How Aircraft model carrying Wigwe, wife, son crashed five times in 2023
The aircraft model – Eurocopter EC 130B4 – which crashed last week and claimed the lives of Herbert Wigwe, his wife, son and three others, suffered five crashes in 2023.
It was reported that Wigwe, the Chief Executive of Access Holdings Plc died following a chopper crash on Friday, February 9, in California, United States.
His wife, Chizoba, and son also died in the helicopter crash from the same aircraft model.
The history of the Eurocopter EC 130 can be traced to several fatal accidents in the past.
Manufactured by Airbus Helicopters SAS (formerly Eurocopter), the single-engine aircraft and its variations have a long history of accidents.
A similar crash occurred on December 1, 2023, involving the same Eurocopter EC 130B4, 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.
The same aircraft model crashed in the Grand Canyon in 2018 and claimed the lives of five people.
The 2018 crash involving another 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.
Husband and wife Jonathan and Ellie Udall were also victims of the deadly crash. They both died of complications from burns days later.
The pilot Scott Booth and Jason Hill’s girlfriend Jennifer Dorricott survived. But both sustained life-altering injuries.
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.
Since 1975, 100 crashes involving the aircraft and previous models manufactured by Airbus Helicopters SAS have been recorded. (The Nation)