Friday, 7 December 2018

Mechanical malfunction caused the Leicester City Football Club owners helicopter to crash

The UK's Civil Aviation Authority Air Accident Investigation Branch has issued a special bulletin report into the AW169 helicopter that crashed at 1937 on October 27th at Leicester City Football Club, which took the lives of the five people on board, including the clubs chairman and owner   Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

The AAIB indicates that evidence so far gathered shows that the loss of control of the helicopter resulted from the tail rotor actuator control shaft becoming disconnected from the actuator lever
mechanism. Disconnection of the control shaft from the lever prevented the feedback mechanism for the tail rotor actuator from operating and the tail rotor actuator from responding to yaw control inputs. This disconnect meant that no inputs from the pilot could have reached the tail rotor and allowed the tail rotor actuator to continue changing the pitch of the tail rotor blades until they reached the physical limit of their travel. This resulted in an uncontrollable right yaw which the pilot had no way of overcoming.

The investigation is ongoing and the AAIB said they will issue a full report in due course, on November 30th the helicopter manufacturer published Emergency Alert Service Bulletin  for the AW189 helicopters, introducing repetitive inspections of the castellated nut that secures the tail rotor actuator control shaft to the actuator lever mechanism, and the tail rotor duplex bearing.

Special report here.

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Mechanical malfunction caused the Leicester City Football Club owners helicopter to crash
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