Occurrence No.: AIBN-003-2019       Occurrence Type: Accident      Report Created: Feb 2/19’
Title: Inadvertent IMC – Hard Landing       Flight Phase: Landing      Aircraft Type: AW139
Carrier/Owner: Caverton Helicopters Limited       A/C Registration: 5N-CML
Location: Kabba Football Stadium, Kogi State, Nigeria
Status: Open Last Update: Feb 13/19
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History of the Flight

History of Flight
Flight Reconstruction Animation https://www.planesciences.com/demo-video

 

On 2nd February, 2019 at about 13:46 h, NGR002 departed Abuja runway 22 for Kabba, Kogi State, on a Visual Flight Rule (VFR) Flight Plan.
The take-off and climb out phase was normal; and the helicopter levelled off at a cruising altitude of 5,000 ft flying with autopilot coupled.
55 NM to Kabba, the helicopter began descent.
Pre-landing checks were carried out which included a landing brief for a ground helipad landing and a Landing Decision (or Committal) Point (LDP) of 100 ft/ 20 KIAS based on the surrounding obstacles and masts.
The crew briefed on landing in brownout and used the Company’s Brownout Landing Procedures.
The crew of NGR002 stated that they sighted the stadium as a result of the brown dust generated by the downwash of the police helicopter main rotor. The crew further stated that the approach was normal.
After identifying the stadium, both flight crew members agreed on the selected landing spot within the stadium. The NGR002 got into hover to land and at 50 ft above ground level, a brownout set in.  The crew lost visual contact with the ground and elected to use the Instantaneous Vertical Speed Indicator (IVSI) and Radio Altimeter (RAD ALT) to control the descent. The Co-Pilot began RAD ALT Callouts “35, 30, 25, 20 and 15”. After the RAD ALT 15 Callout, neither the CoPilot nor the Captain could remember making or hearing further callouts.  At about 14:34 h, the helicopter experienced a hard landing on the right main landing gear and rolled over to the right.

 

Police Helicopter
(Secondary Aircraft)
There was a secondary aircraft (Police Helicopter) at the landing area, but it did not have a direct influence on the accident.

  • Another helicopter, (Bell 412) with nationality and registration marks 5N-PEJ operated by the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) conveying the advance party, established radio communication with NGR002 just before the MPFR failed. The police helicopter landed in the stadium at 14:30 h ahead of NGR002.
  • The crew of NGR002 stated that they sighted the stadium as a result of the brown dust generated by the downwash of the police helicopter main rotor.
  • The helicopter had established radio communications with the Police helicopter (5N-PEJ) on frequency 136.1 MHz.

 

IVSI/RADALT With respect to the IVSI and RADALT, further investigation is needed to determine if there were any equipment issues that may have contributed to the accident, or any issues with the crew’s usage of the equipment.

  • The helicopter got into hover to land and at 50 ft above ground level, a brownout set in.
  • The crew lost visual contact with the ground and elected to use the Instantaneous Vertical Speed Indicator (IVSI) and Radio Altimeter (RAD ALT) to control the descent.
  • The Co-Pilot began RAD ALT Callouts “35, 30, 25, 20 and 15”.
  • After the RAD ALT 15 Callout, neither the CoPilot nor the Captain could remember making or hearing further callouts.
  • The helicopter then experienced a hard landing on the right main landing gear and rolled over to the right.

Gallery / Videos

More Information?

Nil

Summary: The terrain condition in the landing area consisted of loose, dry dirt. While the aircraft was attempting to land, the interaction of the aircraft with the terrain resulted in a significant brownout and loss of visibility.

During the crash, debris was distributed within the football stadium. A parked car suffered minor damage from flying debris.


Information

Name

Kabba Football Stadium

Description

Unpaved field.

Elevation

1500 ft (457 m) above mean sea level.

Location

About the coordinate 07°50’32”N 06°04’42”E.


More Information?

Nil.


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Recorders

Summary: 34 minutes after departure, in cruise, the Flight Recorder light came ON indicating recorder had stopped recording, and the Crew Alerting System (CAS) displayed FDR and CVR fail. The crew consulted the Caverton Helicopters Quick Reference Manual (QRH) which advised that the flight should continue.

The Flight Recorder was retrieved from the wreckage and taken to the AIB Flight Safety Laboratory in Abuja. The flight recorder voice and data has been downloaded and is awaiting analysis.


Information

Manufacturer

Penny & Giles Aerospace Ltd.

Description

Low weight recorder that has combined Cockpit Voice and Flight Data recording capabilities.

Part Number

D51615-142 Issue 02

Serial Number

A09296-001

Manufacture Date

July 2014

S/W Reference

SW110522

Flight Data Capacity

25 hours.


More Information?

Nil


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Systems

Summary: No Systems issues were identified.

Information:

Nil.


More Information?

Nil.


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Flight Controls

Summary: No Flight Control issues were identified.

Information:

Nil.

More Information?

Nil.


