The manufacturer of a helicopter that crashed in Louisiana in 2009, killing eight people on the fatal trip to an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico, defended itself Wednesday against accusations that it hid a damning internal report to conceal its liability. The owner of the helicopter, PHI Inc., wants U.S. Magistrate Karen Wells Roby to sanction Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. for allegedly hiding a report by one of its engineers that concluded that Sikorsky's faulty design caused its helicopter to crash near Morgan City.
This PHI helicopter was photographed in Morgan City after retrieving workers from an offshore oil rig in 1996.
Lawyers for PHI and the sole survivor in the crash allege that the report only came to light in March during a deposition of a company official, more than a year after the report was completed in October 2009 and disseminated internally at Sikorsky. Those lawyers say Sikorsky should have handed over the report earlier and now should be sanctioned for not telling plaintiffs about the report.