Reports have revealed that the Aircraft model, Eurocopter EC 130B4, which crashed and claimed the lives of the Chief Executive of Access Holdings Plc, Herbert Wigwe, his wife, son and three others crashed five times in 2023.
Naija News reports that Wigwe died following a chopper crash on Friday, February 9, in California, United States.
His wife, Chizoba, and son also suffered the same fate.
However, a report from The Nation has traced the history of the Eurocopter EC 130 to several fatal accidents.
The aircraft model which is manufactured by Airbus Helicopters SAS (formerly Eurocopter), the single-engine aircraft and its variations have a long history of accidents.
In December 1, 2023, the Eurocopter EC 130B4 suffered a crash which struck power cables during takeoff and crashed into a ball of flames near Ex Hacienda el Hospital, Cuautla, Morelos in Mexico. Three people died in the accident, and it was the last of 11 crashes involving Airbus models in 2023.
In 2018, the same aircraft model crashed in the Grand Canyon and claimed the lives of five people.
In 2018, another crash involving Eurocopter EC 130B4 killed five people, all of them Britons, in the Grand Canyon.
Two brothers, Stuart and Jason Hill, 30 and 32, were among the dead. Stuart Hill’s girlfriend Becky Dobson was also killed in the crash. The three were pronounced dead at the scene.
The aircraft burst into flames after crashing. The pilot told American investigators that the helicopter encountered a “violent gust of wind” and started spinning.
In January 2023, two EC130B4s operated by Sea World Helicopters collided in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, killing four people and injuring eight.
Following these accidents, it is now required all helicopter fuel tanks be shielded from fuel tank rupture on impact.
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