According to IMO literature, the VC150 is 1986 vintage and the VCD
series are from 1989. Definitely "old".
I share John's thought. "Oops" may be a little tame.
Yes. Modern VFD units are Started, Stopped and Reversed via the
control wiring and the 3-phase motor must remain "permanently
connected" whilst the unit is powered.
The red flashing LED may just be an overload or overvoltage warning
that can be reset. On the other hand, it may be a cat-as-trophy and
it's telling you, "I'm dead".
Best of luck to your friend.