Helicopter UH-1D 66-01002

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-01002
The Army purchased this helicopter 1266
Total flight hours at this point: 00001256
Date: 07/15/1968
Incident number: 680715201ACD Accident case number: 680715201 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: A/9 AVN 9 INF
The station for this helicopter was Dong Tam in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 1 . . Injured = 2 . . Passengers = 0
costing 270954
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:

Accident Summary:

UH-1D 66-1002 departed Camp Martin Cox (Bearcat) on or about 0500, 15 Jul 68 to fly command and control missions in support of the 2nd Brigade area of operations, working out of Fire Support Base Renegade located at XS 399-133. Missions supported throughout the day were uneventful with no maintenance difficulties encountered. On or about 2050 hours 15 Jul 68 the crew was informed they were to fly to the USS Benewah, (APB-35) pick up one passenger and return to Bearcat and that they (crew) were released. Take-off was made to the SW with a left turn to fly down river at low level in order to stay below mortar fire. When the aircraft was clear a cyclic climb was initiated and radio contact was established with the USS Benewah. A slight right turn was made to establish visual contact with the boat, then a left turn was made to establish a down wind leg. Level off was made at or about 1100 feet indicated. It should be noted that numerous flares were present in the immediate area and the last one to burn out was during the later portion of the base leg. Initial descent commenced on downwind to base. During some portion of the base leg an altitude of 900 feet was noted. Turn from base to final was accomplished with a roll out on a heading of 240 degrees as directed by the USS Benewah. Radio contact was again established with the Benewah and acknowledged. Transition over the shore line was unnoticed by the pilot and copilot, but the crew chief noticed a portion of an old bridge. During this portion of the final appraoch the aircraft passed through several layers of smoke or clouds. It should be noted that the USS Benewah deck lights became hazzy and fuzzy and the the flight deck appeared to disappear or grow smaller. At this time the pilot noticed that his altimeter was reading 300 feet indicated and airspeed was indicating 35 knots. Corrective action was applied but it is unknown whether cyclic and collective were applied or just cyclic. Within a few seconds the aircraft hit the water. A section of the tail boom, from the horizontal stabilizer aft, was recovered on 17 Jul 68. After inspection by the maintenance officer, it appeared that this portion of the tail boom was severed at the horizontal stabilizer and the aircraft hit in a near level attitude. There were no impressions or dents and the tail rotor was in good shape and turned freely. After inspection was completed and pictures taken the tail boom was released and was air-evacuated to Vung Tau.

This record was last updated on 05/25/1998

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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

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