Helicopter UH-1D 66-16121


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-16121
The Army purchased this helicopter 0367
Total flight hours at this point: 00000710
Date: 10/24/1968
Incident number: 681024231ACD Accident case number: 681024231 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: C/101 AVN
The station for this helicopter was Hue / LZ Sally in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: ZC126937
Number killed in accident = 3 . . Injured = 3 . . Passengers = 2
costing 418238
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 WO1 RILEY RICHARD STEPHEN JR KIA
P W1 TH SMITH
CE E5 TUEL KENNETH R
G SP4 SPARKS DAVID LEO KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
E5 FH WINGOR, PAX, C
SGT DUNN ROBERT TERRENCE, AR, PX, KIA


Accident Summary:

At approximately 1745 hours, 24 October 1968, UH-1H 66-16121 was on a logistical resupply mission for company "D", 2/501st Infantry Battalion. The aircraft had refueled at FSB Roy approximately fifteen (15) minutes prior and had taken on 1400 pounds of cargo and the two (2) "kick out" men. The aircraft returned to the first LZ and dropped off approximately 50 pounds of cargo. The aircraft took off for the second LZ approximately 1000 meters away. The approach was too fast for the second LZ and the aircraft came to a 10-15 foot hover about 15 or 20 feet past the intended termination area. The aircraft commander attempted to back the aircraft to the left rear. In doing so, the tail rotor struck a tree causing the aircraft to turn to the right. The aircraft began to settle into the trees and power was applied in an attempt to get the aircraft out of the trees. This caused the aircraft to continue turning and crash vertically into the ground. The medical aid man attending WO1 Smith said that he (WO1 Smith) had told the other pilot that he was losing RPM prior to the strike. This was probably due to a fast approach to the LZ and attempting to stop the aircraft as close as possible to the landing zone. It is assumed that the aircraft began settling while attempting to hover out of ground effect. The approximate weight of the aircraft was 8500 pounds which was not an over gross condition. It is also assumed the aircraft was in a tail low condition from the resulting flare to stop the aircraft as close as possible to the landing zone. The resultant lift from applying full power would bring the aircraft back and down and account for the tail rotor striking the tree.


War Story:
Tail#: 66-16121 Name: Theodore Smith, WO, tsmith8971@aol.com Date of crash: 24-Oct-1968 Inc # 681024231 Location: South of Phu Bai Other Pilot Richard Riley, WO (KIA) Crew Chief:Ken Tuel Gunner: David Sparks(KIA) Accident attributed Pilot Error on Riley but was actually enemy action. Aircraft was hovering over the canopy when it was struck by NVA mortor fire. Supporting D co. 2nd 501st under a bn cdr Blue Falcon (Tony Heiter??). D co. was taking a mountain top. The aircraft was delivering ammo on kick-out mission. The unit was in contact with NVA and had requested an emergency ammo resupply. The aircraft went to Phu Bai to refuel then picked up 2 11Bs at base of mountain near hiway to kick out the ammo. Then went to top of mountain heard an explosion underneath them. Riley pulled pitch to get the aircraft out of there. Then they called for smoke so they could locate the unit and unload the ammo. When sittin above canopy the second time, they received the fatal mortar round.no

This record was last updated on 07/14/2001


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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