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tonyot

Leicester City Owners helicopter crashes in club car park after taking off from the pitch!

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Hiya Folks,

                  Just heard that the A-109 helicopter, G-LCFC (EDIT  G-VSKP,....an AgustaWestland AW169)  belonging to the owner of Leicester City Football Club has crashed and exploded soon after taking off from the Power Stadium,..... landing in the car park in flames,........ not sure about casualties but I hope that everybody is OK;

 

This is apparently the aircraft taking off;

skysports-vichai-srivaddhanaprabha_4467346

 

Edited by tonyot

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Your picture shows Not a 109 but the new AW169. 

 

Three blades on on the tail, five blades on the M/R Head and three cabin windows.

 

Very sad news indeed looks like a 169 in the news feed photos. 

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1 hour ago, Wafu said:

Your picture shows Not a 109 but the new AW169. 

 

Three blades on on the tail, five blades on the M/R Head and three cabin windows.

 

Very sad news indeed looks like a 169 in the news feed photos. 

I thought that myself but checked the serial G-LCFC to be sure and it came back as an A-109,.... so I just assumed that it was a stretched variant of the old A-109.  but since then I`ve realised that the old helicopter was an A-109 registered as G-LCFC,..... I didn`t notice G-VSKP on this one,... which is AgustaWestland AW169 and must be a pretty new replacement. 

 

Here is a link to the old A-109, hece the confusion, civvie helicopters are not a strong point of mine; https://planefinder.net/data/aircraft/G-LCFC

 

News are saying that the owner of the club was in the helicopter,..... not looking good re casualties.

Edited by tonyot

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26 minutes ago, tonyot said:

I thought that myself but checked the serial G-LCFC to be sure and it came back as an A-109,.... so I just assumed that it was a stretched variant of the old A-109.  but since then I`ve realised that the old helicopter was an A-109 registered as G-LCFC,..... I didn`t notice G-VSKP on this one,... which is AgustaWestland AW169 and must be a pretty new replacement. 

 

Here is a link to the old A-109, hece the confusion, civvie helicopters are not a strong point of mine; https://planefinder.net/data/aircraft/G-LCFC

 

News are saying that the owner of the club was in the helicopter,..... not looking good re casualties.

I know what you mean, the whole family of civilian helicopters look very similar, especially when photographed on their own. I have an advantage in that I am an AW109 licensed engineer with all the various 109’s on my license.

 

You’re correct in saying it doesn’t look favourable for the pilot and passengers, a brave policeman was seen by witnesses, trying to gain access to the occupants just as the helicopter burst into flames.

 

We will see what the AIB come out with in due course.

 

Thoughts with the pilots and passengers family’s at this difficult time.

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The authorities/media is still holding off on confirming casualties and names quite possibly because apart from the owner and pilots. They may not be sure who else was on board.

Tragic incident. 

 

Edited by noelh

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Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha seems to have been one of the good guys, sharing at least some of his good fortune around.  Thought and prayers for the families of the victims and all of the emergency services personnel involved in finding out what happened and dealing with the aftermath.

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Reports claim the tail rotor stopped working, which would conform with the reported spiraling into the ground.

Sad news indeed, now that no survivors are confirmed. 😢

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The pilot is being praised for managing to bring the helicopter down away from a populated area. Not sure how much truth there is in that - can you steer a crashing helicopter (as opposed to a fixed-wing aircraft)? Hope I'm not doing the guy a dis-service; if it is true then he is indeed a hero.

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Such a shame to hear about the deaths,..... RIP to them all. The club owner does seem to have been one of the few good guy`s amongst the rich and powerful which makes it even sadder,...... Leicester has certainly lost a brother from another mother. 

 

I wonder if the tail rotor may have clipped part of the stadium roof or floodlights on its way out?

 

Tony 

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8 hours ago, GordonD said:

The pilot is being praised for managing to bring the helicopter down away from a populated area. Not sure how much truth there is in that - can you steer a crashing helicopter (as opposed to a fixed-wing aircraft)? Hope I'm not doing the guy a dis-service; if it is true then he is indeed a hero.

It depends on your definition of the word 'crashing', but in this case I don't think the pilot had any influence. At little more than 200ft and with no seeming control he was probably as much a passenger as thse he had just picked up, sadly.

 

A helicopter can be safely landed following engine failure or following a certain amount of tail rotor issues. I suspect Wafu can give you a better answer, but I would say that in all cases altitude is insurance.

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CCTV has appeared now showing the helicopter normally climbing backwards out of the stadium which it didn't hit, disappearing out of sight only to reappear spiralling out of control. A grim sight. Tail rotor failure seems to be the consensus over on PPruNe from the chopper pilots. 

