Crash Landing: Bristow Helicopters Accident Bell 412 EP, 5N – BIQ, Akwa Ibom, 3rd August 2007


  • Report No
    01/2008 (BH/2007/08/03/F)
  • Reg. No
    5N –BIQ
  • Operator
    Bristow Helicopters Nigeria Limited
  • Aircraft Type
    Bell 412 EP
  • Occurence
  • Report Date
    Friday, February 15, 2013


The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) was notified of the accident on the 3rd of August, 2007 at about 07:55hrs. The investigation began at about 15:00hrs the same day, in company of the Bristow Helicopters’ Lagos based Operations Manager.

Bristow Helicopters (Nigeria) Ltd provides flight logistics and support to Mobil Producing (Nig.) Unlimited (MPN) in its oil explorations both on–shore and off–shore at Akwa Ibom State. The contract mandates the operator (Bristow) to provide helicopter air support while Mobil (MPN) dictates the revenue tasking for crew and aircraft as required daily. The Bristow line training captain boarded the aircraft 5N – BIQ Bell 412EP at 07:30hrs without the co-pilot. He started the
aircraft engines rapidly, made a radio call at 07:32.16hrs for a “local flight”, and lifted rapidly at 07:35hrs.

It was revealed that no such flight was scheduled or requested. He made two fast fly passes over the airfield and on the third fly pass the aircraft descended steeply over the west of the airfield at a high speed impacting the ground at 07:39hrs. The Pilot died of injuries shortly after being rescued from the wreckage.

The Acting Managing Pilot reported and made a statement to the Divisional police headquarters of Nigerian Police in Ibeno, Akwa Ibom State, regarding the accident. The pathological report confirmed death due to hemorrhage and traumatic shock consequent upon multiple soft tissue and skeletal injuries. The nature of injuries was consistent with that of air accident. However, toxicological examination did not detect any evidence of alcohol or other substances of abuse in the system. Analysis of the flight recorder parameters showed that the engines and flight controls were serviceable and functioning
normally until the aircraft made final impact with the ground.

Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) readout was analysed and it was consistent with Flight Data Recorder (FDR) and equally suggestive. The Bureau conducted interviews abroad with the next-of-kins of the victim for relevant information pertinent to this accident.

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