Helicopter UH-1D 64-13642

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 64-13642
The Army purchased this helicopter 0565
Total flight hours at this point: 00000615
Date: 08/03/1967
Incident number: 670803101ACD Accident case number: 670803101 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 498 MED CO
South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 3 . . Injured = 5 . . Passengers = 4
costing 413954
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

Crew Members:

Passengers and/or other participants:

Accident Summary:

The aircraft was climbing up the windward side of a mountain. As the crest of the mountain was reached, a loud noise was heard with a loss of power. An attempt was made for landing in a rice paddy. As pitch was pulled, rotor RPM was lost. The tail struck a dike, the ship nosed over and struck on the left front and burned. Power loss was caused by failure in the combustion chamber N-1 power turbine wheel.

War Story:
Data on Helicopter UH-1D 64-13642, 3 were killed, i.e. AC HJ Schnabolk, Crew Chief SP5 Dwight D. Woolf , one passenger/patient Sp4 Meidam Thomas Lawrence.

Pilot WO Dorlin W. Griffith was severly injured and required about 10 months in the hospital in Japan

The medic saved every one that survived the crash even though severly injured himself he was able to pull every one out of the aircraft except the aircraft commander lLt Schnabolk who was trapped by the instrument console and already deceased. After pulling everyone out of the aircraft he then proceded to provide what medical care he was able until rescue personnel arrived.

WO Dorlin W. Griffith arrived in country on the same day, same flight and same flight school and AMEDS classes, with me I was originally scheduled to be flying with Howie that day but was pulled off at the last minute to be a pay officer for the Platoon. Griffith was grabbed and put in my place. I was washing up in the mens washroom when the news came in that we had a crew down. I was grabbed as we didn't have any other pilots readily available. I locked the payroll in the COs desk and responded to the accident scene. WO Dorlin and I had only arrived incountry around the 20th of July of 1967. In Nov of 67 I was deros shuffled to a Dust Off unit in 3 Corp so lost track of him. Met up with him at Long Binh Repo Depot upon end of tour. and found that he had been returned to 498th with only a couple of months remaining on his tour.

On report Unit is listed as 79 TC company : Should be 498th Medical Co (Air Ambulance)

On page showing Information on 1Lt Schnabolk Additional Information is only partially correct. Aircraft was not hit by enemy fire. Cause of crash is as listed in Accident Summary. Location of the crash was several miles south of Quin Nhon City along the coast near the leper colony.

From: Paul W. Frank

My name is Ballard Frank Hibbs, I was the medic on the mission when Lt.Schnabolk was killed. We were hit in the short shaft of our Huey by ground fire, near Qui Nhon. Lt Schnabolk did a great job handling the chopper. He remained calm and cool through it all. When we hit the ground the chopper was in the upright, and the blades were still turning slowly; a fire broke out on the crew chief’s side and quickly spread into the cabin. I removed all the wounded and went after the pilots. CWO 3 Mott was in the right seat and I pulled him out and away from the aircraft. Lt. Schnabolk was sitting up-right, the consul was embedded in his chest and he was engulfed in flames. The chopper went up in flames in less than three minutes. We were evacuated to the Hospital in Qui Nhon. I spoke to CWO Mott, who was the co-pilot that day. He had received some rib and shoulder injuries from the crash. I was evacuated to Japan and lost contact with the other “Dusties”. I would like contact Lt. Schnabolk’s relatives, and also set the records straight about this great man. I can be reached on this website, or at fhibbs@triad.rr.com. Welcome home! “Doc” Hibbs, 2d Plt. 498th “Dust-Off”, Qui Nhon, Viet Nam, Sept.66-Aug.67.

Just to clear up any inconsistencies in this report, I was assigned to the Accident Investigation Team for this accident and although at first it was thought that enemy fire was involved, it was determined that indeed the accident resulted from a power loss in the N1 section as mentioned in the first sentence of the Accident Summary. Lt Schnabolk, who I knew from flight training at Ft Wolters, TX and at the Medical Field Service School, FT Sam Houston, TX, did his best to extend his glide to reach a nearby rice paddy after entering autorotation. Unfortunately the aircraft hit a small dike causing a fuel tank rupture. He saved a number of lives in exercising sound judgement and excellent piloting skills in a very difficult situation. The medic mentioned in this report, who we interviewed right after the accident, was indeed responsible for saving as many lives as possible at great risk to himself.

From: Jim Gebryel, 254th Medical Detachment (Dustoff) 1967-68

This record was last updated on 12/26/2017

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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021

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