Rome, 06 September 2023 16:35
AW169 confirmed safe to fly
AAIB has no recommended actions for Leonardo
Cause of the accident identified as “likely”
AAIB releases final report
On 6 September, the UK’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) released its Final Report into the tragic loss which occurred at King Power Stadium in Leicester, UK on 27th October 2018, in which an AW169 helicopter (G-VSKP, manufactured in Vergiate, Italy) crashed, as a result of which all five people on board died. We again extend our sincere sympathies and deepest condolences to all those affected by this tragedy and in particular to the families and loved ones of those who lost their lives.
AW169 continues to be safe to fly
More than 150 AW169s continue to operate safely in over 30 countries, logging over 150,000 flight hours to-date across the global fleet. The fleet has not been subject to any grounding or airworthiness restrictions since the accident.
Leonardo, together with other relevant parties, has been working with the AAIB since the date of the accident, in our capacity as the aircraft manufacturer and in line with our overriding objective of flight safety, to try and identify the cause of the accident. Leonardo has adopted additional, precautionary inspection and part replacement measures which were neither requested nor required by the relevant authorities. Leonardo remains committed to maintaining and continuously improving our safety procedures as well as those of our component part manufacturers.
AAIB report has no recommended actions for Leonardo
The AAIB has not directed any Recommended Actions to Leonardo. The AAIB Final Report rightly concludes that Leonardo complied with all regulatory requirements in both the design and manufacture of the AW169.
The Final Report also recognises that Leonardo’s immediate actions after the accident, such as the implementation of additional safety checks, which were later adopted by EASA as mandatory Special Bulletins, have ensured that the global fleet of AW169s have continued to operate safely.
Likely cause of the accident identified
It is important to note that that the substantial work undertaken in five years of analysis, data gathering, investigation and tests of the AAIB’s investigation has been able to identify only a ‘likely’ cause of the failure. We have, together with the Agenzia Nazionale per la Sicurezza del Volo (ANSV), the Italian civil aviation safety investigation authority, made submissions to the AAIB and raised a number of additional points in respect of certain matters. We fully support the ANSV’s comments in this regard.
Leonardo places safety at the heart of everything that we do
The AW169 helicopter was designed and manufactured according to the latest safety standards. It operates in some of the toughest climates and conditions worldwide, in some of the most challenging operations including search and rescue, medical evacuation and fire-fighting, and is trusted by governments, commercial entities, and VIPs. We remain committed to maintaining and improving our safety and procedures as well as those of our component part manufacturers.