Accident Sikorsky MH-53E Sea Dragon 163070,
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ASN Wikibase Occurrence # 163080
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Date:Wednesday 8 January 2014
Time:11:00 LT
Type:Sikorsky MH-53E Sea Dragon
Owner/operator:HM-14 US Navy
Registration: 163070
MSN: 65-570
Year of manufacture:1987
Fatalities:Fatalities: 3 / Occupants: 5
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:off Norfolk in the Atlantic Ocean near Fort Story, VA -   United States of America
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Norfolk, VA
Destination airport:Norfolk, VA
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
A US Navy MH-53E on a training mission went down off the coast of Norfolk, VA.
Two crew members died and two are injured and admitted to hospital. One crew member is still missing. The helicopter was part of an anti-mine squadron based at Norfolk, Virginia.
The missing sailor is presumed to have died in the crash. The body of the missing sailor was found trapped inside the helicopter on Tuesday 14 January 2014.

The crash occurred as a result of a fire that erupted in the upper left side wall of the crew cabin, resulting in a thick smoke that filled the cabin and cockpit. This caused the aircrew to lose spatial awareness and become disoriented, resulting in the aircraft crashing into the ocean.

Chafing between insulation covering electrical wires and the surface of an aluminum fuel transfer tube had likely enabled an electrical arc from a wire to breach the transfer tube, igniting the fuel that was inside. Post-mishap analyses revealed two small holes in an aluminum fuel transfer tube. It is likely that the chafing breached through the insulation of a conductive wire, allowing shorting/arching to the aluminum surface. The wire bundling near the breach was not recovered, so while a short/arc event localized to the wiring within the bundle was possible, it could not be conclusively determined.

In the weeks following the crash, the Navy directed a one-time inspection of all CH/MH-53 cabin fuel tubes and electrical wiring within 12 inches of each other for signs of chaffing.

Callsign: Vulcan 543 BuNo. 163070 Sqdn mks: BJ / 543


Revision history:

08-Jan-2014 17:37 harro Added
08-Jan-2014 21:43 gerard57 Updated [Time, Total fatalities, Total occupants, Other fatalities, Phase, Source, Damage, Narrative]
09-Jan-2014 07:23 Tracy Updated [Total fatalities]
09-Jan-2014 08:19 gerard57 Updated [Source, Narrative]
09-Jan-2014 09:02 gerard57 Updated [Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Narrative]
09-Jan-2014 11:21 gerard57 Updated [Source, Narrative]
10-Jan-2014 06:34 Anon. Updated [Source]
10-Jan-2014 08:17 gerard57 Updated [Total fatalities, Source, Narrative]
15-Jan-2014 07:34 gerard57 Updated [Source, Narrative]
07-Sep-2014 08:07 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Narrative]
11-Sep-2014 06:27 78Delta Updated [Registration, Cn, Operator, Narrative]
12-Sep-2014 18:46 Aerossurance Updated [Source]
16-Sep-2014 09:28 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Narrative]
09-Oct-2018 18:26 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Operator, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
10-Feb-2020 12:25 Iwosh Updated [Operator, Operator]

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