather evidence on Sunday.
PREMIUM TIMES reported the helicopter crash that occurred Friday near the California-Nevada border in the United States of America. On the aircraft were Mr Wigwe, his wife and his son, as well as Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former group chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc (NGX Group), and at least two crew members.
The NTSB, an independent agency charged by the US Congress to investigate every civil aviation accident and significant accidents in the other modes of transportation across the United States of America, has since moved to the location to commence investigations into the possible causes of the crash.
Mr Graham said the team began the day’s activities with aerial drone mapping and site documentation of the wreckage, and that the airworthiness group began a detailed examination of the debris field.
“The debris field was approximately 100 yards in length,” he said, noting that all major components of the crashed helicopter were accounted for and identified at the accident site.
The investigators listed the components to include three main rotor blades, the main transmission, the engine, tail rotor landing and gear skids.
Mr Graham said the ADSB data (flight track data) shows that the helicopter was travelling along Interstate 15, approximately 1000 to 1500 feet above ground level.
He noted that near the end of the flight, track data showed a slight right turn, turning south of the interstate and a gradual descent and increasing ground speed.
The official explained that the flight track data ended about a quarter mile from the wreckage location, while the wreckage site shows the helicopter impacted the terrain in a “nose low and right bank angle”.
“Various electronic devices and onboard equipment were recovered at the scene for further examination and Analysis,” he said, adding that the wreckage will moved to a secure location on Tuesday for further examination and analysis.
Rain, wintery mix
Meanwhile, he recalled that during his first briefing on the incident he had mentioned that witnesses reported rain and a wintery mix at the crash location. This, he said, was confirmed by his team.
“Our NTSB meteorologist through weather radar images and data can now support witness reports of precipitation at the time and location of the accident,” Mr Graham said.
“We’re working with Orbic to schedule interviews with key personnel.”
Mr Graham said Sunday’s briefing will be the last on-scene press briefing by the NTSB.
However, the official stated that the unseen portion of the investigation will continue until complete.
“As a reminder, a preliminary report of the accident is expected within 30 days and a full NTSB investigation lasts 12 to 24 months before a final report is issued. Any additional information about the status of the investigation will come from NTSB headquarters in Washington,” he said.
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