Leicester City Helicopter Crash: What We Know So Far About Leicester's Owner Death | Vosena News

Leicester City Helicopter Crash: What We Know So Far About Leicester’s Owner Death


A helicopter carrying the owner of Leicester City FC crashed in flames near the club’s ground, killing five people.

The club confirmed its owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, was among those killed, along with two members of his staff, another passenger, and the pilot.

Here is what we know so far about the crash.

What happened?

The helicopter took off from the King Power Stadium at about 20:30 BST on Saturday, as it often does after Leicester City games.

BT Sport cameras captured the take-off on live TV, as presenter Jake Humphrey watched and commented on it with pundits Owen Hargreaves, Chris Sutton and John Hartson.

A bang was heard shortly after and the helicopter was seen spiralling out of control, then crashing in flames in a car park.

Freelance photographer Ryan Brown had been at the match covering the game.

“I heard the helicopter take off,” he told BBC Radio 5 Live. “I turned around and it made a whirring noise and grinding noise and then went silent, it was spinning out of control.

“The blades had stopped spinning and then there was a big bang and a big fireball. Lots of people started running towards the scene; as I came around the corner there was a huge fireball.

“It crashed right near the stadium. It just cleared the stadium roof and landed in an industrial park next to it.”

It is not yet known what caused the helicopter to crash.

Mr Vichai was one of five people on the helicopter, the club confirmed.

Leicestershire Police said two members of his staff, Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, died in the crash, as well as pilot Eric Swaffer and passenger Izabela Roza Lechowicz.

No-one on the ground was injured.

Killer Helicopter PHOTO | BBC

How did the crash happen?

An investigation into the crash is being led by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which investigates civil aircraft accidents across the UK.

The investigation will look into how the Agusta Westland AW169 helicopter crashed in what is believed to be the first accident involving an AW169 aircraft.

The owners have two helicopters – an older one registered as G-LCFC and a newer one registered as G-VSKP.

The helicopter that landed at the stadium was the G-VSKP.

Jim Rowlands, a former RAF Puma crew member, said the spinning nature of the aircraft indicated there was a problem with the tail rotor – the part of a helicopter that normally stops it from spinning around in the opposite direction to the main rotor blades.

“If you lose your tail rotor it’s almost impossible to recover from,” said Mr Rowlands.

“You can’t get out of it. It would be more luck than judgment if you were to survive.”

His “gut feeling” was there was some kind of mechanical problem but said there were “so many things that it could have been”.

“It could have been a human factor, it could have been pilot error or poor maintenance that led to something,” he said.

An AAIB spokesperson said: “A team from the AAIB has been deployed to the site and is investigating.

“Anyone with information that might be helpful to the investigation is asked to contact the police.”


BBC News


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