Helicopter CH-47A 66-19081


Information on U.S. Army helicopter CH-47A tail number 66-19081
The Army purchased this helicopter 0467
Total flight hours at this point: 00000643
Date: 09/15/1968
Incident number: 680915101ACD Accident case number: 680915101 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: A/228 AVN
This was a Accident incident.
The station for this helicopter was Hue / Phu Bai in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: YD883150
Number killed in accident = 3 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 1
costing 1258237
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:
P CW3 CROSS FRANK WARREN KIA
CE SP4 HIGGINSON LARRY CRAIG KIA
CE SP4 KEIPER GEORGE FREDERICK KIA


Accident Summary:

This aircraft was in the maintenance run-up area of A Company, 228th ASHB. They had just completed the seventh periodic inspection and were in the process of a three minute run-up check. After this check, if no significant problems arise, procedure requires them to shut down and reinspect the aircraft for leaks or other problem areas. There was no intention to fly the aircraft this day. After both engines were started, with the engine condition levers in the ground position, numerous witnesses reported an extreme coning angle on the rear rotor blades. The tower operator, after noticing this condition, attempted to contact the aircraft without success. Apparently the aircraft radios were turned off. The flight engineer was acting as outside observer during the run-up, and was on intercom at this time. The aircrew was unaware of the coning problem. At that point in the check requiring the pilot to place the condition levers in the flight position, he called the ground observer for a visual status check. The observer reported "everything looks OK", and the pilot answered "OK, let's try it in flight". At the time the condition levers were placed in the flight position, the rear of the helicopter raised abruptly from the ground and started moving to the right. Then the front came off the ground and the helicopter proceeded straight forward. The front wheels contacted the ground once and immediately became airborne again. It continued across the helipad in a nose low attitude of approximately 30 to 40 degrees, accelerating rapidly. About 500 feet from lift off was a row of conex containers used for parts storage. Just before striking these containers, it rolled into a slight left turn. The front of the helicopter struck the top of the conex boxes. The back end proceeded over the top in a somersault and it landed inverted on the conex boxes. It exploded immediately, most of the aircraft was consumed by the fire. The pilot and the crew chief died in the wreckage. The mechanic which was on board was blown partially clear by the explosion and evacuated. He died twenty minutes after arriving on the hospital ship.

This record was last updated on 05/25/1998


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