Faulty tail rotor mechanism caused Leicester City crash

The helicopter crash that killed Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha in October was caused by a faulty mechanism in the helicopter’s tail rotor mechanism, causing the pilot to lose control of the aircraft, British investigators said.

Srivaddhanaprabha, 60, was one of five people on board the aircraft when it burst into flames after crashing in a parking lot next to King Power Stadium, where the team plays its home games. No one on board survived.

In a report published Thursday, investigators announced they believed based on evidence recovered from the crash that the pilot lost control of the right yaw function of the helicopter after a piece of the tail rotor control mechanism became disconnected.

The report made no mention of foul play and said authorities are still probing the “initiating cause and exact sequence of the failure that resulted in the loss of tail rotor control.”

Srivaddhanaprabha’s death was a stunning blow to the club and its supporters, as Leicester City had had an extraordinary run of success under his ownership.

The Thai billionaire bought the club for $57 million in 2010 and it was promoted to the Premier League in 2014.

In 2016, the club achieved the once-unthinkable feat of winning the premiership. It went into the 2015-2016 season with odds of 5,000-1 to win but stunned fans, and bookmakers, by taking the title.

Along with handing fans their first top-flight title in the club’s history, the businessman won over fans by handing out free beer, water and cupcakes, as well as scarves in cold weather.