Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-01154
The Army purchased this helicopter 0167
Total flight hours at this point: 00000011
Incident number: 670519111ACD Accident case number: 670519111 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 336 AHC
The station for this helicopter was Soc Trang in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: XR075615 (To see this location on a map, go to https://legallandconverter.com/p50.html and search on Grid Reference 48PXR075615)
Number killed in accident = 2 . . Injured = 2 . . Passengers = 1
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 W1 DL HENDREX
P W1 JA LAMBERT
G SP4 LARMAN CHARLES WILLARD KIA
Passengers and/or other participants:
X2 UNKNOWN, UNK, A
After completion of a combat support mission, 8 aircraft departed Vi Thanh for their home base and formed up in a vee of 5 (gold flight) and a vee of 3 (white flight). Warrior lead suggested a fly-by over Soc Trang airfield. Clearance was given for the fly-by with instructions to call 2 miles out for final clearance. At 5 to 7 miles north of Soc Trang, the flight went into a column as a preliminary to forming up into an echelon right. As the flight approached a position 5 miles northeast of Soc Trang, they made a descending right turn to a heading of 220 degrees with instructions to form into an echelon right and to level off at 500 feet. With a minimum of trouble the flight formed into a tight 8 ship echelon right. Within this formation 64-13521 was Gold 2 and 66-1154 was Gold 3. Two miles out Warrior Lead called Soc Trang tower for final clearance. It was granted. The wind was given as 220 degrees at 2 knots and the altimeter setting was 2972. Gold 2 was requested by white lead to move slightly to the rear, because it appeared that he was forward of a 45 degree angle off Warrior Lead. Gold 2 complied. One mile from the airfield the flight looked good from the trail aircraft's position. A loud "crack" was heard. The air between Gold 2 and Gold 3 filled with debris. Gold 2 fell from the formation. The term "mid-air" was transmitted and the flight broke in various directions. Gold 2's descent was immediate, in a combination left turn and roll. Its tail boom and main rotor assembly separated from the aircraft in the air. The main fuselage fell on a general heading of 200 degrees, turning and rolling. Ground contact was made nose low, upright, and turning left. Point of contact was a water hole approximately 7 feet deep. The tail boom came to rest 99 feet to the rear of the fuselage mass. The main rotor assembly, in 2 pieces, made ground contact 161 feet forward of the fuselage mass on a bearing of 175 degrees. All crew members of Gold 2 were found in the water hole with the fuselage mass. Gold 3, 66-1154, yawed right, pitched up and started to roll left after impact with Gold 2. The AC, who was at the controls of Gold 3, estimates his separation from Gold 2, just piror to impact, to have been 4 or 5 feet between main rotor tip paths and slightly above Gold 2. He related that at impact he felt a jolt in the controls and that his attention was forward and not on Gold 2. His low RPM light came on and he lowered the collective pitch, corrected the yaw and roll, lowered the nose and entered autorotation in a slight left turn to a final heading of 150 degrees. During the descent the AC states the aircraft was extremely rough and he could see that a portion of one rotor blade's pocket was missing near the tip. Gold 3 made ground contact tail low and at a very high sink rate. It moved forward about 15 feet, yawed left and stopped on a heading of 120 degrees some 300 yards from the center of Gold 2's fuselage mass. The aircraft started to burn shortly after impact, with the origin somewhere on the upper right transmission pylon area. An attempt was made to extinguish the fire, but was terminated because of the severity of the fire, the lack of adequate extinquishers and the danger of the exploding ammunition. It is suspected that one of the main rotor blades of Gold 3 swept through the upper right corner of the pilot's compartment. The mast sheared just below the main rotor hub and one main rotor blade remained intact. The gunner of Gold 3 departed the aircraft through the right cargo door and while attempting to get away from the aircraft was struck by the rotor blade that remained intact. His injuries proved to be fatal. The crew chief exited the aircraft through the left cargo door, aided the AC and then helped remove the pilot, who was seriously injured. The AC received minor facial and major spinal injuries. NOTE: It has been alleged that the battery from 64-13521 fell through the roof of a Vietnamese school. The board visited this scene some 250 feet to the rear of the fuselage mass of the aircraft. The battery was not present, however, it has since been returned by persons unknown. The path of the battery through the roof was alledged to have been such that it struck a rafter causing it to splinter. A piece of this rafter inflected a fatal injury to Tran Thi Nghiem, a Vietnamese school girl.
This record was last updated on 09/20/1998
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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021
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