According to a federal lawsuit recently filed in Texas, four crew members and 14 soldiers died from the personal injuries they sustained in a Black Hawk helicopter crash in Iraq last year because of a safety wire spool left in the helicopter.


The defendant in the suit is Mississippi-based L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace LLC, which the suit said was the company responsible for the Black Hawk’s maintenance.


The suit alleges that during inspection, the spool was negligently allowed to remain in the helicopter. According to the suit, the tail rotor drive shaft failed, causing the helicopter to crash, because the spool became wedged between it and its housing.


The crash took place on August 22 near Kirkuk and resulted in the wrongful deaths of all 18 of the Black Hawk’s occupants. The suit was filed on behalf of the 14 soldiers whose relatives are spread across the U.S.


An unspecified amount in damages is being sought by the plaintiffs.

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