The Chairman of the Committee set up to investigate circumstances that led to the helicopter crash off the coast of the Takoradi Air Force Base six months ago, Captain Victor Opoku, has disclosed that a leakage from a pipe at the rear side of the helicopter had drained oil onto the hot engine.
That, he said, might have led to a fire outbreak that ended up in the crash that claimed four lives.
Captain Opoku made the disclosure when the committee presented its final 87-page report to the Minister of Transport, Mrs Dzifa Attivor, in Accra yesterday.
Captain Opoku said it had taken the committee a longer period to complete its work because none of the pilots had survived to provide immediate information on what had happened.
He added that investigations into accidents of that nature were not time-bound as the committee also had to make deductions from the wreckage to ascertain the possible cause of the crash.
The fire which preceded the crash, Captain Opoku said, had caused substantial damage to the aircraft and, therefore, prevented the pilots from taking certain actions to save the situation.
“They tried but unfortunately, they could not prevent the crash,” he said.
Captain Opoku said the helicopter was a French-built Dolphin 365 N built in 1983 but had undergone several maintenance programmes, adding that at the time of the flight, the helicopter was airworthy.
He said the aircraft had been leased by the Volta River Aviation from International Aircraft Services of Cote d’Ivoire, the owners of the aircraft.
Mrs Attivor said when the accident occurred, the five-member committee was set up to investigate the cause and make recommendations to the government.
She said it was gratifying that finally a report was ready to be studied to know what really caused the crash.
The ministry, she said, would study it and thereafter make it available to other allied agencies.
She, on behalf of the government, expressed condolences to the families of the four who died and said the full details of the report would be made public at a later date.
source : Graphic Online