LOS ANGELES (AP) — A helicopter carrying the CEO of one of Nigeria’s largest banks and five other people left a shallow crater and a trail of debris when it crashed in Southern California’s Mojave Desert. , earlier this month, according to National Transportation Service researchers. Safety table.

The agency on Friday released a preliminary investigation report into the fatal Feb. 9 crash. The report describes the flight path through a remote stretch of desert on a rainy night and provides details about the wreckage scattered across 100 yards (91.44 meters) of desert scrub. However, it did not address what may have caused the helicopter to crash.

Flight tracking data analyzed by investigators show that the helicopter was heading in a southeasterly direction as it gradually descended in altitude and increased speed over the ground before the crash.

Investigators found the fuselage was fragmented and the cockpit and cockpit were destroyed. The damage to the engine and the metal deposits found would indicate that it was operational at the time of the accident.

The report cited authorities and said that several witnesses traveling in vehicles along Interstate 15 had called 911 to report observing a “fireball” to the south. Witnesses reported that it was raining with a mix of snow.

Two aviation experts who reviewed photos and videos previously released by the NTSB said the flight probably should have been canceled due to poor overnight weather conditions.

Herbert Wigwe, chief executive of Access Bank, his wife and their 29-year-old son were among those on board the helicopter. Bamofin Abimbola Ogunbanjo, former chairman of the Nigerian Stock Exchange, was also killed.

Both pilots, Benjamin Pettingill, 25, and Blake Hansen, 22, also died. They were licensed as commercial helicopter pilots and flight instructors.

The helicopter left the Palm Springs airport around 8:45 p.m. on February 9 and was headed to Boulder City, Nevada, which is about 26 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Las Vegas, where the Kansas Citians were located. Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers. to play that Sunday in Super Bowl 58. Wigwe’s fate after the plane landed has not been confirmed.

The charter company, Orbic Air LLC, previously declined to comment and did not immediately respond to an email message left by The Associated Press on Saturday.

Flight tracking data shows that the helicopter followed the interstate until it turned slightly to the right, turning south of the highway, where it then gradually descended and increased speed, according to the NTSB.

The crash site shows that the helicopter fell to the ground with its nose low and angled to the right. In addition to the fire, witnesses also reported downed power lines, the NTSB said.

Cutting power lines, which might have been difficult for the pilot to see in the dark, could have caused the crash, said Al Diehl, a former NTSB investigator.

The agency’s investigation is ongoing.

By Sam