Information on U.S. Marine Corps helicopter UH-34D tail number 148822
Incident number: 69013036.KIA
Casualties = 02 KIA . .
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Also: OPERA, POPASMOKE INCIDENT (Operations Report. )
Summary: Lost due to in-flight failure related to the tailrotor servo. Later determined to be hydraulic contamination.
Loss to Inventory
CP 1LT SCHLICHT JEROME JOSEPH KIA
C LCP FRYE MICHAEL BRUCE KIA
The POPASMOKE incident reads: Aircraft was attached to H&MS-36 at Phu Bai and used for medevac, resupply and occasional Holy Helo [chaplainís aircraft] to Quang Tri. Was lost due to in-flight failure related to the tailrotor servo. Later determined to be hydraulic contamination but who knows for sure. LCPL Frye was from the engine shop. Never did find out why the bird had a slow VGI flag. Submitted by Wayne Stafford, 6242[MOS] who flew on & maintained BuNo 148822. I was a crew chief assigned to H&MS-36 from Feb '68 to Mar '69 in Phu Bai, and knew Mike Frye very well. It could just as well have been me on that UH-34D, as I also did the "Holy Helo" runs to Quang Tri on Sunday. We were all devastated when we got the news that the chopper went down. I had flown on that particular bird a number of times. Mike was a good guy. Other guys that were around at the time were Jim Behan, Mike Fortes, Tim Toyne, Roger Rogers, the "Gunny," and our CO was Major Ives, I believe. Submitted by Rick Foresteire, Crew Chief in H&MS-36 I was a PLC(A) with Jerry Schlicht out of Minneapolis. We played softball together on the USMC team. Jerry joined HMM-363 just before I left on a FAC/ALO tour. As I remember, the aircraft landed hard but safely. It was one of Jerry's first flights. He jumped out the copilots window and was running away when struck in the back by a main rotor blade. The rotorhead was still turning and due to the hard landing the blades were flapping. In addition, the gear had collapsed so the blades were that much closer to the ground. I think the aircraft commander was Fred Halliday. He got out fine, went on to fly 46's and C-130s. Submitted by Jerry Martin, HMM-363 squadron mate.
The following from Wayne Stafford, RVN 68-69
It was suspected hydraulic contamination. Not confirmed. The aircraft burned.
This record was last updated on 09/21/2017
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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021
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