19-Dec-2016 Source: HeliHub.com
Sikorsky was sued on the terms of wrongful death and negligence in 2014 and has recently agreed to a “settlement in principle” reports My San Antonio. The MH-53E Sea Dragon crashed on January 8th 2014 off the Virginia Beach Coast and killed three of its crew members; Lt. Sean Snyder, 39, Lt. Wesley Van Dorn, 29 and Petty Officer 3rd class Brain Collins, 25. The three widows of these men and the crash survivor, Petty Officer 2nd Class Dylan Boone filed the lawsuit.
After investigation it was found that the crash was caused by the rubbing of electrical wires against a fuel line that was damaged, causing sparks to make their way through the damaged insulation and igniting fuel. The ignition let off thick smoke which the Navy believes led to the crash.
Aviation experts believe it was the Kapton wiring that was defective and unsafe and may have been the cause of other crashes in the past. The wiring and fuel lines of the remaining 28 Sea Dragons have been replaced.