Disconnected pedals caused Leicester helicopter crash, investigators find

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha

Tributes laid for Leicester City Owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. Image: Getty

Thursday, December 6, 2018

A helicopter crash which killed the owner of Leicester City Football Club was caused by disconnected pedals, investigators have found.

The pilot's pedals became disconnected from the tail rotor, causing the aircraft to veer right before spinning and crashing to the ground, according to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB).

An inspection at the crash site found parts of a mechanism had become disconnected and there was a "build-up of black grease" on one component.

Footage of the incident appears to show that sections of the tail rotor may have fallen off mid-air.



The AW169 helicopter had reached an altitude of approximately 430ft after taking off from the pitch at Leicester City's King Power Stadium, before the incident occurred.

Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, his employees Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, pilot Eric Swaffer and his partner, Izabela Roza Lechowicz, who was also a pilot, were all killed in the crash.

Following the accident, the European Aviation Safety Agency ordered that safety checks should be carried out on the tail rotors of AW169 helicopters and similar models.