A senior air investigator, Tony Cable, has explained the reason why Leicester City owner’s helicopter crashed. The crash, which killed Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four other people probably began with a “major failure of the tail rotor”.
In a report by Metro UK, Tony Cable, a former senior investigator at the Air Accident Investigations Branch, assessed poignant footage of the chopper as it descended from the skies at the King Power Stadium on Saturday. Speaking to Sky News’ Kay Burley Show, he alluded to “white pieces” seen “flying off” the helicopter as it left the pitch.
“There’s quite a number of them. (They) could be part of a rotor blade. It’s certainly a possibility, particularly considering what happens after that, which is when the helicopter starts rotating in the opposite direction from the main rotor. This is what you’d expect if you lose tail rotor thrust.
“There is then a five or six second period before the helicopter starts rotating. The normal technique [to avoid this] is to cut the power, the power from the main rotor. ‘But this is clearly way out of control. ‘It’s very consistent with a tail rotor failure. I gather there haven’t been any of such on the AW169 (the helicopter).”
The Leonardo AW169, favoured by executives, millionaires and the emergency services, one of the most advanced in the world. But an experienced helicopter pilot told Leicester Mercury,
“If the whole tail rotor shaft goes for instance, the helicopter begins to spin around its main rotors immediately at a tremendous speed.