Helicopter UH-1D 66-16302


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-16302
The Army purchased this helicopter 0467
Total flight hours at this point: 00000525
Date: 01/16/1969
Incident number: 690116221ACD Accident case number: 690116221 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: A/227 AVN
The station for this helicopter was Lai Khe in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 7 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 3
costing 657545
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 CPT CARLIN DAVID ALLEN KIA
P CW2 LAPAN GEORGE FRANCIS KIA
CE SP5 DEATON JOHN CLAUD KIA
G SP4 DEW PAUL ROBERT KIA
PX SP5 HOLDER FREDRICK LEE KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
SP5 MIRICH JOHN, AR, PX, KIA
PFC OSHEIM JON OWEN, AR, PX, KIA


Accident Summary:

 THIS AIRCRAFT DEPARTED ITS PARKING AREA AT APPROXIMATELY ^100 HOURS^. IT MADE AN APPROACH AND TERMINATED AT A HOVER NEAR THE MAINTENANCE AREA OF THE ENGINEER BATTALION AT ^LAI KHE^. THERE WERE SEVEN PERSONS ABOARD THE AIRCRAFT. THEY HOVERED OVER A PLAY GROUND TEETER TOTTER WHICH THE ENGINEERS HAD CONSTRUCTED FOR AN ORPHANAGE. THE TEETER TOOTTER HAD PREVIOUSLY BEEN RIGGED AS A SLING LOAD BY THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER OF THIS HELICOPTER. THE SLING WAS ATTACHED TO THE LIFTING HOOK OF THE HELICOPTER. THE AIRCRAFT HOVERED STRAIGHT UP TO AN ALTITUDE OF 50 TO 75 FEET, CHECKING THE LOAD. HE THEN CALLED THE ^LAI KHE^ TOWER FOR TAKE OFF CLEARANCE. HE WAS CLEARED TO DEPART PARALLEL TO AND EAST OF THE RUNWAY. AS HE BEGAN TO ACCELERATE THE LOAD BEGAN TO OSCILLATE BADLY. AFTER A FEW HUNDRED METERS, AND AT PERHAPS FORTY KNOTS OF FORWARD SPEED, THE END SUPPORT BRACKET BROKE OFF THE PIVOT BAR OF THE TEETER TOTTER. THIS CAUSED THE LOAD TO SHIFT AND THE STEEL TRIANGLE, WHICH WAS THE SUPPORT BRACKET, TO WHIP VIOLENTLY AT THE END OF ITS ROPE. AT A POINT WHEN THE MAIN LOAD WAS AT ITS AFT MOST POSITION OF OSCILLATION, THIS STEEL TRIANGLE FLIPPED FORWARD, THEN AFT, ALLOWING THE TAIL ROTOR TO STRIKE THE ROPE WHICH ATTACHED IT TO THE REST OF THE TEETER TOTTER. AT THAT POINT THE TAIL ROTOR WAS OBSERVED TO SLOW DOWN AND ALMOST STOP. THE LOAD WAS JETTISONED AT THIS POINT AND THE HELICOPTER PROCEEDED FORWARD ON A TRACK OF ABOUT 050 DEGREES WITH ITS NOSE TURNING SLOWLY TO THE RIGHT. WHEN THE FUSELAGE HAD TURNED TO APPROXIMATELY 90 DEGREES TO THE FLIGHT PATH, THE FORWARD SPEED HAD DECREASED TO NEAR ZERO. AT THAT TIME THE HELICOPTER BEGAN TO SPIN TO THE RIGHT. WITNESSES DISAGREE AS TO THE NUMBER OF TURNS THE AIRCRAFT MADE, BUT GENERALLY AGREE THAT IT WAS NUMEROUS TURNS, THE NOSE SWINGING TO THE RIGHT. WHEN THE TOWER OPERATOR OBSERVED THE LOAD FALL TO THE GROUND, HE ADVISED THE PILOT "YOU HAVE DROPPED YOUR SLING LOAD". THE PILOT'S ANSWER WAS "THANK YOU". AT ABOUT THE TIME THE FUSELAGE BEGAN TO TURN THE PILOT SAID TO THE TOWER "I HAVE TAIL ROTOR FAILURE". THE TOWER ROGERED THIS AND ADVISED THAT THE CRASH CREW WAS NOTIFIED. THE PILOT WAS APPARENTLY UNABLE TO INCREASE HIS FORWARD SPEED TO THE POINT THAT THE AIRCRAFT WOULD STREAMLINE AND CONTINUE TO FLY WITHOUT THE TAIL ROTOR DRIVE. HE WAS, HOWEVER, ABLE TO KEEP IT AIRBORNE FOR A CONSIDERABLE PERIOD OF TIME. WITNESSES OBSERVED WHAT SOUNDED TO THEM LIKE REPEATED INCREASING AND DECREASING POWER APPLICATIONS AND ERRATIC ATTITUDE CHANGES THAT APPEARED TO BE ATTEMPTS BY THE PILOT TO MOVE THE AIRCRAFT AWAY FROM THE TROOP AREA, OVER WHICH HE WAS SPINNING. A CREW MEMBER, THOUGHT TO BE THE CREW CHIEF, WAS SEEN STANDING IN THE CABIN OF THE HELICOPTER, LEANING OUT WAVING HIS ARMS IN AN EFFORT TO GET PEOPLE TO LEAVE THE AREA WHERE IT WAS APPARENT THEY WERE GOING TO CRASH. JUST PRIOR TO STRIKING THE TREES THE PILOT SAID OVER THE RADIO "WE'RE GOING IN".\\

This record was last updated on 09/20/1998


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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