Leicester chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha’s helicopter crashed due to pedal mechanism disconnecting, investigation says

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Srivaddhanaprabha died in the crash on October 27, which also killed the other four people on the aircraft

The helicopter which crashed killing Leicester chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others spun out of control after a pedal mechanism became disconnected, investigators have said.

A report from the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) found cockpit pedals had disconnected from the tail rotor.

Srivaddhanaprabha’s death shook the football world

The AW169 aircraft then turned uncontrollably to the right before crashing near the King Power Stadium.

The AAIB added its inquiries into the crash, which happened on October 27 were ongoing.

Srivaddhanaprabha, two members of his staff Nusara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, and pilots Eric Swaffer and Roza Lechowicz were killed in the crash.

A public memorial for Mr Swaffer and Ms Lechowicz – who police said was a passenger at the time of the crash – is taking place at Guildford Cathedral on Thursday.


An inspection of the crash site found parts of a mechanism linking the pilot’s pedals to the tail rotor had become disconnected and there was a “build-up of black grease” on one component.

The failure of the system led to the pitch of the tail rotor blades being changed “until they reached the physical limit of their travel”.

The report read: “The initiating cause and exact sequence of the failure that resulted in the loss of tail rotor control is being investigated as a priority.”

Footage of the aircraft’s last flight, taken from inside the ground, shows the AgustaWestland AW169 flying normally for about 40 seconds before it pauses and goes into a downward spin.

Srivaddhanaprabha would arrive and depart Leicester home matches on his helicopter

Srivaddhanaprabha would arrive and depart Leicester home matches on his helicopter

The helicopter reached an altitude of approximately 430ft before crashing to the ground.

It was engulfed in a post-impact fire and all five people on board were killed.

The European Aviation Safety Agency ordered safety checks to be carried out on the tail rotors of AW169s and similar models following the crash.

At the pilots’ memorial service in Guildford, Ms Lechowicz’s sister Kate paid tribute to the pair adding that both had been excited at the prospect of becoming aunt and uncle to her son who is now 18 days old.

She said: “They were just an incredible couple and amazing pilots”.

“[They were] always there for their family and friends, ready to fly across the globe to be with us or anyone who would need it.”

“I wish you could meet each other. We have already applied for his passport, as you wished, so he can fly before he walks.

“You have touched the lives of every single person you have met… I know I am not alone in feeling a part of me is missing that never can be replaced.”

Srivaddhanaprabha helped Leicester to their incredible Premier League title win in the 2015/16 season

Srivaddhanaprabha helped Leicester to their incredible Premier League title win in the 2015/16 season



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