Helicopter CH-47A 66-19041


Information on U.S. Army helicopter CH-47A tail number 66-19041
The Army purchased this helicopter 0167
Total flight hours at this point: 00001069
Date: 10/03/1968
Incident number: 681003141ACD Accident case number: 681003141 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: A/228 AVN
This was a Accident incident.
The station for this helicopter was Phu Bai in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: YD561330
Number killed in accident = 11 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 6
costing 2037237
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:
AC CW2 JOHNSON THOMAS EUGENE KIA
P WO1 CONROY RONALD LEE KIA
CE SP5 PIERCE JERRY LEE JR KIA
G SP4 REESE DENNIS DEAN KIA
FE SP4 COSTLEY LARRY LEE KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
CPT ALDERSON THOMAS EARL, AR, PX, KIA
SFC CLEMENTS DAWSON, AR, PX, KIA
SSG YOUNG WILLIAM RANDOLPH, AR, PX, KIA
PFC LUCIER JOHN WILLIAM, AR, PX, KIA
SSG WALLACE CHARLES JAMES, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 SEE MICHAEL DUANE, AR, PX, KIA


Accident Summary:

The US Air Force C7-A departed Camp Evans airfield from runway 36. His last radio transmission after receiving tower clearance was "rolling". This aircraft was observed to break right prior to reaching the end of the runway. He continued a climbing turn to a heading of approximately 130 degrees. The CH-47 helicopter had departed LZ Nancy only a few minutes before. It was proceeding south along highway QL-1, on a heading of 170 degrees, in a shallow descent. This is a scheduled daily passenger and mail shuttle and would have entered traffic on a right base leg for landing at the Camp Evans asp pad is the regular stop for this shuttle and is located east of the centerline of runway 36, approximately 1000 feet south of the approach end of that runway. He had not yet called the tower for clearance, though his UHF radio was on tower frequency. It is estimated that the CH-47 was cruising at approximately 95 to 100 knots. The C7-A with climb power, should have been at about 105 knots. The two aircraft converged at an altitude of approximately 1100 feet at a relative angle of approximately 40 degrees. The cockpit section of the C7-A contacted the rear rotor of the helicopter. The C7-A had started a right bank, probably a last minute attempt to avoid the collision. When the two aircraft collided, at least one of the helicopter rear rotor blades sliced through the cockpit section of the airplane. On an angle from the top of the copilots windshield down to the bottom of the pilots windshield, killing both pilots instantly, and destroying all engine controls. At the same time, one of the rotor blades, or debris from the cockpit struck the left propeller of the C7-A. One of the blades was severed from the propeller, and passed through both sides of the fuselage of the airplane. The left propeller then separated from the engine and fell to the ground. The C7-A made a steep descending right turn and struck the ground on a heading of 340 degrees. The aircraft disintegrated, all personnel aboard perished, there was no fire. The CH-47, at the moment of the collision lost all of its rear main rotor blades. Once these blades were broken and distorted by the collision, they chopped into the top of the helicopters fuselage before finally separating from the hub. They dislodged two sections of the synchronizer drive shaft which also fell to the ground. At this time, neither rotor system could provide any thrust, and the helicopter became a free falling body. While it was tumbling to earth, the rear rotor mast and pylon separated from the fuselage and landed 150 meters short of the fuselage. The fuselage tumbled to earth and impacted on a heading of approximately 120 degrees. It landed on its top left side in a nose high attitude, with near zero forward speed. It exploded on impact. Two persons fell out of the helicopter as it tumbled through the air. They were fatally injured on contact with the ground. Those remaining in the helicopter died in the crash.


War Story:
I was at camp Evans when this crash happened. I was attached to the 1/30 artillery headquarters battery as a surveyor. We were in the mess hall at supertime when we heard the crash and a bunch of us were sent over to search for bodies. It was really a bad scene. We were told all of the guys on the Caribou were heading back to the world, don't know if that was true or not. We also were told that the control tower guy was court martialed for clearing both aircraft at the same time. The hook was coming up and the caribou flew right into it. From Tom Underwood, January 2001.

This record was last updated on 01/15/2001


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