Tragic Helicopter Crash Claims Prominent Nigerian Banker Herbert Wigwe and Others: NTSB Preliminary Report Reveals Disturbing Details

Herbert Wigwe, a prominent figure in Nigeria’s banking sector, tragically lost his life in a helicopter crash. The incident, which occurred on February 9, 2024, involved an Airbus Helicopters EC 130B4 with registration number N130CZ, carrying Wigwe, his wife, son, and other notable individuals. The US National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released a preliminary report revealing that witnesses, driving in vehicles, described the helicopter as a “fireball” before the crash, with weather conditions reported as a mix of rain and snow.

The NTSB report outlined the flight’s path, indicating an increase in ground speed before the crash. The helicopter departed Palm Springs International Airport, following US Highway 111 and various interstates. ADS-B data showed a descent near Barstow, California, with data loss likely due to terrain interference. Subsequent data points indicated a descent, increased ground speed, and eventual crash near Halloran Springs.

Law enforcement received calls from witnesses on I-15 reporting a ‘fireball,’ with adverse weather conditions noted. The accident site, discovered at an elevation of about 3,360 ft msl, revealed fragmented wreckage in a mountainous desert area. The fuselage, cockpit, and cabin were destroyed, with thermal damage observed on some debris. The report mentioned challenges in verifying continuity of flight control components.

In summary, the NTSB’s preliminary findings shed light on the tragic helicopter crash involving Herbert Wigwe and others, emphasizing witness accounts, weather conditions, and flight path details.