Both those flying in the helicopter died in the accident. The helicopter was being used by a commercial partner of the Omloop van Vlaanderen rally. Despite the tragedy the rally will continue today as planned.
The Robinson R44 with two men on board had taken off from Wevelgem Airstrip (West Flanders) on Friday evening. The helicopter encountered technical problems shortly after take-off and crashed onto the car park of KSV Roeselare’s Schiervelde Stadium.
Inside the stadium the second division club’s reserves were playing a match. The helicopter burst into flames on impact. The pilot, the father of one of the competitors in the Omloop van Vlaanderen rally, was killed as was his passenger.
The website of the regional weekly paper ‘De Krant van West-Vlaanderen’ reports that there had been problems with the helicopter just minutes before the fatal crash and that it had landed on a farmer’s fields opposite the football stadium before taking off again.
The helicopter was being used by a commercial partner of the Omloop van Vlaanderen rally to follow the race from the sky.