Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 64-13525
The Army purchased this helicopter 0165
Total flight hours at this point: 00001301
Incident number: 670423031ACD Accident case number: 670423031 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 129 AHC
Number killed in accident = 4 . . Injured = 4 . . Passengers = 4
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory
AC WO1 WELLS EDWARD WILLIAM KIA
P W1 SAURER HAROLD D RES
G E4 WD JAMES
CE SP4 WALKER MICHAEL DWAYNE KIA
Passengers and/or other participants:
SSG PLUMMER JAMES ARMAND, AR, PAX, KIA
FSG BENSON RAYMOND EDDIE, AR, PX, KIA
E4 WE HUTCHINS, PAX, D
PFC SCHMIDT FREDERICK CHARLES, AR, PX, KIA
While aircraft was making a take-off from a confined area, it struck some trees and caught fire. Walker died from injuries some weeks later (5/10/67) in the states.
I was the first guy into the LZ and then made two medevac flights to Nha Trang. I stood next to Harold Saurer, who was on the ground. He was next to the open door to the right seat. Wells was pinned in the left seat, the aircraft commander's seat. I can see it like it was yesterday. Saurer was a relative newbie to the 129th, whereas Wells didn't have long to go before DEROS-ing. As with Wells, Saurer was my copilot the day I crashed and burned on the Phan Rang Plain. Yes, on 23 April 1967 Wells was the aircraft commander. Making the 23 April incident particularly memorable in my mind's eye, I had flown 525 the day before, and several times was warned that its engine "was a killer." 525 was an old bird. From: Jim Michener at firstname.lastname@example.org
Just after coming to a hover and beginning to move forward, an additional passenger ran up and jumped on the skids and was pulled on board by the gunner. This caused an overloaded condition and we hit the trees. I was watching the gauges and was amazed to see the needles split as the main rotor hit the trees and watched the wrong needle drop as the rotor rpm dropped suddenly. One of the trees struck me in the chest breaking several ribs. I had third degree burns over 40 percent of my body with my legs and hands hurt the worst. I lost all fingers and thumbs except for two fingers. I was medevaced to Japan then to the U.S. After arriving in the U.S., it was discovered that while in Japan both Walker and I got blood poisoning. They were going to amputate my left leg to aid in recovering from the blood poisoning; however, a doctor tried an experimental drug on both Walker and me and it worked on me but not Walker even though he appeared to have been in better shape than me. I was able to complete my undergraduate degree while an out patient and went on to get my masters in guidance and counseling. I feel very lucky to be alive. From: Harold Saurer.
This record was last updated on 05/11/2007
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Date posted on this site: 05/26/2019
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