December 7 – The helicopter which crashed last month tragically killing Leicester City’s Thai chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha spun out of control because of the failure of the tail rotor mechanism, according to air accident investigators.
Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch said in a “Special Bulletin” on Thursday that the cockpit pedals had become disconnected from the tail rotor, causing the helicopter to turn uncontrollably to the right before it crashed near the King Power Stadium shortly after a Premier League game.
The aircraft reached an altitude of approximately 430 feet before veering to the right and plummeting to the ground just outside the stadium.
“The evidence gathered to date shows that the loss of control of the helicopter resulted from the tail rotor actuator control shaft becoming disconnected from the actuator lever mechanism,” the report said adding that the investigation continues into other factors that may have contributed to the tragedy.
Pilot Eric Swaffer, his partner and co-pilot Izabela Roza Lechowicz as well as two members of Vichai’s staff, Nusara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, were also killed in the crash that stunned the football world.
Vichai bought unheralded Leicester in 2010 and helped orchestrate arguably sport’s greatest ever team achievement when the club beat odds of 5,000/1 to win the Premier League title in 2016.
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