Leicester City owner's helicopter crashes outside club's King Power stadium

Dave

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#1
A helicopter belonging to the owner of Leicester City has crashed in a ball of flames outside the club's stadium.

1540678497983.jpeg

Witnesses told Sky Sports News there was a loud mechanical sound before they saw the aircraft spiralling then crashing into a huge fireball in car park E - the club's staff car park which is about 200 yards from the stadium.
The helicopter had only taken off from the pitch seconds before at about 8.30pm.
It is not clear whether the club's Thai billionaire owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was on-board his helicopter at the time, but he was at the game which had finished 45 minutes earlier.

https://news.sky.com/story/helicopter-crash-outside-leicester-city-stadium-11537872
 

Bond

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#2
Tragic... Saw the tweet. What was meant to be routine turned out to be a disaster.

Hopefully we don't see a slump in Leicester's form.
 

Bond

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#3
Sources say it's the Sporting Director and the pilot who died from 3rd degree burns.
 

Gordon_R

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Extensive report on BBC, but still not clear what happened to the owner: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leicestershire-46006470

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was in the helicopter when it came down at about 20:30 BST on Saturday, a source close to the family has told the BBC.
Edit: If he was alive or in hospital, we would know by now. Total silence in all news media. That usually means respect for the family, while next of kin are being informed...

Edit: Wikipedia page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2018_Leicester_City_F.C._helicopter_crash

Edit: The AW169 is a very modern helicopter, first sold in 2015. This is the first crash for this particular model: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/AgustaWestland_AW169

Edit: BBC Live Text ongoing updates: https://www.bbc.com/sport/live/football/46008881

Update from Leicestershire Police
@leicspolice
We understand that many people are waiting for an update about the helicopter crash at King Power Stadium last night. We are working with a number of other agencies to get an update out to the public and press.
 
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signates

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#5
Chairman, daughter and two flight crew on board. Fifth person not yet identified.

Reports that Claude Puel was not on board at the time.
 

Dave

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#6
Leicester helicopter crash: Football club's owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha among five killed

The owner of Leicester City was among five people killed when his helicopter crashed outside the football club's stadium, it has been confirmed.

Thai billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha died when the aircraft fell from the sky after taking off from inside the ground following a 1-1 draw against West Ham.

Witnesses said the chairman's helicopter seemed to spiral out of control moments after it set off from the King Power Stadium pitch on Saturday evening and plummeted in a huge fireball into a car park.

Police said the other four victims were believed to be two of Mr Srivaddhanaprabha's staff Nursara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, pilot Eric Swaffer and passenger Izabela Roza Lechowicz.

Ms Lechowicz, who moved to the UK from Poland in 1997, and Mr Swaffer lived together in Camberley, Surrey.

More:
https://news.sky.com/story/leiceste...-srivaddhanaprabha-among-five-killed-11538837
 

Gordon_R

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#7
Same info as @Dave: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-leicestershire-46013381

Just as well that they didn't assume that his daughter was on board...

Edit: No persons on the ground were injured, which seems miraculous after a football game...

The story is complicated by the fact that Ms Lechowicz was a licenced pilot, but the AW169 helicopter is certified for single pilot operation, so she may or may not have been seated up front next to the pilot...

For those who may have forgotten:

Mr Srivaddhanaprabha bought Leicester City in 2010 for £39m and under his ownership the club won the Premier League in 2016, having started the season as 5,000/1 outsiders.
 
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Stevi

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Very lucky to have not hit anyone on the ground. Seems the area around the stadium clears out quite quickly after a game
 

Ho3n3r

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#17
Very sad, and condolences to the families.

I don't follow football avidly, only catch updates now and then but the Leicester fairytale of a few years back was one that had my attention for about half the season.

Wonder what this will mean for the club going forward.
 

Gordon_R

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#18
https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-46471934

The helicopter which crashed killing Leicester City's chairman and four others span out of control after a mechanism became disconnected, investigators have said.

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

This caused the AW169 aircraft to turn uncontrollably to the right before it crashed near the King Power Stadium.
An inspection at 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 stated: "The initiating cause and exact sequence of the failure that resulted in the loss of tail rotor control is being investigated as a priority."
Sad story, but tail rotor failure in low-speed hover is unrecoverable...
 

Gordon_R

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#20
Scary, considering the helicopter was almost new iirc.
I have been reading various aviation comments, and today's Air Accident Investigation Branch bulletin, which so far gives a detailed study of the failed components: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5c090ab1e5274a0b64c8a2f4/S2-2018_G-VSKP.pdf

The AW169 is a relatively new helicopter (its larger relative the AW139 has been around longer, but shares a similar construction).

The really scary factor in this accident is that the tail rotor did not just stop reacting to pilot commands, it yawed hard right to the servo-driven limit setting, and the helicopter entered an uncontrollable spin. Not an ideal fault mode, and completely unrecoverable even with techniques such as an engine-off auto-rotation (which would have been difficult enough, particularly at night).

It is still not clear if this tail-rotor failure was a design, assembly or random fault. The manufacturer has released an Alert Service Bulletin, so further cases should be picked up if they occur. IMO it may be a while before a permanent 'fix' is announced.
 
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