THE Leicester City chopper crash could have been caused by a bird strike, according to helicopter pilots.
And just one bird could have been enough to cause Saturday’s tragedy which left five dead including billionaire City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.
The theory was raised by an Australian pilot involved in the opening ceremony of the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne.
Producers had planned to use the city’s iconic Bolte Bridge – the longest in Australia – in the spectacle.
Discussing the Leicester crash the pilot wrote in the forum: “During rehearsals for the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006 we had to ditch the idea of using the Bolte Bridge during the opening ceremony because the upward facing lights attracted large numbers of moths which in turn attracted large numbers of circling birds – mainly seagulls.
“It happened every night during summer and autumn.
“Just a thought.”
Having studied night vision CCTV footage of Vichai’s Agusta Westland AW169’s movements seconds before disaster pilots agreed the chopper suffered a “critical failure at the worst possible moment”.
They suggested the most likely causes were either the chopper had hit something – such as a bird or drone – or suffered tail rotor problems.
Leicestershire Police denied the chopper had hit any crowd control drones the force was flying at the stadium.
Mechanical failure seemed unlikely as the helicopter was only two years old and Italian company Leonardo – which built it – said it was the “first ever accident” involving that type of chopper.