Lawsuit: Defective Helicopter Caused Deadly Crash

January 26, 2009

The relatives of three sailors who died when a helicopter crashed off the San Diego coast during a Navy training mission filed a lawsuit against seven companies that manufactured and sold the aircraft and its parts.

The lawsuit filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court claims that several parts of the MH-60S helicopter were defective and caused the crash that killed four sailors in January 2007.

The lawsuit names the helicopter’s manufacturer, Sikorsky Aircraft, and other companies that manufactured components for the aircraft: Alcoa, Pacific Scientific, Hi-Shear Corp., Parker-Hannifin Corp. and General Electric.

Messages left with the companies were not immediately returned.

The helicopter took off for the training exercise on Jan. 26, 2007, from the USS Bonhomme Richard, about 50 miles from shore.

The victims include Lt. j.g. Laura J. Mankey of West Hills; Lt. Adam Dyer, 28, of Lafayette, La.; Petty Officer 1st Class Cory Helman, 27, of New Richmond, Wis.; and Petty Officer 2nd Class Christopher Will, 29, of Warren, Mich.

They were members of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 23 assigned to Naval Air Station North Island.

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