What happened in the Leicester helicopter crash at the King Power stadium?

Thousands of bunches of flowers were laid at the scene of the crash in tribute to the victims Credit: PA

The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) has published its final report into what caused the Leicester helicopter crash.

Investigators determined the pilot’s pedals became disconnected from the tail rotor.

This resulted in the aircraft making a sharp right turn which was “impossible” to control.

The AAIB described this as “a catastrophic failure”, causing the helicopter to spin quickly, approximately five times.

The aircraft fell out of the sky above the King Power stadium, killing all on board, on match day on 27 October 2018.

Here's a reminder of what happened that night.

When did the Leicester City helicopter crash happen?

Leicester City had been playing West Ham at home in the Premier League, with a final score of 1-1.

Shortly after the final whistle, the helicopter belonging to the Thai owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, also known as Khun Vichai, took off from the centre of the pitch. This was something which happened regularly after home games.

A few minutes after lift off it started spinning, before falling out of the sky, crashing onto waste land.

The helicopter took off from the pitch after Leicester's game against West Ham. Credit: PA

What happened to the aircraft?

The aircraft was a Leonardo AW169 helicopter (G-VSKP).

In an interim report from the Air Accident Investigation Branch in December 2018, investigators said that the helicopter lost control after the pilot’s pedals became disconnected from the tail rotor.

They concluded this resulted in the aircraft making an uncontrollable right turn before it spun and crashed.

It was approximately 430ft up when it plummeted to the ground, before bursting into flames.

The wreckage of the helicopter is removed from the scene Credit: PA

Who was on board?

All five people on board the helicopter died in the crash

The helicopter belonged to the club chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha. He died alongside the pilot Eric Swaffer and his partner Izabela Lechowicz, and two members of staff, Nusara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare.

The five victims of the helicopter crash Credit: PA

What safety measures have taken place so far?

Following the crash, the European Aviation Safety Agency ordered that safety checks should be carried out on the tail rotors of AW169 helicopters and similar models.

After its initial reports, the Air Accident Investigation Branch has continued investigating.

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Credit: PA

Why was Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha so loved by Foxes fans and the city?

Thousands of flowers were laid outside the King Power Stadium in the days following the crash. Fans wanted to pay their respects to the man behind the club's Premier League title win.

Under his ownership, the club rose out of the Championship and eventually won the Premier League for the first time in its history in 2015-16, defying odds of 5,000-1.

The club described their chairman as “a man of kindness, of generosity” and said “Leicester City was a family under his leadership”.

Mr Srivaddhanaprabha was also generous to the city, donating £2 million towards a new children’s hospital.

Leicester City Council said he “made a huge contribution” to the city.

Two boys hug each other as they look at the tributes Credit: PA

How did the city of Leicester respond?

The Leicester City family came together as the news of the helicopter tragedy unfolded.

Flowers, football shirts and scarves from a variety of football teams were laid outside the ground. A book of condolence was opened and buildings were lit up blue across the city.

Buddhist monks performed outside the stadium in tribute to the Thai owner and bells rang out across the city.

Fans took part in a walk in remembrance of the victims and the Leicester City Foxes Foundation Charity was renamed The Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Foundation.

How did the football world pay tribute?

Players look at the flowers which have been left in tribute to the crash victims Credit: PA

In sombre scenes, the first team stood and paid their respects in front of the carpet of flowers and tributes, and wreaths were laid.

Leicester City established a memorial garden on the site of the crash and Wembley stadium was one of the buildings to be lit up blue.

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