Leicester City helicopter crash caused by rotor pedals failure
LONDON: Disconnected cockpit pedals caused the helicopter crash that killed the Thai billionaire owner of Leicester City football club and four others on Oct. 28, a British investigation found Thursday.
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 team colors, spun out of control on takeoff moments after it cleared the stadium’s roof.
Vichai attended most of Leicester home matches, landing and taking off from the center of the pitch.
Britain’s Air Accident Investigation Branch 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 eight-page AAIB 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 ordered mandatory checks on the type of helicopter involved, finding no other problems to date. –
Vichai’s death shocked the global sport and left the English city in mourning.