Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1C tail number 65-09535
The Army purchased this helicopter 0566
Total flight hours at this point: 00000831
Incident number: 671119071ACD Accident case number: 671119071 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 610 TC CO
Number killed in accident = 1 . . Injured = 1 . . Passengers = 0
Source(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Army Aviation Safety Center database.
P WO1 CLARK TERRY RICHARD KIA
CE E2 PL FOLEY
The aircraft was at low level flight going to refueling when the engine failed. An autorotation was made to a cane field. The main rotor contacted bamboo and the aircraft landed hard. The engine failed due to improper assembly.
Terry was our maintenance officer and worked on the flight line at LZ Two-Bits the day of his death. I had flown gunship missions most of the day and parked my helicopter on the flight line after refueling. As I was leaving the flight line, CWO Clark and his CE were preparing to fly another aircraft to LZ English for refueling following completion of their maintenance. CWO Clark indicated the CE wanted to fly in the copilot's seat for the short flight (5 minutes) to LZ English. Another helicopter pilot and I watched CWO Clark and CE depart Two-Bits and proceed at low-level flight toward LZ English. The pilot with me asked if I heard anything unusual about the engine noise of their UH-1C as it hovered and departed. I said I did not. Approximately 20 seconds after takeoff, we saw a flash of fire from CWO Clark's helicopter engine's exhaust. The aircraft immediately disappeared. CPT Jim Holden and I ran to a helicopter, cranked and were first to arrive at the crash site. CPT Holden stayed in the helicopter while the injured CE and I extricated CWO Clark from the helicopter. CWO Clark was unconscious and slumped over the controls without his helmet. Terry died later that evening. The aircraft accident board investigators attributed CWO Clark's death due to loss of his helmet in the crash. The helmet he was wearing had been hanging above the pilot's seat but did not belong to CWO Clark. Upon hard impact with the ground without the luxury of an autorotation due to low altitude, CWO Clark's head was pitched forward. The loosely fitting helmet came off, and CWO Clark's right rear side of his head hit the armor plated protective seat side panel when his head recoiled backwards. James "Hank" Thomas 6 Dec 96
This record was last updated on 05/25/1998
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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021
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