Helicopter UH-1D 66-16195


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-16195
The Army purchased this helicopter 0367
Total flight hours at this point: 00001911
Date: 11/19/1968
Incident number: 681119231ACD Accident case number: 681119231 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 173 AVN
The station for this helicopter was Lai Khe in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 3 . . Injured = 3 . . Passengers = 4
costing 371600
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 EL DANIEL
P O2 KIMBRELL GARY M
G SSG FIELDER CALVIN KIA
CE SP4 SHARP TED LEROY KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
CPT LIVINGSTON PETER B, AR, PX, KIA
E3 JC HOLT, PAX, C


Accident Summary:

 ^UH-1D SERIAL NUMBER 66-16195^ WAS FLYING AS BATTALION COURIER FOR THE ^11TH COMBAT AVIATION BATTALION^. A PASSENGER DROP OFF HAD BEEN MADE AT THE ^93RD EVACUATION HOSPITAL ON LONG BINH^. AT THAT LOCATION ^CPT PETER LIVINGSTON^ BECAME A PASSENGER ON THE AIRCRAFT FOR TRANSPORTATION TO ^SAIGON HELIPORT,^ A REGULARLY SCHEDULED STOPPING POINT FOR THE COURIER. THE COURIER AIRCRAFT, WHILE APPROACHING THE MAIN GATE AT ^TAN SON NHUT,^ FOR APPROACH TO ^SAIGON HELIPORT (HOTEL 3),^ REPORTED EXPERIENCING A VIBRATION AND REQUESTED A STRAIGHT IN APPROACH TO THE HELIPORT. GROUND WITNESSES REPORTED NOTING THAT THE TAIL ROTOR OF THE AIRCRAFT WAS NOT TURNING. THE PILOT, DURING QUESTIONING, CONFIRMED THAT JUST PRIOR TO THE REQUEST TO THE TOWER FOR A STRAIGHT APPROACH, A LOUD BANG AND GRINDING NOISE, FOLLOWED BY ANOTHER BANG AND GRINDING NOISE AND THEN A LURCHING OF THE AIRCRAFT, WERE EXPERIENCED IN FLIGHT. THE PILOT ALSO STATED THAT THE AIRCRAFT STARTED A GRADUAL TURN TO THE RIGHT. GROUND OBSERVERS CONFIRMED THAT THE AIRCRAFT APPEARED TO CIRCLE TO THE RIGHT PRIOR TO BEGINNING ITS LANDING APPROACH. THE PILOT ALSO STATED THAT THE CREWCHIEF OBSERVED THE TAIL ROTOR IN FLIGHT AND REPORTED THAT IT HAD STOPPED TURNING. AT THIS POINT THE PILOT REALIZED THAT THERE HAD DEFINITELY BEEN A TAIL ROTOR FAILURE. A COMMENT WAS HEARD, MADE BY THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER ON THE RADIO, THAT STATED "OH MY GOD, I DON'T BELIEVE IT. I'VE LOST MY TAIL ROTOR." UPON REALIZING THE TAIL ROTOR FAILURE, THE PILOT TURNED CONTROL OF THE AIRCRAFT OVER TO THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER. AT THIS POINT THE AIRCRAFT CAME OVER THE ANTENNAS ON FINAL APPROACH TO THE HELIPORT AND BEGAN SPINNING TO THE HELIPORT AND BEGAN SPINNING TO THE RIGHT. THE PILOT STATED THAT THIS IS THE LAST THAT HE REMEMBERS UNTIL AWAKENING IN THE HOSPITAL. GROUND OBSERVERS CONFIRMED THAT THE AIRCRAFT BEGAN SPINNING AND DESCENDING WITH LOW ROTOR RPM, AND STOPPED TAIL ROTOR, BETWEEN THE ANTENNAS AND WIRES SURROUNDING THE CRASH SITE. NO WIRE OR ANTENNA STRIKES WERE MADE BY THE AIRCRAFT. THE AIRCRAFT BURST INTO FLAMES SECONDS AFTER IMPACT. THE TRANSMISSION BROKE LOOSE FROM ITS MOUNTINGS DUE TO ONE OF THE MAIN ROTOR BLADES STRIKING THE GROUND ON THE LEFT SIDE OF THE AIRCRAFT AND FELL INTO THE PASSENGER COMPARTMENT TO THE LEFT REAR OF THE PILOT. THIS APPARENTLY PINNED SOME OF THE PASSENGERS AND THE CREW CHIEF IN THE WRECKAGE. THE TAIL BOOM WAS SEPARATED FROM THE MAIN PART OF THE WRECKAGE AND THE FORWARD PORTION OF THE TAIL BOOM WAS BURNED. THE PILOT, ^2LT GARY M. KIMBRELL, AND PFC JAMES C. HOLT,^ WERE PULLED FROM THE BURNING WRECKAGE BY BYSTANDERS AT THE SCENE WHOSE STATEMENTS ARE ENCLOSED UNDER TAB D. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER APPARENTLY SUCCEEDED IN EXITING THE AIRCRAFT UNDER HIS OWN POWER WHILE RECEIVING SOME BURNS FROM THE FLAMES. THE AMMUNITION IN THE WRECKAGE BEGAN EXPLODING DURING THE RESCUE ATTEMPTS BY THE BYSTANDERS. FLAMES PREVENTED ANY RECOVERY OR ASSISTANCE TO THE OTHER PERSONNEL TRAPPED IN THE AIRCRAFT. A FIRE TRUCK FROM ^TAN SON NHUT^ ARRIVED AT THE SCENE AND SUCCEEDED IN EXTIMGUISHING THE FIRE BEFORE THE WRECKAGE WAS TOTALLY CONSUMED. A MOBILE CRANE FROM ^TAN SON NHUT^ WAS UTILIZED TO LIFT THE TRANSMISSION ASSEMBLY OUT OF THE WRECKAGE IN ORDER TO RECOVER THE BODIES OF THE REMAINING PERSONNEL. THE POSITIONS OF THE AIRCRAFT CONTROLS DURING UNVESTIGATION INDICATED THAT THE THROTTLE HAD BEEN ROLLED OFF. THE BATTERY, FUEL AND REMAINING SWITCHES WERE IN THE NORMAL INFLIGHT POSITIONS. WITNESSES STATED THAT THE AIRCRAFT STRUCK THE GROUND IN A LEFT SKID LOW POSITION WITH LOW ROTOR RPM.\\

This record was last updated on 12/12/2009


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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021


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