Carey L Beavers was a potential VHPA member who died after his tour in Vietnam on 02/14/1985 at the age of 34.9 from A/C accident
Ft Rucker, AL
Date of Birth 04/10/1950
Served in the U.S. Army
This information was provided by David J. Anderson, letter to VHPA HQ after D2000

More detail on this person: AH-1S accident at LZ Runkle at Ft. Rucker.I knew Carey Beavers at the Aviation Development Test Activity (ADTA) at Ft. Rucker. He arrived there sometime in 1983 or 1984 and was a service test pilot. He was married to a Eurasian girl from Korea and they had one child. She was 7 months pregnant when Cary died.

Carey had been to Vietnam as a WO1-CW2 in the 1972-73 time frames and had flown for the Four Party Joint Military Team during the last part of his tour. That team was an instrument of the Paris Peace Accords and had the treaty sanction to resolve MIA and dead BNR cases for the four parties involved in the conflict. He at times flew for BG Mike Healy. I know all of this because I was involved in the same effort though not with Carey.

At some point after his tour Carey accepted a direct appointment to LT. When I met him he was a 1LT. We flew AH-1S's and Hueys a lot at ADTA, 5-7 hours/day. Carey was well liked by nearly everybody around him. His wife was strikingly beautiful.

Carey was flying an AH-1S on a routine lead-the-fleet test with Cpt. Tim Jensen in his front seat. Tim was not a rated pilot but was slated to go to flight school very soon. He was married to Patricia (Patty) who was an Electrical Engineer at ADTA and worked for me in the Systems Test Division at ADTA. Although Tim was not assigned to ADTA he and Patty were still part of the ADTA family, and we were always connected during the social functions as well as work.

On Feb 14, 1985, Valentines Day, they were in an AH-1S (Bearcat 26) on approach to LZ Runkle on the west side of the Ft. Rucker. The aircraft rolled inverted while on long final, hit a tree then rolled into front of barn/shed. "Flat Iron", the Ft. Rucker Medevac was launched and had some difficulty finding the crash because of it being at least partially inside the shed. I am not sure how they were able to locate them. The cause of the crash was swash plate bearing failure due to a combination of bad lubrication and K747 rotor blades that caused greater than expected forces on the pitch links downward to the swash plate. This forced the swash plate to fail in a downward direction cutting through the left (lateral cyclic) pitch horn on the non-rotating portion of the lower swash plate. Basically, Carey had no control of the aircraft as it performed an un-commanded roll or wing over and crashed.

Having been at ADTA for 8 years and losing a number of pilots in various crashes, this loss hurt the worst because we all were connected much like a family. Carey and Tim's loss took a long time for all of us to deal with. If you ask the older men and women still left at ADTA or in the Ft. Rucker area about the aircraft losses they will always remember this one as the one that hurt the worst. Cary was buried in his hometown of Noonan, Georgia and Tim's remains were sent to his home. Please forgive my lack of memory concerning Tim's disposition.

Before I retired in 1988 I flew all over the local flying area and tried to land at each LZ. There were two LZ's on the southwest side of the Ft. Rucker flying area named for Carey and Tim.....LZ Beavers and LZ Jensen.

These two young men were just like the heroes we have today in Iraq and Afghanistan. They possessed the best qualities found in soldiers and are still missed.

From: Dave Anderson, LTC (ret)

This information was last updated 05/18/2016

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Date posted on this site: 06/15/2024

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