Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Debris blamed for deadly US Marine chopper crash

Debris blamed for deadly US Marine chopper crash

A U.S. Marine helicopter crash that killed one person and injured five last year in California was caused by debris likely hitting its tail rotor, along with a design flaw and pilot error, an investigation concluded.
Debris such as a stray bolt probably hit the tail rotor, destroying the helicopter's drive train, according to documents obtained by U-T San Diego under the Freedom of Information Act.
The pilot aggravated the problem by trying to push the craft forward instead of reducing the throttle, the report said.
The report said it appeared to be a training problem rather than negligence, and the investigating officer recommended against any administrative action for the crew, operations personnel or maintenance staff.
The investigation also said the design of the Bell helicopter contributed to the crash because it made it hard to spot debris around the drive shaft and lacked protective barriers.
The crew was practicing a landing on July 6 at Camp Pendleton when the helicopter pitched to the right, began to spin and crashed on its side in a ravine. Sgt. Trevor Cook, 25, was pinned under a door and died at the scene.
A fire erupted, and the other crew members escaped.
Cook's widow, Amanda Cook, told U-T San Diego that she was comforted by the report's conclusion that her husband died within seconds of the crash.
"My biggest thing was to know if Trevor suffered. Thankfully, he didn't," she said.
Last month, seven Marines _ six of them based at Pendleton _ were killed when two helicopters collided during training in the desert along the California-Arizona border.