Peter Bello: A Co Pilot Of the helicopter crashed into the Lagos Lagoon (Read)
“Thank you,” Peter Bello had said in response to a friend’s message to “fly safe” that fateful day. Instagram user @okija will not get over this anytime soon. He was aboard a Bristow helicopter with tail number 5N-BGD alongside American Joseph Wyatt – the main pilot of the ill-fated aircraft.
Peter Bello sent out those words exactly ten days before a helicopter he was co-piloting failed to arrive its destination.
On Wednesday August 12, 2015, “he had departed an oil rig in Port Harcourt, Rivers state, with the hope of landing in Lagos around 3:35 p.m. – as the flight schedule revealed – but sadly the aircraft ended in the lagoon about five minutes before the landing time,” a line in The Cablesadly summarized.
Art tribute to Bello by @Tunji_O who “broke down in tears after I finished this tribute. I will be strong for your sake Peter Bello Junior Kayode Bello.”
Sixteen-year-old Bello graduated from secondary school in July 2005 with hopes and dreams. He wanted to rule the world.
In the ten years that elapsed between that time and fateful Wednesday, Bello epitomized every young person’s dream. In just a decade, the young Nigerian became a photographer, chemical engineer, pilot, and everything a 26-year-old could wish for. Five years before the chopper he was co-piloting crashed into the Lagos Lagoon, Bello had graduated from the university with a degree in Chemical Engineering. A year before his passing, the Nigerian joined Britow Helicopter Services as a trainee pilot, the firm’s Africa director Duncan Moore said in a statement on Thursday. Bello seemed heaven-bent on living his dreams, a trait many complain is lacking in the lives of a large chunk of today’s youth. When fateful Wednesday came…Bello most probably woke up with the same mindset – living his dreams. When fateful Wednesday came…Bello most probably woke up with the same mindset – living his dreams. They were flying ten staffs of American oil logistics firm Transocean from a drilling rig in Port Harcourt, Rivers state. The aircraft, a Sikorsky S-76C+, almost made its expected 3:35 p.m. touch down at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, before things took a deadly turn. The chopper nosedived altering Bello’s dreams, as well as those of the other 11 people aboard the chopper, into cold nightmares.
The Helicopter has been recovered from the Lagoon waters but the black box remain at large, officials say. Without it, we may never know what happened before Wyatt, Bello and all on board went under water.
First responders showed up, and all the rescue apparatus of the Lagos State government rallied. They saved some, they lost some. Bello was unfortunate to be among the latter. His body, and that of Wyatt, was never recovered until after spending 19 hours in the water. No human being is known to have survived that long under water without an oxygen mask.
Officials of the Lagos State Emergency management Authority (LASEMA) bag the dead.
Bello is dead. That is very sad.
His family will miss him; so will the people with whom he shared his brief yet highly fulfilling existence.
…and to think that he had been planning for his sister’s imminent wedding…
The hearts left broken by Bello’s demise cannot be easily consoled. But they may take solace in the fact that the Nigerian knew who he was. That was why it was not difficult for him to identify with a heroin who died in service of her country.
As the saying goes, “Like attracts like.”
Ebola can testify to Bello’s last retweet which came seven days before he crashed into, and drowned in, the cold waters of the Lagos Lagoon.