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Summary: Crew decision making is under investigation. There were no issues with the background of the crew nor the passengers that would have contributed to this accident. There were no fatalities and no injuries. There were no issues that negatively affected the survivability of the accident.


Information

  1. Crew
  2. Passengers
  3. Injuries to Persons
  4. Survival Aspects


More Information?

Nil.


Gallery / Videos

History of Flight

Click here for a flight reconstruction animation.

Summary: Further investigation is required to determine if there were any crew decision making issues, or adherence to SOP issues, that may have contributed to the accident. With respect to the IVSI and RADALT, further investigation is needed to determine if there were any equipment issues that may have contributed to the accident, or any issues with the crew’s usage of the equipment.


Information

  1. History of the Flight
  2. Police Helicopter (Secondary Aircraft)
  3. IVSI / RADALT

More Information?

Nil.


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Transcripts

Summary: Not applicable.

Information:

Nil.

More Information?

Nil.


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Structures

Summary: Not applicable.

Information:

Nil.

More Information?

Nil.


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Operations

Summary: Not applicable.

Information:

Nil.

More Information?

Nil.


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Witnesses

Summary:Interviews with witnesses are ongoing.

Information:

TBA.

More Information?

Nil.


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WX

Summary: While the local weather was not a contributing factor to the accident, the interaction of the aircraft with the soil conditions resulted in inadvertent Instrument Meteorological Conditions (IMC).


Information

According to the weather report obtained by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the prevailing weather at the stadium was good (CAVOK)

The downwash of NGR002 induced a brownout event, resulting in a significant loss of visibility.


More Information?

Nil.


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FOD/Bird/Drone Strike

Summary: Not applicable.

Information:

Nil.

More Information?

Nil.


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Fire

Summary: There was no fire – before, during or after the accident.

Information:

Nil.

More Information?

Nil.


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ATC

Summary: No issues with ATC were identified.


Information

The helicopter was in radio communication with Abuja Tower and Abuja Radar Approach.

On departure, a squawk code of 1301 was given by the Air Traffic Control (ATC) for radar monitoring.

The helicopter was monitored on Abuja Approach Radar until 55 NM to Kabba, when the helicopter began descent.


More Information?

Nil.


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Conclusions

Initial Findings

Click here to review table of initial findings

Causes – TBD

Contributing Factors – TBD

More Information?

Nil.

 

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Recommendations

1.0 Immediate Safety Recommendation 2019-002

NCAA should issue an Advisory Circular to all helicopter operators flying in Nigeria to be alert of the possibility and the effect of brownout. Appropriate procedures should be put in place to mitigate its effect(s).

2.0 Immediate Safety Recommendation 2019-003

Caverton Helicopters Limited should ensure that flight operations are carried out in accordance with the company’s approved operations manual, vis-a-vis site survey and proper safety risk analysis are done before dispatching any helicopter to unapproved landing pads.


More Information?.

Nil.


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Inadvertent IMC – Hard Landing

Executive Summary

While attempting to land in a football stadium, VIP chartered flight Nigeria 002 (NGR002) encountered brownout conditions and experienced a hard landing on the right main landing gear and rolled over to the right.

There were 12 persons onboard, including the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and his entourage, and three crew members (Captain, Co-Pilot and an Engineer). All occupants of the helicopter were evacuated uninjured.

Footnote: Brownout in helicopter operations is an in-flight visibility restriction caused by dust or sand in which the flight crew looses visual contact with nearby objects that provide the outside visual references necessary to control the helicopter near the ground.

More Information?

Nil.


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AW-139

Summary: Further investigation is required to determine if there were any issues with the aircraft (power plant, rotors, control surfaces, instrumentation) that may have contributed to the accident, including any issues related to the aircraft’s interaction with dust or stones from the brownout.


Information

  1. Aircraft Information
  2. Damage to Aircraft
  3. Wreckage and Impact Information


More Information?

Nil.


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Similar Occurrences

Summary: TBA.

Information:

For demonstration and illustration purposes, the following links demonstrate a video and an animation. They could be representative of similar occurrence information.

Video example:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AIQY1O2wXts

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MIsV2hCsuAk

Animation example:

https://www.planesciences.com/demo-video

More Information?

Nil.

 

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Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)

Summary: Further investigation is required to determine if there were any issues related to Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that may have contributed to the accident. These issues may be related to the adequacy of the SOPs themselves, or issues related to the crews adherence to the SOPs.

Information:

Nil.

More Information?

Nil.


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Training Aids

Future Contents: The intent of this Training Aids pulldown is to provide training aids information related to a specific occurrence. This would facilitate connecting the safety and training communities, with respect to timeliness in making follow-up training information available for a specific occurrence.

Initially this will involve engaging with the training community to provide training aids that could be referenced, or even added directly to the occurrence Training Aids pulldown. The longer term goal is to develop a database warehouse of training aids and give users the ability to find them using key words. The system could then automatically attach training aids to occurrences using the key words, when the occurrences are posted.

Information:

Nil.

 

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