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Other Story…

The helicopter pilot who killed Leicester owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha almost five years ago declared, “I’ve no idea what’s going on” as the aircraft spun out of control.

Eric Swaffer, 53, made the comment seconds before the helicopter crashed outside the club’s King Power Stadium on October 27, 2018, according to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which ruled out pilot error.

Srivaddhanaprabha, Nursara Suknamai, Kaveporn Punpare, Mr Swaffer, and his partner, professional pilot Izabela Roza Lechowicz, died when the helicopter took off from the pitch.

The Leonardo AW169 helicopter crashed after 430ft.

Investigators discovered that the pilot’s pedals detached from the tail rotor, causing the aircraft to make a rapid right turn that was “impossible” to control.

The AAIB called this “a catastrophic failure” that spun the chopper five times.

The AAIB reported that Mr. Vichai and his colleagues shouted “Hey, hey, hey!” from the rear cabin as the chopper spun out of control.

According to the report, veteran pilot Mr. Swaffer said, “I’ve no idea what’s going on” and “uttered an exclamation”.

The AAIB claimed he “performed the most appropriate actions” by lowering a lever to reduce the helicopter’s pitch angle and “cushion the impact”.

The plane landed left-side on a concrete step.

Four of the five occupants escaped the initial impact, but the helicopter caught fire within a minute after a large fuel leak, killing everyone.

An hour after a Premier League match between Leicester and West Ham, the crash occurred.

Foxes chief executive Susan Whelan said Wednesday morning: “We commend the extensive and detailed work undertaken by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch and welcome the publication of its report, in the hope it will contribute positively to the continued development of future aviation standards and safety.

“The Leicester City family will never forget the tragedy of 27 October 2018. We lost our Chairman, friends, colleagues, and family that night.

In our grief, we found solidarity and strength. The incredible generosity of Leicestershire, football, and the world to those affected will never be forgotten.

As we approach the fifth anniversary of the tragedy, Khun Vichai, Kaveporn, Nusara, Eric, and Izabela’s families and loved ones, as well as those we lost, are always in our thoughts.

As a club, we mourn Khun Vichai, who loved his club, the city it calls home, and the communities it represents.

Our ongoing commitment to Khun Vichai’s vision, led with the same passion and devotion by Khun Aiyawatt and the Srivaddhanaprabha family, will be our lasting tribute to those we lost and a reflection of his ambition, dedication, and sense of community that brought us all together.”

Last April, the stadium unveiled a Vichai statue.