CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — Steps already have been taken to prevent another incident such as the Aug. 13 crash of a Marine Corps helicopter on Okinawa International University grounds, the Marine Corps stated Tuesday as members of U.S. forces met at Camp Foster with local Okinawan officials.
The meeting was to discuss the findings of the investigation of the Ginowan City crash of the Marine Corps CH-53D Sea Stallion helicopter. The 1st Marine Aircraft Wing commander, Brig. Gen. Duane D. Thiessen, presented the results of the investigation to officials from the Okinawan prefectural government, Defense Facilities Administration Bureau, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ginowan City officials, a news release stated.
The meeting took place one day after the report was given to the government of Japan during a meeting of the Unusual Occurrences Subcommittee in Tokyo. Thiessen told the officials the accident was caused by a cotter pin improperly installed in a connecting bolt on a subassembly of the helicopter’s tail rotor. The faulty installation allowed the bolt to fall out, resulting in total loss of tail rotor control, the Marines reported.
The accident investigator determined that the accident was caused by errors by maintenance personnel.
The release stated that following five weeks of examining the evidence and interviewing personnel, the Marine Corps has put improved maintenance procedures in place and now requires additional pre-flight checks of key parts.