Helicopter incident: Bristow seeks external audit of its operations

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Bristow Helicopters Limited on Wednesday said it would welcome an industry-led external audit of its operations in Nigeria following the controlled ditching of one of its choppers in Lagos.

The organisation made its position known in a statement signed by its External Communications Manager, Julie King, and made available in Lagos.

The statement said the position was without prejudice to the on-going investigations by the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

It explained that the expectation of such initiative would also extend to include the audit of other similar entities active in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.

“This is such that any findings can be shared laterally across all operators to further enhance safety,” it said.

The statement said Bristow would fully support NCAA’s audit of its operation of the Sikorsky S76 fleet.

“We are also in full support of the on-going investigation by the Nigerian Aircraft Investigation Bureau (NAIB) into the incident on Feb. 3,” it added.

The statement said that the captain and the first officer, who executed a precautionary landing, were recruited and trained locally in Nigeria and at the Bristow Academy in the U.S.

It said their training was in accordance with Bristow’s programme for flight officers.

“Bristow’s training programme fully complies with the regulatory requirements of both the NCAA and international standards.

“Following their qualifications as pilots, the crew was employed by Bristow.

“They have continued to undergo recurrent training in line with Bristow’s operating procedures and client requirements and in full compliance with regulatory requirements.

“The successful water landing of the aircraft by the crew on Feb. 3, was accomplished safely and without any significant injuries or loss of life.

“The captain, the first Nigerian female helicopter commander, performed admirably and remains an important member of the Bristow team,” it said.

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