Following the tragic crash of the Eurocopter EC 130B4 that claimed the lives of Access Holdings Plc Chief Executive, Herbert Wigwe, his wife, son, and three others in California, United States, reports have unveiled a concerning history of accidents involving the aircraft model.
The Eurocopter EC 130B4, manufactured by Airbus Helicopters SAS (formerly Eurocopter), has been linked to multiple fatal incidents, raising alarms about its safety record.
A recent report from The Nation has shed light on several notable crashes involving the Eurocopter EC 130B4:
- In December 2023, the aircraft crashed near Ex Hacienda el Hospital, Cuautla, Morelos in Mexico, striking power cables during takeoff. The crash resulted in three fatalities, marking the eleventh incident involving Airbus models in 2023.
- In 2018, a Eurocopter EC 130B4 crashed in the Grand Canyon, claiming the lives of five individuals. Among the victims were two brothers, Stuart and Jason Hill, along with Stuart’s girlfriend, Becky Dobson. The crash occurred after the helicopter encountered a “violent gust of wind” and started spinning before bursting into flames.
- Also in 2018, two EC130B4 helicopters operated by Sea World Helicopters collided in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The collision resulted in four fatalities and eight injuries.
These tragic events have prompted regulatory action, including the requirement for all helicopter fuel tanks to be shielded from fuel tank rupture on impact.
The revelations about the history of accidents involving the Eurocopter EC 130B4 underscore concerns about its safety and raise questions about regulatory oversight and manufacturer accountability. As investigations into the recent crash continue, stakeholders are calling for enhanced measures to ensure the safety of helicopter operations worldwide.