FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A helicopter crash that claimed the lives of five sailors, including a Central Valley native, was caused by an in-flight mechanical equipment error that led to "severe vibrations" as the aircraft landed aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln, the U.S. Navy said.
Editor's Note: The video above is from a previous broadcast and will be updated.
The deadly crash happened on August 31, 2021, 60 miles off the San Diego coast.
An investigation conducted into the crash determined that "an in-flight failure of a damper hose" resulted in the loss of the main rotor damping. As the MH-60S Seahawk touched down on the flight deck, it experienced "severe vibrations" and fell over the side of the aircraft carrier, officials said.
Investigators said the pilot or aircrew were not at fault for the crash.
Five sailors, Lt. Bradley Foster, Lt. Paul Fridley, Naval Air Crewman 1st Class James Buriak, Hospital Corpsman 1st Class Sarah Burns, and Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Bailey Tucker, died in the crash.
Lt. Foster was an Oakhurst native. Community members spoke to Action News about the 29-year-old, calling him an "absolute hero."