Wigwe: US Reveals Reasons for Helicopter Crash in California

United States authorities reported on Sunday that preliminary findings suggest wintry weather conditions played a role in a helicopter crash that claimed the life of Herbert Wigwe, the Group Chief Executive Officer of Access Holdings Plc.


The crash, which occurred near the California-Nevada border on Friday, also resulted in the deaths of Wigwe‘s wife, son, and another passenger, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former group chairperson of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc.

Speaking at a media briefing early Saturday (Nigerian time), Michael Graham, a member of the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), stated that officials were actively collecting perishable evidence at the crash site. Graham emphasized that while the investigation was still in its preliminary stages, witness reports indicated that wintry weather conditions were potentially contributory factors to the accident.

READ ALSO: Access Bank Confirms, Mourns Death of Herbert Wigwe, Wife, Son in Helicopter Crash

“The crew consisted of a pilot in command and a safety pilot. The accident flight was operated by Orbic Air LLC as a Part 135 charter flight.

“Witness reports of the weather conditions at the time of the accident suggest rain and a wintry mix.

“The helicopter was not equipped with a cockpit voice recorder or a flight data recorder. This helicopter was not required to be equipped with those types of recording devices,” Graham said

Regarding the passengers, Graham mentioned that no further details were immediately available and indicated that any names would be released through the coroner’s office at a later time.

Moving forward, the NTSB plans to thoroughly examine various aspects related to the crash, including the helicopter’s airworthiness, maintenance records, structural integrity, operational procedures, meteorological conditions, and air traffic control interactions.

Graham noted that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Orbic Air LLC are among the parties involved in the investigation, with the possibility of additional parties being named as the inquiry progresses.

“Parties to the investigation include the FAA and Orbic Air LLC. As the investigation continues, other parties could be named,” he said.

“The BEA — the French aviation accident investigation agency — will serve as an accredited representative because France is a state of the manufacturer of the Airbus helicopter and the Turbomeca engine.”

Furthermore, the French aviation accident investigation agency, BEA, will serve as an accredited representative due to France’s status as the manufacturer state of the Airbus helicopter and the Turbomeca engine installed in the aircraft.

Meanwhile, Access Holdings Plc has officially confirmed the tragic loss of its CEO, Herbert Wigwe, along with his family members, in a statement released by the Group Company Secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, on Sunday.

The company mourns the untimely passing of its leader Wigwe, and extends its deepest condolences to the families affected by this devastating event.