Herbert Wigwe: Fresh Updates on Helicopter Crash

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) recently provided a preliminary report to the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), unveiling crucial details about the tragic helicopter crash that claimed Herbert Wigwe, former Group CEO of Access Holdings, along with his wife, son, and others.

Bimbo Oladeji, NSIB’s Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, disclosed that the report highlighted critical aspects of the Airbus Helicopter EC130B4 crash.

Departing from Burbank, California, adverse weather conditions, including rain and snow, played a pivotal role in this catastrophic incident.

The helicopter’s journey to Boulder City Municipal Airport in Nevada took a fatal turn over Palm Springs International Airport, prompting distressing eyewitness accounts of a “fireball” along Interstate 15, leading to emergency calls.

The wreckage discovered near Halloran Springs revealed a traumatic collision through a scattered debris pattern.

The report read;

Departing from Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, California, the helicopter journeyed to Boulder City Municipal Airport in Nevada via Palm Springs International Airport.

However, during its flight, adverse weather conditions characterized by rain and a mix of snow were encountered, as reported by witnesses.

Reports from law enforcement and eyewitnesses also indicated that several individuals travelling along Interstate 15 (I-15) observed a “fireball” in the area, prompting calls to emergency services.

Subsequently, the wreckage of the helicopter was discovered in the high, mountainous desert and scrub-brush-covered terrain near Halloran Springs, California.

Analyzing the Accident Site

Examining the scene, investigators found a 1.5 ft deep ground crater, containing fragments of the right landing gear skid, cockpit wiring, and cabin floor structure.

The fuselage was fragmented, displaying the intensity of the collision. The flight control tubes and linkages were shattered, complicating the verification of continuity.

Utilizing ADS-B data, operator reports, and eyewitness accounts, the NTSB reconstructed the flight path and sequence of events.

The main rotor blades were fragmented, revealing the force of impact. Thermal damage on debris and vegetation offered insights into the collision’s magnitude, forming a heartbreaking narrative of Hubert Wigwe’s final moments.

As the investigation unfolds, the aviation community grapples with the stark realities of adverse weather conditions and their implications on air travel safety.

Access Bank’s Herbert Wigwe, his wife, and son will have their funeral from March 4th to March 10th, 2024.

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