Logistics Specialist 1st Class Ousseinou Kaba (L), from Silver Spring, Md., and Logistics Specialist Seaman Abigail Marshke, from Flint, Mich., attach cargo to an MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter from the “Nightdippers” of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 5 from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) in the Red Sea, on May 10, 2019. (Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Amber Smalley/U.S. Navy via Getty Images)
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 off San Diego. One crew member was rescued and five were declared dead after a search.
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.