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Leicester helicopter crash report reveals mechanical fault

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An investigation into the tragic helicopter crash outside of Leicester City’s King Power Stadium on Oct. 27 has pinpointed a severe mechanical fault.

Leicester’s Thai owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others were killed when the helicopter crashed in the parking lot outside the stadium moments after taking off from the center of the pitch following Leicester’s 1-1 draw with West Ham United.

Two members of Srivaddhanaprabha’s staff, Nusara Suknamai and Kaveporn Punpare, plus pilots Eric Swaffer and Izabela Roza Lechowicz were also killed in the crash.

The Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) in the UK revealed some of the findings from their report on Thursday, as an issue with the tail rotator was critical in the crash.

“The evidence gathered shows that the loss of control of the helicopter resulted from the tail rotator actuator control shaft becoming disconnected from the actuator lever mechanism.”

The investigation is ongoing, but this information confirms a major mechanical fault occurred.

It had previously been reported that investigators had found that levers which were meant to connect the cockpit pedals to the control shaft of the tail rotor weren’t attached.

VIDEO, PHOTOS: Unforgettable tributes to Leicester owner Srivaddhanaprabha

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Leicester City’s emotional fortnight continued Saturday, as the Foxes staged their first Premier League home match since the helicopter crash that killed five people including club owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha.

[ STREAM: Watch every PL match live ]

Former Leicester bosses Claudio Ranieri, Martin O’Neill and Nigel Pearson were in the crowd, as the King Power Stadium saluted the Foxes’ fallen boss with a video tribute, music, flowers, and a minute’s silence.

Adding a second minute’s silence for Remembrance Day, the absence of noise combined with the crowd’s raising of white “Forever In Our Hearts” scarves perfectly served the occasion.

Fans on a memorial walk for those who lost their lives in the Leicester City helicopter crash (Joe Giddens/PA via AP)
(Joe Giddens/PA via AP)
(Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
(Photo by Alex Morton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)

Leicester City wearing special jerseys for Srivaddhanaprabha

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The emotional whirlwind which has been Leicester City’s past two weeks continues Saturday at the King Power Stadium.

The Foxes host Burnley in what will be the first home match since owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others were killed in a helicopter crash outside the stadium.

[ MORE: Top PL storylines — Wk12 ]

Leicester City is wearing special jerseys for the match, with the words “Khun Vichai Forever In Our Hearts” printed in gold above and below the club’s crest.

Premier League clubs are already marking their jerseys with poppies this weekend for Remembrance Day, and Leicester will switch shirts for the second half of the match.

Kickoff between the Foxes and Clarets is set for 10 a.m. ET.

Top Premier League storylines for Week 12

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The UEFA Champions League and Europa League midweek action has only set the table for what should be a remarkable weekend of movement on the Premier League table, highlighted by one of the best chess matches in recent managerial memory.

[ MORE: PL Club Power Rankings ]

The Manchester Derby, subtitled Pep vs. Mou, Round 3
Man City vs. Manchester United, 11:30 a.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN [ STREAM ]

Manchester City is firing on all cylinders ahead of this one, with a 12-1 combined scoreline in its last two matches and just a single goal allowed in its last seven matches in all competitions, but its rivals have had that little bit of something to get the job done against the odds in recent weeks (Most recently a 2-1 smash-and-grab comeback defeat of Juventus in the Champions League).

Since Pep Guardiola and Jose Mourinho ascended to the top chairs of Manchester City and Manchester United, the home team has a record of 1W-1D-3L in the derby. The lone win is United’s 1-0 League Cup ouster of City in 2016.

The last one, of course, was the memorable 3-2 comeback win punctuated by a Paul Pogba– and Alexis Sanchez-authored “not so fast” as Man City attempted to clinch its Premier League title on April 7.

The Foxes return home from owner’s funeral for King Power tribute
Leicester City vs. Burnley, 10 a.m. ET Saturday on NBCSN

Leicester’s defeat of Cardiff City one week after the death of owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha was emotional, but the heavy hearts extended into a trip to Thailand for his funeral and now a first home match without their beloved leader. It’s difficult to imagine what it will be like playing in the building for the first time since the helicopter crash outside the ground that claimed five lives including Srivaddhanaprabha following the 1-1 draw with West Ham. Our thoughts remain with the Leicester community.

Marco Silva‘s Toffees meet massive test at Stamford Bridge
Chelsea vs. Everton, 9:15 a.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN

Everton is really finding itself, with Richarlison and Gylfi Sigurdsson the standout performers for new boss Marco Silva. But its another first year manager who is exceeding expectations on the job. Given Man City’s task in facing United for a derby, it’s not crazy to think Maurizio Sarri will have Chelsea atop the Premier League table if it can handle the Toffees.

Reds hope to find mojo against defensively-challenged Fulham
Liverpool vs. Fulham, 7 a.m. ET Sunday on NBCSN

The Reds just haven’t been right of late, and that’s underlined, italicized, and bolded by the 2-0 Champions League setback in Serbia. On paper, there is no way Liverpool doesn’t explode for a bunch of goals.

Palace looks to shake slump with derby date against Spurs
Crystal Palace vs. Tottenham Hotspur, 12:30 p.m. ET Saturday on NBC

It’s been 1-0 the last five times these teams have met, with Spurs on a four-match winning run. Tottenham came back to topple PSV Eindhoven earlier this week and kept its Champions League dreams alive, and it heads into Selhurst Park to meet an Eagles team which desperately needs a good and memorable performance.

Schmeichel on win: “We did it for Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and his family”

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Leicester City’s players decided to play this weekend after the helicopter accident which claimed the life of their owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others, and the Foxes pulled out a 1-0 win at Cardiff City that left them feeling proud.

[ RECAP: Cardiff City 0-1 Leicester City ]

Goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel, who raced out of the ground toward the crash scene last weekend, made a number of fine saves before and after Demarai Gray scored the winner.

“The way everyone at the club handles themselves is a testament to the family Vichai built,” Schmeichel said, via the BBC.

Schmeichel looked extremely emotional during the tribute to Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and those who died with him, and the Danish international’s reaction after the match really says it all:

“That took a lot, so proud of how everyone played today, how professional everyone was. It has been an emotional day and glad we got three points for him.

“You come across very few people that impact you. He had a really big impact on my life. You can see from the reaction that he had an impact on so many lives. I am immensely proud to have known him. I can’t imagine what his family are going through, we did it for him and his family.

“Every single player wanted to get out there to the funeral. We are glad we’ve come away today from a really tough game with a win we can bring to Thailand and hope we did the family proud.”

Srivaddhanaprabha’s funeral began Saturday. The players and supporters did their bit again after the match in Wales.