Me­chan­i­cal fault caused Le­ices­ter tragedy

NT News - - SPORT -

DIS­CON­NECTED cock­pit ped­als caused the he­li­copter crash that killed the Thai bil­lion­aire owner of Le­ices­ter City foot­ball club and four oth­ers on Oc­to­ber 28, a British in­ves­ti­ga­tion has found.

The death of Vichai Sri­vad­dhanaprabha shocked global sport and left the small city in the heart of Eng­land in mourn­ing two years af­ter their im­prob­a­ble first and only cham­pi­onship sea­son.

The he­li­copter, dec­o­rated in the blue and white colours of the team, spun out of con­trol on take­off mo­ments af­ter it cleared the sta­dium’s roof.

Vichai at­tended most Le­ices­ter home matches, land­ing and tak­ing off from the cen­tre of the pitch.

Bri­tain’s Air Ac­ci­dent In­ves­ti­ga­tion Branch (AAIB) said a series of cock­pit ped­als had some­how be­come dis­con­nected from the ro­tor on the he­li­copter’s tail.

“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. The he­li­copter be­gan to spin un­con­trol­lably to the right as a re­sult. The AAIB said it was treat­ing a fur­ther probe into what caused the ped­als to dis­con­nect “as a pri­or­ity”.

Europe’s avi­a­tion safety au­thor­i­ties have or­dered manda­tory checks on the type of he­li­copter in­volved.

Pic­ture: AFP

Play­ers ob­serve a minute's si­lence to re­mem­ber the vic­tims of the Le­ices­ter City he­li­copter crash that killed chair­man Vichai Sri­vad­dhanaprabha, in­set

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