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Herbert Wigwe: US NTSB Releases Fresh Update On Why Helicopter Crashed

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The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) of the United States has released a preliminary report, which revealed that the chopper that killed the founder of Access Holdings Plc, Herbert Wigwe, was a fireball before it crashed.

Naija News reports that this comes barely two weeks after Wigwe, his wife, son, and the former Group Chairman of Nigerian Exchange Group Plc, NGX Group, Abimbola Ogunbanjo, were involved in a helicopter crash in California.

However, an investigation by NTSB said witnesses reported that the weather condition in the area on the sad day of the crash was not good,  stressing it was a mixture of rain and snow.

According to the Board, the Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) technology built into the helicopter that provides the position of an aircraft, recorded an increase in ground speed before the crash.

The report partly read, “The accident flight departed Palm Springs International Airport (PSP) at 2045 under visual flight rules and flew a northwesterly heading for about 2 miles before following US Highway 111 to Interstate (I) 10 at altitudes varying between 2,500 – 3,000 ft mean sea level (msl).

“The helicopter continued along I-10, crossed over San Bernardino International Airport, San Bernardino, California, and then followed I-215 to I-15.

“The helicopter followed I-15 toward the planned destination of Boulder City Municipal Airport (BVU), Boulder City, Nevada, climbed between 4,000 – 5,500 ft msl, then descended to about 3,500 ft msl near Barstow, California, where the ADS-B track data was lost about 2146, likely due to terrain interference.

“ADS-B data resumed at 2207 near the Halloran Springs/I-15 exit west of the accident location. The last ADS-B data points for the flight tracked east-southeast, gradually descended in altitude, and increased in ground speed.

“The accident site was located 0.31 miles east-southeast of the last data point at an elevation of about 3,360 ft msl.

“According to law enforcement, several witnesses who were travelling in vehicles on I-15 called 911 to report observing a ‘fireball’ to the south.

“The witnesses reported the weather conditions in the area were “not good” and it was raining with a snow mix. The accident site was located by law enforcement at 2346.

The NTSB furthered that the “wreckage was located in high mountainous desert and scrub brush covered terrain, and
debris was scattered about 300 ft along a 120° magnetic heading from the initial impact point.”

“All major helicopter components were identified at the accident site.” 



Rachel Okporu is an entertainment and lifestyle journalist with years of experience in the industry. She is a graduate of Linguistics and Communication Studies. Likes surfing the Internet and making new friends.