Helicopter OH-6A 67-16363


Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A tail number 67-16363
The Army purchased this helicopter 0968
Total flight hours at this point: 00000145
Date: 01/04/1969
Incident number: 690104131ACD Accident case number: 690104131 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: A/377 ARTY
The station for this helicopter was Phu Bai in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 2 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 1
costing 247969
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 1LT FOUNTAIN KENNETH LOREN KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
PFC WESSEL STEVEN ARTHUR, AR, PX, KIA


Accident Summary:

 AT 1230 HOURS, ^4 JANUARY 1969^, ^OH-67-16363^ DEPARTED THE HELIPAD LOCATED AT^"D" BTRY,^^377 ARTY AVN OPERATIONS^. THE AIRCRAFT WAS DISPATCHED IN SUPPORT OF ^1ST BN, 321ST ARTILLERY^. THE PILOT FLEW FOR TWO HOURS WITHIN THE AREA OF OPERATIONS TERMINATING AT ^FIRE SUPPORT BASE "T" BONE^ AT APPROXIMATELY ^1630 HOURS^. AFTER LANDING, THE PILOT CONTACTED HIS AVIATION OPERATIONS VIA ^GIA LE^ RADIO AND STATED THAT HE HAD LANDED AT ^FIRE BASE "T" BONE^ AND WAS UNABLE TO RETURN TO ^CAMP EAGLE^ DUE TO BAD WEATHER. PILOT WAS ADVISED TO REMAIN OVERNIGHT AT HIS PRESENT LOCATION IF THE WEATHER DID NOT IMPROVE BY ^1830 HOURS^. AT ^1830 HOURS^, PILOT MADE THE DECISION TO REMAIN OVERNIGHT. BETWEEN THE HOURS OF ^1830^ AND ^1845^, PILOT WAS ADVISED BY PERSONNEL AT ^FIRE BASE "T" BONE^ THAT THE AIRCRAFT WAS OUTSIDE THE ESTABLISHED PERIMETER. PILOT STATED THAT HE WOULD MOVE THE AIRCRAFT FROM THE "LOWER PAD" TO THE "UPPER" OR "VIP PAD" WHICH WAS WITHIN THE PERIMETER. PILOT STARTED AIRCRAFT AT APPROXIMATELY ^1900 HOURS^ AND ESTABLISHED COMMUNICATION WITH PERSONNEL LOCATED ON THE "UPPER PAD". STROBE LIGHTS WERE SET UP IN THE SHAPE OF A "T" TO PROVIDE A LANDING AREA ON THE "UPPER PAD". PILOT THEN PROCEEDED TO HOVER UP THE INCLINE OF THE HILL. RELOCATION REQUIRED MOVING THE AIRCRAFT A DISTANCE OF APPROXIMATELY 135 METERS ALONG A HEADING OF ^040 DEGREES^. THE ROUTE OF FLIGHT WAS ALONG AN OBSTACLE COVERED INCLINE OF ^25 TO 30^ DEGREES. THE TAKE-OFF POINT WAS SITUATED AT AN ELEVATION OF APPROXIMATELY 875 FEET. THE INTENDED LANDING AREA WAS AT 975 FEET OR APPROXIMATELY 100 FEET ABOVE THE TAKE-OFF POINT. PILOT MANUEVERED THE AIRCRAFT TO THE "UPPER PAD" AND TERMINATED AT A HIGH HOVER (25 TO 30 FEET) OVER THE PAD. GROUND PERSONNEL INQUIRED VIA RADIO IF PILOT HAD THE STROBE LIGHT IN SIGHT. PILOT THEN EXECUTED FORWARD FLIGHT AND DISAPPEARED FROM SIGHT OF THE GROUND PERSONNEL AFTER AIRCRAFT HAD TRAVELED 50-75 FEET. PILOT OBVIOUSLY LOST VISUAL CONTACT WITH THE GROUND, BUT WAS ABLE TO MAINTAIN VERY LIMITED VISUAL CONTACT WITH THE BASE CAMP LIGHTS AND THE STROBE LIGHTS LOCATED ON THE "UPPER PAD". THE BOARD CONCLUDED THAT PILOT UTILIZED THE EXISTING CAMP LIGHTS AS HIS ONLY GROUND REFERENCE IN EXECUTING A ^360 DEGREE^ RIGHT TURN TO ALIGN THE AIRCRAFT ON AN APPROACH HEADING OF APPROXIMATELY ^040 DEGREES^. AIRCRAFT WAS NEXT OBSERVED BY PERSONNEL ON THE "UPPER PAD" APPROXIMATELY 3-5 SECONDS BEFORE IMPACT. AIRCRAFT IMPACTED 37 FEET BELOW THE LANDING AREA. AIRCRAFT WAS IN A LEFT CRAB, NOSE LOW, AND AIRSPEED WAS IN EXCESS OF "NORMAL APPROACH" SPEED. ATTITUDE OF AIRCRAFT AND DISTANCE OF IMPACT FROM LANDING AREA INDICATE THAT PILOT EXPERIENCED VERTIGO. FRONT PORTION OF RIGHT SKID MADE INITIAL CONTACT WITH THE GROUND, AIRCRAFT ROLLED ONTO ITS RIGHT SIDE AND IMPACTED APPROXIMATELY 14 FEET FROM INITIAL CONTACT WITH GROUND. EXPLOSION AND BURNING OCCURRED IMMEDIATELY AFTER IMPACT. GROUND PERSONNEL WERE UNABLE TO APPROACH THE BURNING WRECKAGE DUE TO THE INTENSITY OF THE HEAT GENERATED BY THE FIRE. AIRCRAFT BURNED FOR APPROXIMATELY THIRTY-FIVE MINUTES BEFORE FINAL FLAMES WERE EXTINGUISHED BY GROUND PERSONNEL.\\

This record was last updated on 09/20/1998


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