Cause of Leicester helicopter crash that claimed Srivaddhanaprabha’s life revealed

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The helicopter crash in 2018, which claimed the life of Leicester City’s owner at the time, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, was caused by a damaged tail rotor.

An accident inquiry revealed this on Wednesday.

The Leonardo AW169 helicopter conveying Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others, took off from the center of the field after a Premier League match at the King Power Stadium and got to about 430 feet above the ground.

Then it spun around and plummeted into a concrete step outside the stadium.

Srivaddhanaprabha, along with club employees, Nusara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, pilot Eric Swaffer and Swaffer’s partner, Izabela Roza Lechowicz, were all killed in the accident.

An inquiry by the British government’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch discovered that the helicopter’s control system failed because a bearing in the tail rotor broke up due to its balls sliding rather than rolling as a result of a build-up of pressure.

The pilot’s pedals became disconnected from the tail rotor, which resulted in the aircraft making a sharp right turn which was “impossible” to control.

The inquiry described this as “a catastrophic failure”.

As the aircraft went out of control, Swaffer is reported to have said “I’ve no idea what’s going on”.