Jury: GE engine caused crash that killed 9

By

Published:

 

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- An Oregon jury says a problem with an engine was responsible for the 2008 crash of a helicopter that killed nine firefighters during a wildfire in Northern California.

The jury in Portland reached its verdict Tuesday after a pilot who survived and the widow of one who was killed sued General Electric for $177 million.

The plaintiffs argued the company knew the engines it made for the Sikorsky S-61N helicopter had a design flaw making them unsafe.

GE countered that the helicopter crashed because it was carrying too much weight when it took off after picking up the crew near Weaverville, Calif.

The chopper was airborne less than a minute when it clipped a tree and fell from the sky, bursting into flames.