BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — A Navy helicopter crash off Southern California that killed five crewmembers last year was caused by mechanical failure, not pilot error, the military announced Tuesday.
Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Sarah F. Burns of Severna Park was among those killed in the crash. She was 31-years-old.READ MORE: War Of The Words: Governor Hogan And Mayor Scott Spar Over Baltimore Crime
A command investigation completed on April 18 found that a damper hose failed on the MH-60S Seahawk during flight, probably because of unsuspected damage that occurred during maintenance, the Navy said.
The hose reduces vibrations from the main rotor and the failure led to severe vibrations that caused the rotor to hit the deck as the aircraft landed on an aircraft carrier on Aug. 31, 2021, off San Diego, the Navy said.
The helicopter fell into the sea and sank about 70 miles (112 kilometers) off San Diego. One crewmember was rescued and five were declared dead after a search.READ MORE: Delays Reported On US 50 East Before Bay Bridge
The four other crew members killed were identified as Lt. Bradley A. Foster, 29, a pilot from Oakhurst, California; Lt. Paul R. Fridley, 28, a pilot from Annandale, Virginia; Naval Air Crewman 2nd Class James P. Buriak, 31, from Salem, Virginia; and Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Bailey J. Tucker, 21, from St. Louis, Missouri.
Five sailors aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln were injured.
“There is no evidence that weather conditions or pilot error were causal or contributing factors to the mishap,” the command investigation concluded.
The aircraft belonged to the Navy’s Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 8.MORE NEWS: Memorial Day Travel Weekend Begins in Maryland
The Associated Press contributed to this report