Investigators say the helicopter involved in a crash that killed the owner of English soccer team Leicester and four other people lost control because of a mechanical fault.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch says the mechanism linking the pilot’s pedals with the tail rotor blades became disconnected, resulting in the helicopter making an uncontrollable right turn before it spun and crashed.
Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, the Thai retail entrepreneur who owned Leicester, was among those killed when his aircraft crashed and burst in flames outside the King Power Stadium following a Premier League game on Oct. 27. The AAIB provided its update on Thursday after a detailed examination of the helicopter’s control system. It will continue to investigate.
Footage of the incident appears to show that sections of the tail rotor may have fallen off in mid-air.
A memorial garden honouring the five victims of last year's King Power Stadium helicopter crash in Leicester has been officially unveiled to mark the first anniversary of the tragedy.
The Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha Memorial Garden, built on the accident site as a lasting tribute to the victims, was opened alongside a private multi-faith ceremony held for family, friends and squad members.
The Leicester City owner died alongside staff members Kaveporn Punpare and Nusara Suknamai, pilot Eric Swaffer and crew member Izabela Lechowicz when the helicopter came down near the stadium shortly after taking off from the pitch.
The memorial garden will be open to the public from 2pm until 5pm and during daylight hours thereafter, and is designed to be a peaceful space that will protect the scene of the accident and provide a lasting memorial.
The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) is expected to publish a final report into the crash next year. AAIB chief inspector of air accidents Crispin Orr said: "Today marks the first anniversary of the helicopter accident in Leicester, in which five people lost their lives.
"Our thoughts are with all those affected by this tragedy.
"During the course of the investigation, the AAIB has been working closely with the helicopter manufacturer, other specialist organisations and regulators to identify the cause of the accident and any contributory factors.
"We have published two special bulletins. The first highlighted the initial facts identified in the early stages of the investigation and the second identified that the accident was caused by the failure of the duplex bearing in the helicopter's yaw control system."
Mr Orr added: "All parties involved in the investigation continue to work to fully understand what initiated the failure of the duplex bearing and to develop any additional safety actions."