Wigwe: Rain, wintry weather responsible for crash, says US

Alex Omenye
Alex Omenye

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

Wigwe, along with his wife and son, was aboard the helicopter when it crashed in California near the Nevada border on Friday. Abimbola Ogunbanjo, the former group chairperson of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, was also on board.

During a media briefing on Saturday (3 am Nigerian time, Sunday), Michael Graham, a National Transportation Safety Board member, stated that officials were at the crash site to collect perishable evidence.

Graham mentioned that the investigative team is methodically reviewing all evidence and considering various factors to determine the probable cause of the crash. While the information provided is preliminary, witness reports indicated that wintry weather conditions might have contributed to the accident.

The crew on the helicopter included a pilot in command and a safety pilot, and the flight was operated by Orbic Air LLC as a Part 135 charter flight. The tragic incident occurred, and authorities are diligently working to ascertain the details surrounding the crash.

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

“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 added
In response to inquiries about more information regarding the passengers, Graham clarified that no details were currently available.

He mentioned that any names would be released through the coroner’s office, although he did not specify a timeframe for this release. Additionally, Graham outlined that the National Transportation Safety Board would conduct an investigation into various aspects, including the chopper’s airworthiness, maintenance and structure, operations, meteorology, and air traffic control.

Meanwhile, Access Holdings Plc has officially confirmed the tragic passing of its CEO, Herbert Wigwe, along with his wife and son.

The announcement was conveyed through a statement signed by the Group Company Secretary, Sunday Ekwochi, on Sunday. The company mourns the loss of its leader and family members, expressing condolences and acknowledging the profound impact of this unfortunate event.

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