Helicopter UH-1D 66-16527


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-16527
The Army purchased this helicopter 0667
Total flight hours at this point: 00001631
Date: 01/03/1969
Incident number: 690103151ACD Accident case number: 690103151 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 155 AHC
The station for this helicopter was Cam Ranh in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 2 . . Injured = 4 . . Passengers = 2
costing 349229
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 W1 AE MCGINNITY
P WO1 MCCRARY RONALD SMITH KIA
CE E4 RS HARDEN
G E3 JL JEFFERSON

Passengers and/or other participants:
UNK KBONG, , PX, KIA
E7 BJ ROWLAND, PAX, D


Accident Summary:

 ON^3 JAN 1969^,ARMY AIRCRAFT,^UH-1H, SN 66-16527^, ASSIGNED TO THE^155THAHC^ WAS INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT AT COORDINATES BP090375, APPROXIMATELY ^10NM^NORTHWEST OF^CAM LY^AIRSTRIP,^DALAT^RVN. WEATHER GIVEN BY^DALAT^RADIO AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT WAS 1900 FEET CEILING, WINDS 070/10, VISIBILITY +6 MILES WITH NO PRECIPITATION. A PIREP ON THE WEATHER AT THE CRASH SITE AG^1645HOURS^ WAS OVERCAST WITHA 100 FOOT CEILING, ON THE SOUTHEAST SIDE OF THE RIDGLINE WITH IFR CONDITIONS EXISTING ON THE NORTHWEST SIDE. ARMY AIRCRAFT^SN66-16527^WITH A CREW OF FOUR (4) AND TWO(2) PASSENGERS DEPARTED^ALPHA BASE(LAC DONG)AT 1430HOURS^, ON A HEADING OF 330 DEGREES, TO A ^MONTAGNARD^BASE CAMP TO DISCHARGE ITS PASSENGERS. DUE TO WEATHER THE AIRCRAFT WAS MAINTAINING AN ALTITUDE OF APPROXIMATELY 100 FOOT AGL UNTIL IT REACHED THE RIDGELINE WHERE IT EVENTUALLY CRASHED. AT THIS TIME THE AIRCRAFT WENT INTO CLIMB POWER TO CLEAR THE RIDGELINE AND NOT UNTIL REACHING THE SUMMIT DID THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER REALIZE THAT FLIGHT CONDITIONS ON THE OTHER SIDE WERE IFR. SEEING THIS, THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER INITIATED A CLIMBING LEFT TURN SLOWING TO SIXTY KNOTS. IN SPITE OF THIS THE AIRCRAFT STILL WENT INADVERTENT IFR. IT WAS AT THIS TIME THAT THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER NOTICED THE CONTROLS WERE BECOMING STIFF TO MOVE. THE DEGREE OF BANK BECAME STEEPER AND STEEPER AND THEN THE AIRCRAFT STARTED A DESCENT AT APPROXIMATELY 500 FEET PER MINUTE. AS THE AIRCRAFT CAME OUT OF THE CLOUD THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER ATTEMPTED TO BRING THE AIRCRAFT TO LEVEL ATTITUDE, HOWEVER, THE CONTROLS WERE BECOMING MORE DIFFICULT TO MOVE. AT THIS TIME THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER NOTICED A HILL TO THE FRONT AT APPROXIMATELY 200 FEET AND 50 FEET HIGHER THAN THEY WERE. HEADING TOWARD A LARGE TREE WITH THE CONTROLS APPARENTLY FROZEN, THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER LOOKED OVER AND THEN REALIZED THAT THE PILOT WAS ALSO ON THE CONTROLS. THE AIRCRAFT STRUCK THE TREE IN A TAIL LOW ATTITUDE AT APPROXIMATELY FORTY-FIVE KNOTS. UPON IMPACT WITH THE TREE THE TAIL SEPARATED FROM THE CABIN SECTION AND LODGED IN THE TREE HANGING ALMOST PERPENDICULAR TO THE GROUND. THE CABIN SECTION LURCHED TO THE RIGHT AND THEN FELL APPROXIMATELY THIRTY FEET TO THE GROUND LANDING ON ITS RIGHT SIDE. IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE IMPACT THE AIRCRAFT BEGAN TO FILL WITH SMOKE, HOWEVER, IT WAS REPORTED BY THE CREW CHIEF THAT THE FIRE DIDN'T GAIN IN INTENSITY UNTIL A FEW MINUTES LATER. IT IS NOT KNOWN WHETHER THE GUNNER WAS THROWN CLEAR BY IMPACT OR EXITED UNDER HIS OWN POWER AFTER THE CRASH HOWEVER, ALL REMAINING PERSONNEL DID REMAIN IN THE AIRCRAFT. ALSO UNDETERMINED IS WHETHER^SFC ROWLAND^(PAX) EXITED UNDER HIS OWN POWER OR WAS BLOWN FREE BY THE SMALL EXPLOSION THAT WAS REPORTED BY THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER SHORTLY AFTER THE FIRE HAD INTENSIFIED. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER EXITED THROUGH THE LEFT FRONT WINDSHIELD AND THE CREW CHIEF CRAWLED OUT THE EMERGENCY EXIT AFTER KICKING IT OUT WITH HIS FOOT. THE PILOT AND THE^MONTAGNARD^PAX WERE PINNED IN THE WRECKAGE AND WERE UNABLE TO GET OUT. AFTER THE FIRE HAD SUBSIDED AND THE AMMO ABOARD HAD EXPENDED^WO1 MCGINNITY^ESTIMATED THE SITUATION AND CONCLUDED THAT SOMEONE SHOULD ATTEMPT TO WALK OUT FOR HELP. AFTER DETERMINING THAT THE CREW CHEIF COULDN'T MAKE IT,^WO1 MCGINNITY^DECIDED THAT HE WOULD ATTEMPT TO MAKE IT TO^DOMG RONG^,LOCATED SIX MILES TO THE NORTH. AFTER APPROXIMATELY TWO HOURS HE HEARD A GUN SHOT FROM THE DIRECTION OF THE CRASH AND DETERMINED THAT THE OTHER CREW MEMBERS HAD SIGNALED RESCUE AIRCRAFT. AT THIS TIME HE DECIDED HE WAS BETTER OFF GOING TO^DALAT^RATHER THAN^DOMG RONG^,SO HE REVERSED HIS DIRECTION AND HEADED FOR^DULAT^. ON THE MORNING OF THE THIRD DAY AFTER THE CRASH HE EMERGED ON THE NORTHERN EDGE OF^LAKE HO DAN KIA^, LOCATED 6 MILES NORTHWEST OF^DULAT^. HERE HE FLAGGED DOWN A^VIEWTNAMESE^ON A MOTORSCOOTER AND PROCEED BACK TO^ALPHA BASE^.\\

This record was last updated on 09/20/1998


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