Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-01112
The Army purchased this helicopter 0167
Total flight hours at this point: 00001753
Incident number: 690103101ACD Accident case number: 690103101 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 135 AHC
The station for this helicopter was Bear Cat in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: XT949036
Number killed in accident = 4 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 0
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
AC WO1 CHILDERS WILLIAM STEVEN KIA
P SLT HUELIN ANTHONY JEFFREY KIA
CE SP4 DODSON ERNEST DEAN KIA
G SP4 MCPHERSON LARRY RANDALL KIA
The description of the accident was derived from the testimony of the crew of aircraft 66-16296. This aircraft was the second of two aircraft assigned to the mission. At 0615H aircraft #1 66-112 departed Bearcat to the northeast, turned to a heading of 270 degrees and started climbing. Aircraft #2 66-16296 departed Bearcat at approximately 0620H in the same direction. Aircraft #2 called Bearcat Artillery for clearance and was told to stay north of the 94 east-west gridline. Aircraft #1 reported to aircraft #2 the base of the clouds was 1200 feet and his heading was 260 degrees. Aircraft #2 joined up with aircraft #1 just north of VC Island and continued to fly in formation until IFR conditions were encountered. Aircraft #2 lost sight of aircraft #1 at this time slowed up and started to descend. Aircraft #2 intermittently saw aircraft #1 as he was descending through broken to overcast clouds. At this time the #2 aircraft asked the #1 aircraft if he had filed with Capitol Center and he stated that he had not. Aircraft #2 told him he would file for both of them at this time. This was the last conversation that took place between the two aircraft. Aircraft #2 had to descend to approximately 100 feet to remain VFR. In the vicinity of Highway 316 northeast of Saigon, aircraft #2 sighted aircraft #1 heading approximately 320 degrees and at an altitude of less than 100 feet. Suddenly bright sparks or flashes appeared below aircraft #1 as it struck the 1/2 inch steel cables supporting the power lines between Saigon and Bien Hoa. The aircraft struck the power lines approximately 80 feet above the ground. After striking the power line the aircraft immediately crashed to the ground erupting in flames 94 feet northwest of the high tension lines, in an inverted slightly nose down position. The #2 aircraft made a let down to rescue the crew. In doing so the aircraft hit a tree causing damage to the aircraft. An attempt was made by the crew of aircraft #2 to rescue the crew, but was to no avail as the intense flames and exploding ammunition made it impossible. Aircraft #2 then called for assistance, notified operations and returned to Bearcat at approximately 0900H.
I was very surprised to read this as the whole area out to a 360 horizon was basically open, and sparsely wooded with stunted trees as can be seen in the crash site pic. Had it been heavily wooded, with substantial trees, then they would probably have had to turn back or they would have been forced high enough to clear the power lines. The long and short of it is that #2 did well to find a tree to hit. I took a comprehensive set of pictures, that I still have, but the US Army Investigation Board ask if the could keep the negatives on file. From: Michael Perrott
This record was last updated on 10/01/2007
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Date posted on this site: 05/26/2019
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