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AIB Blames 2012 Police Helicopter Crash on Pilot Error

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  • AIB Blames 2012 Police Helicopter Crash on Pilot Error

A new report released by the Accident Investigation Bureau has blamed the 2012 helicopter crash involving a Deputy Inspector-General of Police in charge of operations, Mr. John Haruna, and three others in the Kabong area of Jos, Plateau State, on pilot error.

The report released on Wednesday stated that the medical certificate of the pilot of the Bell 427 Helicopter, with registration number 5NPAL, had expired as of the time of the accident, while the co-pilot was not type-rated on the helicopter.

Although the AIB Commissioner, Mr. Akin Olateru, said the cause of the accident could not be conclusively decided, the investigation discovered a series of discrepancies and non-compliance with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations.

For instance, he said that the simulator had expired as of the time of the accident and that the engineer who released the aircraft prior to the flight had no type training and rating on the aircraft model.

He said the flight originated from Abuja airport to the Jos Prison Service football fields conveying the DIG to Abuja.

The AIB commissioner said the pilot had initial contact with Jos Control Tower at 1.50pm the previous day, adding that the following day, which was March 14, at 09.30am, a police fuel bowser that had arrived in Jos from Abuja the previous day, fuelled the aircraft, which had been parked overnight at the Jos Prison football field.

The report read in part, “At 09.58am, two-way communication was established between the helicopter and air traffic controller and the pilot reported endurance of two hours, five persons on board, maintaining an altitude of 4000ft, and that it was a patrol flight around Jos city.

“The pilot also reported that he would be landing at the Police Headquarters, Jos and would call the control tower when rejoining for another patrol. The helicopter landed at the Nigerian Prisons Service football field, Jos, customarily used as a landing site for the Police Headquarters, Jos at 10. 58am.

“At about 11.50am, the helicopter lifted up with four persons on board including the DIG. The control tower was notified at about 11.55am of the helicopter’s crash at Landir village, Kabong area, near Jos metropolis, and that all four persons on board were fatally injured.”

Olateru said three safety recommendations were made, after investigations, to the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the Department of Petroleum Resources.

He said the NPF Air-Wing was advised to provide the proper funding, conducive working environment, develop and implement a robust training programme for its technical/operational personnel, with adequate supervision and approved equipment to enhance safety while the NCAA should ensure that the NPF Air-Wing complied with its approved maintenance organisation requirements.

The DPR, on the other hand, was advised to launch an independent inquiry into the aviation fuel quality in the country and the resulting report should focus on the vulnerability and risk of each step in the distribution process.

“The NCAA has since recertified the NPF Air-Wing in accordance with the Part 6 of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig. CARs) in 2014 as an approved maintenance organisation and its certificate was subsequently renewed in July 2016 and is presently valid up until May 26, 2018,” he said.

Other reports released by the AIB included a 2008 Nigerian College of Aviation Technology plane crash involving a student pilot, which caused the pilot’s inability to maintain a directional control of the aircraft after touchdown; and the ground collision incident involving two aircraft belonging to Air Peace at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos in April.

“This is not an accident or a serious incident in accordance with Annex 13 ICAO. But in accordance with the Civil Aviation (Investigation of Air Accidents and Incidents) Regulations 2016 of the bureau, we decided to investigate this incident because of the safety lessons to be learnt,” he said.

Olateru said the agency had 22 pending accident reports to be released and that about 14 would be released within one year of his tenure in office which began January this year.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Crude Oil

Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

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Oil Dips Below $62 in New York Though Banks Say Rally Can Extend

Oil retreated from an earlier rally with investment banks and traders predicting the market can go significantly higher in the months to come.

Futures in New York pared much of an earlier increase to $63 a barrel as the dollar climbed and equities slipped. Bank of America said prices could reach $70 at some point this year, while Socar Trading SA sees global benchmark Brent hitting $80 a barrel before the end of the year as the glut of inventories built up during the Covid-19 pandemic is drained by the summer.

