Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1C tail number 66-00651
The Army purchased this helicopter 1066
Total flight hours at this point: 00000528
Incident number: 670801101ACD Accident case number: 670801101 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 114 AHC
Number killed in accident = 4 . . Injured = 1 . . 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 1LT COLVIN PAUL SILVEY KIA
P ENS BURKE JAMES FRANCIS JR KIA
CE SP4 RILEY ERNST KIA
G E4 TE FLEURY
Passengers and/or other participants:
CPT GUDLESKE GUSTAVE FRANKLIN, AR, PX, KIA
The aircraft went into inadvertant IFR flight. The pilot experienced vertigo and crashed. Severe turblance was experienced with IFR conditions in the area.
The mission of this helicopter was command/control and observation during a "firefly" mission in the Province of Vinh Long. The crash occurred in the vicinity of the Vinh Long airfield in the early morning of the date of the incident. A firefly mission consisted of two gunships and a command and control helicopter. The C&C chopper would fly at approximately 2500 feet and release flares. A MACV advisor would be on board to coordinate the operation and be in contact with other advisors located throughout the province on the ground. We usually had our favorite "hot" spots to visit every night, and then roamed the province as opportunities developed. About six of us on MACV Team 52 had a revolving roster for these missions. The gunships would fly at low altitude and look for enemy movements illuminated by the flares, firing upon targets of opportunity, or responding to outposts under sniper or other attack. These missions usually began between 9:00 and 10:00 in the evening and went until 2:00 AM with a refueling break midway. Gus's chopper was returning to the airfield after the last mission of the evening and encountered a violent thunderstorm just short of the runway, when it crashed. The gunships had already landed safely, just avoiding the extreme conditions. April 1998 from David A. Radin, MACV 1967, friend of Gudleske.
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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