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Aug 30, 2011 6:24 AM by Lauren Wilson & AP

Helicopter maker accused of hiding report on crash

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - The owner of a helicopter that crashed in southeast Louisiana, killing eight people in 2009, is accusing the aircraft's manufacturer of hiding a damning internal report to conceal its liability.
In a court filing, PHI Inc. claims Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. withheld a report by one of its engineers that concluded Sikorsky's design caused the helicopter to crash near Morgan City.
PHI asked a federal judge to impose monetary sanctions against Sikorsky. PHI says it wouldn't have paid as much last year to settle plaintiffs' claims if it had seen the engineer's report.
A Sikorsky spokesman said the company denies PHI's allegation and will "defend against it strenuously."
A bird struck the Sikorsky S-76C before it crashed, killing both pilots and six passengers. One person survived.

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