The loss of oil output after the big freeze in the U.S. should help the market firm as much of the world emerges from lockdowns, according to Trafigura Group. Inventory data due later Tuesday from the American Petroleum Institute and more from the Energy Department on Wednesday will shed more light on how the Texas freeze disrupted U.S. oil supply last week.

Oil has surged this year after Saudi Arabia pledged to unilaterally cut 1 million barrels a day in February and March, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc. predicting the rally will accelerate as demand outpaces global supply. Russia and Riyadh, however, will next week once again head into an OPEC+ meeting with differing opinions about adding more crude to the market.

“The freeze in the U.S. has proved supportive as production was cut,” said Hans van Cleef, senior energy economist at ABN Amro. “We still expect that Russia will push for a significant rise in production,” which could soon weigh on prices, he said.

PRICES

  • West Texas Intermediate for April fell 27 cents to $61.43 a barrel at 9:20 a.m. New York time
  • Brent for April settlement fell 8 cents to $65.16

Brent’s prompt timespread firmed in a bullish backwardation structure to the widest in more than a year. The gap rose above $1 a barrel on Tuesday before easing to 87 cents. That compares with 25 cents at the start of the month.

JPMorgan Chase & Co. and oil trader Vitol Group shot down talk of a new oil supercycle, though they said a lack of supply response will keep prices for crude prices firm in the short term.

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Crude Oil

Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

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Oil Prices Rise With Storm-hit U.S. Output Set for Slow Return

Oil prices rose on Monday as the slow return of U.S. crude output cut by frigid conditions served as a reminder of the tight supply situation, just as demand recovers from the depths of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brent crude was up $1.38, or 2.2%, at $64.29 per barrel. West Texas Intermediate gained $1.38, or 2.33%, to trade at $60.62 per barrel.

Abnormally cold weather in Texas and the Plains states forced the shutdown of up to 4 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude production along with 21 billion cubic feet of natural gas output, analysts estimated.

Shale oil producers in the region could take at least two weeks to restart the more than 2 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude output affected, sources said, as frozen pipes and power supply interruptions slow their recovery.

“With three-quarters of fracking crews standing down, the likelihood of a fast resumption is low,” ANZ Research said in a note.

For the first time since November, U.S. drilling companies cut the number of oil rigs operating due to the cold and snow enveloping Texas, New Mexico and other energy-producing centres.

OPEC+ oil producers are set to meet on March 4, with sources saying the group is likely to ease curbs on supply after April given a recovery in prices, although any increase in output will likely be modest given lingering uncertainty over the pandemic.

“Saudi Arabia is eager to pursue yet higher prices in order to cover its social break-even expenses at around $80 a barrel while Russia is strongly focused on unwinding current cuts and getting back to normal production,” said SEB chief commodity analyst Bjarne Schieldrop.

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Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

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Crude Oil Rose Above $65 Per Barrel as US Production Drop Due to Texas Weather

Oil prices rose to $65.47 per barrel on Thursday as crude oil production dropped in the US due to frigid Texas weather.

The unusual weather has left millions in the dark and forced oil producers to shut down production. According to reports, at least the winter blast has claimed 24 lives.

Brent crude oil gained $2 to $65.47 on Thursday morning before pulling back to $64.62 per barrel around 11:00 am Nigerian time.

U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude rose 2.3 percent to settle at $61.74 per barrel.

“This has just sent us to the next level,” said Bob Yawger, director of energy futures at Mizuho in New York. “Crude oil WTI will probably max out somewhere pretty close to $65.65, refinery utilization rate will probably slide to somewhere around 76%,” Yawger said.

However, the report that Saudi Arabia plans to increase production in the coming months weighed on crude oil as it can be seen in the chart below.

Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Energy Minister, warned that it was too early to declare victory against the COVID-19 virus and that oil producers must remain “extremely cautious”.

“We are in a much better place than we were a year ago, but I must warn, once again, against complacency. The uncertainty is very high, and we have to be extremely cautious,” he told an energy industry event.

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