Nigeria’s Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was involved in a crash aboard an AgustaWestland 139 helicopter conveying him and his aides on Saturday February 2, 2019.
Fortunately, the Vice President and other occupants of the helicopter numbered 5N-CML with SN 31389, came out of the aircraft which crash-landed in Kogi State without sustaining any injuries.
The Vice President and crew were being rescued at the scene
The said aircraft belongs to Caverton helicopters who are also in charge of its maintenance and operations. Following the incident, the company made another aircraft available to the Number 2 citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In assessing factors surrounding the crash, Caverton identified hazy weather conditions as the cause and investigation reports also revealed that the said aircraft has had a low rate of accidents in its lifespan. Let's see below what the aircraft presents about its helicopter before the accident of our Vice President.
Facts about the AgustaWestland 139 chopper
1. It is a 15-seat twin-engine medium-sized helicopter designed and created by AgustaWestland.
2. A high-end aircraft, it’s marketed and distributed in several capacities including: offshore transport, corporate transport, law enforcement, emergency medical service, fire-fighting, maritime patrol, search and rescue and disaster relief.
3. The market price of the AW139 AugustaWestland aircraft as of 2013 was $12million i.e N4.3 billion. (It's a high-end private aircraft so don't ever wonder why it's that expensive!)
Investigations started to see if this was foul play against the Vice President
4. The number of the helicopter built as of 2018 was over 900. It boasts of 9 variants including: AW139, AB139, AW139, US139, AW139M, VH-139A, MH-139 and HH-139A.
5. The aircraft is quite popular. It’s operated in over 24 countries in six continents. Gulf Helicopter based in Qatar is among the largest users of the AW139 across the world. Leading users of it in Africa include Nigeria, Ivory Coast and Senegal. Here in Nigeria, institutions operating it are the Nigerian Airforce as well as Caverton Helicopters.
6. The maximum speed of the machine is 310 km/h (193 mph) and its cruising speed is 306 km/h (191 mph).
7. Its maximum takeoff weight is 6,400kgs, endurance duration is 5 hours 13 min, fuel tank capacity is 545 gallon/2,063 liters, and it travels 659 miles or 1,061 km before needing a refuel.
The Vice President escaped the crashed helicopter "safe and sound"
Back to the main event, Wiki reported that there were speculations of possible foul play leading to the crash due to the closeness, but Ceverton Helicopters stated that it was due to hazy weather. What's your opinion?