Revealed: Two Captains Paired On Bristow Helicopters Crashed Plane – AIB | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Revealed: Two Captains Paired On Bristow Helicopters Crashed Plane – AIB

Posted: May 29, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

• Both Wore Four Bars Meant For Captain

By Abel Orukpe –  Lagos


The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has stated that investigation carried out on Bristow Helicopters with registration 5N-BMM that crashed at Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA) on July 14, 2011 revealed that the two pilots in the cockpit were captains and were paired despite the fact that the airline has no pairing policy.

According to AIB, Bristow Helicopters paired the two captains despite the fact that the rotary wing giant does not have paring policy.

AIB, who  made this known in its final report  of the Bristow Helicopter crash  in 2011 on its website ,added that Bristow Helicopter used  its Operations Manual Part A and C that were not approved by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA).

“Bristow does not have a policy on pairing or crew roaster, however two pilots of same age bracket 56 and 60 years were paired/rostered.” AIB stated in its report.

Besides, the accident investigation body stated that the two pilots who flew the aircraft before the crash were relatively new on the aircraft and that the Pilot Flying( PF) and Pilot Monitoring(PM) had total hours on type of 684 and 612 respectively.

According to AIB, investigation further revealed that the PF was a training Captain in Bristow Helicopters and that the  airline paired  two captains with similar experience on the accident aircraft, even though one of them was certified as a co-pilot but that   the one certified as a co-pilot on the Cessna Citation 560xls was a certified captain on two aircraft.

The co-pilot, AIB investigation also revealed had a full complement of a captain, as he wore four bars meant for captains, as at the time of the accident, adding that it would have been difficult for anybody to identify any of them as a co-pilot and that one operating as the co-pilot and the other as the captain in command cannot be overlooked.

The accident investigation body stated that it was the captain flying as co-pilot that gave the command to the captain flying to go down, even when he complained that he could not see and that he was not aligned.

“It is believed that a regular first officer will not give a command like that to his captain. In pairing, necessary consideration should be made to avoid personality clashes, ego and unnecessary supremacy based on cultural and age differences which might jeopardise safety in operation of aircraft.”AIB said

AIB said in its findings that after the crash, the crew did not carry out the emergency evacuation; rather they left their positions, without shutting down all the engines as stipulated in the emergency checklist.

The crew, AIB said also left the cock-pit for the main passengers exit door with an engine still running and that the lack of proper emergency procedures led to some utterances in the cabin such as, “This door should open in Jesus name, open in Jesus name.”

AIB investigation further showed that despite the fact that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA) did not approve Bristow Helicopters  Operations Manual Part A and C, the airline went  operated with it .