TR failure in a relatively new aircraft would be odd. 

The video also puts paid to idea that the pilot heroically avoided hitting people. It was out of control. They had no chance.

 

 

 

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I'm not a moderator, but I think at this time, speculation of what caused the accident or whether the pilot reacted heroically, or which type of helicoper isn't right. - you never know who may be connected to the individuals involved.

 

We should all be thinking of those who were lost and their families, those who witnessed a tradegy unfold and to those who now have to deal, or dealt with the aftermath. (some of whom the latter, are fellow Ambulance colleagues of the East Midlands Ambulance Service.)

 

But formost my greatest thoughts are each and everyone involved.

 

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1 hour ago, Radpoe Spitfire said:

I'm not a moderator, but I think at this time, speculation of what caused the accident or whether the pilot reacted heroically, or which type of helicoper isn't right. - you never know who may be connected to the individuals involved.

 

We should all be thinking of those who were lost and their families, those who witnessed a tradegy unfold and to those who now have to deal, or dealt with the aftermath. (some of whom the latter, are fellow Ambulance colleagues of the East Midlands Ambulance Service.)

 

But formost my greatest thoughts are each and everyone involved.

 

Amen

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Of course everyone is thinking of the people involved in this tragedy but that doesn't preclude discussion as to how it happened. I've lost friends and acquaintances in crashes and after the initial shock the how and the why is the next thing that comes to mind. 

 

I don't think any of comments here could be characterised as disrespectful or over the top certainly compared to certain other forums and media. As long as it stays that way I don't see a problem.

 

 

 

 

 

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Here is a film from a steward,..... showing exactly when the loss of control took place,....... it does not show the crash, just the helicopter going behind the stand.

 

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Loss of tail rotor drive - which is what it looks like - at high pitch settings (ie high power), very little forward airspeed and not a lot of altitude. Definitely NOT a good situation to find yourself in as options at that point are very limited indeed. The worst kind of bad luck for all on board. I hope the cause will be identified quickly.

Jon

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If true, then it just beggars belief. I  would hate to be at the end of the paper trail.

 

Keith. 

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8 hours ago, bzn20 said:

Latest on BBC , tail rotor pedals became disconnected … Struth , how does that happen ?

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-46471934

That's a journalistic attempt to explain a relatively complex failure. But basically a bearing failed which led to another failure which meant the tail rotor pedals had no effect. But it all happened in the tail rotor. Not the pedals. I read the Sky news report which made a valiant attempt to explain it complete with diagrams. I can't pretend I really understand either but a chat with my Aircraft Engineer brother might help. 

 

Either way they had no chance. But this is a significant result with ramifications for other helicopters of this type. Well done the AAIB for working this out so quickly. Brilliant work on their part. It may well save lives.

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19 minutes ago, noelh said:

Aircraft Engineer

Thanks .The BBC report was too brief and  not incorrect ( just vague and confusing) as the pedals were disconnected from the tailrotor  . I did wonder how the pedals became disconnected . Up the back end makes more sense... I used to do a complete build up the Sea King tail pylons amongst other things. I must not read BBC reports and repeat a 100 times .  Thinking about it Flight Global was the place to go to in the first place . I just did , good description there .

 

https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/aaib-reveals-detail-of-aw169-tail-rotor-failure-454216/

Edited by bzn20

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Yes that makes it much clearer. Of course the next question is why the bearing failed and why it had such a catastrophic result. 

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33 minutes ago, noelh said:

why

I can think of about 5 things including incorrect servicing / human error being last … I'm not going to bother going through it all now though . See what the findings are in the final report.

 

Helicopters are a collection of components waiting for an accident to happen . Massive weight whizzing around connected through 2 or 3 gear boxes to another whizzing thing that stops the Cab joining the revolution . No back up and any one linkage /support bracket/bearing goes ,chain reaction of other failing bits in a split second .

Edited by bzn20

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The AAIB report has all the detail that is known at this time:

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/5c090ab1e5274a0b64c8a2f4/S2-2018_G-VSKP.pdf

 

It's crystal clear and precise on exactly what happened, in what order, and that there are still many questions remaining about why, and what some unusual findings might tell them about why. Of course, one of the strengths of the AAIB is that they are not concerned about "whose fault is it?", which is why aviation safety culture is seen as model for other activities where accidents and mistakes can happen and people can learn from them. The AAIB has already made several urgent recommendations to operators of AW169s for a close examination of some bearings and regular inspection of a critical nut in the mechanism. With luck, that should prevent any recurrence, and finding another helicopter that shows the same sort of mechanical stress and damage but that hasn't yet failed would be a very helpful step towards answering the "why" question...

 

best,

M.

 

 

Edited by cmatthewbacon

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