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Investigation into Leicester City helicopter crash reveals tail rotor damage

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The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB), has filed their report into just what caused the helicopter carrying Leicester City owner, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, to crash on October 27, and it has been discovered that there was significant tail rotor damage.

Whilst the full investigation is still ongoing, the initial report suggests that the crash itself and the issue within the tail rotor can be closely linked.

Video footage taken by a King Power Stadium staff member just seconds before the incident showed a brief burst of smoke firing out of the tail rotor as the helicopter attempted to gain altitude, though it’s unclear whether this is the cause of the damage to the part or indeed just a consequence of it.

Srivaddhanaprabha and four others all lost their lives in the horrific accident, and it’s likely that the fact parts of the mechanism linking the tail rotor to the pilot’s pedals was no longer functioning contributed to the crash.

The iconic image of the royal blue helicopter decked in club insignia was a regular one at the King Power Stadium, with the owner leaving almost every single home match in the same manner around an hour after the full-time whistle.

Now, this time period overlaps with supporters leaving the stadium and on the evening of October 27, it remains a miracle that nobody else was caught up in the disaster.

‘The initiating cause and exact sequence of the failure that resulted in the loss of tail rotor control is being investigated as a priority,’ the report stated.

A build-up of black grease and other material around the component had caused it to stop being responsive to the pilot’s controls.

‘The tail rotor system was first inspected at the scene, it was identified that the mechanism of the input lever wasn’t connected to the control shaft,’ the report continued.

‘The pin, the spacers and one of the locating bearings were all missing from the lever, the locking nut and pin support were also loose.

‘In the failing of the tail rotor, they joined together, (they must be separate components).’

This story was originally published by Marca

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