By 90Min
October 29, 2018

It has been revealed that the pilot who took charge of the helicopter that crashed out of Leicester City's King Power Stadium managed to steer the falling chopper away from crowds.

Eric Swaffer and his co-pilot tragically perished along with Foxes chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and two other people, following the draw with West Ham on Saturday night.

BEN STANSALL/GettyImages

The helicopter, an eight-seater belonging to the Leicester owner, picked him up from the King Power pitch as had become tradition. However, it only managed to reach 200 feet before spinning out of control.

On Sunday, the club revealed that their chairman had lost his life as a result of the crash, while confirming that there were no survivors in the crash.

"It is with the deepest regret and a collective broken heart that we confirm our chairman, Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, was among those to have tragically lost their lives on Saturday evening when a helicopter carrying him and four other people crashed outside King Power Stadium. None of the five people on-board survived," the club announced on Sunday night.

BEN STANSALL/GettyImages

Sky Sports cameraman Dan Cox witnessed the incident and has described the pilot as a hero.


"I heard the helicopter coming out of the stadium, saw it as you do, they are amazing pieces of machinery and then I just carried on walking thinking next time I look up it is going to be overhead," he told Sky News.

"The next thing I just looked up and it was just spinning, static just out of control, just a constant spinning, I have never seen anything like it.

"I don't know how the pilot did it but he seemed to manage to slow down the spinning rotation and it drifted off into the corner part of the car park."

"To my mind the pilot was heroic and the two police offers in front of me, who also tried to help, they are heroes too."

"It could have been so much worse if the pilot hadn't done that."

Meanwhile, Italian company Leonardo Helicopter, the manufacturers of Srivaddhanaprabha's AW169 AugstaWestland helicopter, have issued a sincere apology.

Christopher Furlong/GettyImages

“Leonardo is extremely saddened to hear of the fatal accident yesterday evening involving an AW169 helicopter at Leicester City Football Club's stadium," a statement from the company read (via the Mirror). “We wish to offer our sincerest condolences to the family and friends of those involved.

“Leonardo Helicopters is ready to support the AAIB with their investigation to determine the cause of this accident.

“This is the first ever accident involving an AW169 helicopter.”

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