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Sat, Sep 16, 2023

Leonardo Makes Statement Addressing October 2018 AW169 Accident

Helicopter Model Confirmed Safe to Operate

On 27 October 2018, an AgustaWestland AW169 helicopter, registration G-VSKP, went down in the vicinity of King Power Stadium, a soccer venue in the city of Leicester in England’s East Midlands. The accident claimed the lives of the helicopter’s five occupants.

In September 2023, Leonardo S.p.A., the Italian multinational aerospace, defense, and security concern and world’s 12th-largest defense contractor, set forth the following statement pertaining to the aforementioned mishap.

On 06 September, the U.K.’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) released its final report into the tragic loss which occurred at King Power Stadium in Leicester, U.K. 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.

“More than 150 AW169s continue to operate safely in over thirty 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.

“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 recognizes 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.

“It is important to note 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.

“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.”

Leonardo S.p.A is partially owned by the Italian government, which holds 30.2-percent of the company's shares and is its largest shareholder.

FMI: www.leonardo.com/en

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