Helicopter UH-1D 66-00845


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-00845
The Army purchased this helicopter 1066
Total flight hours at this point: 00001619
Date: 02/01/1969
Incident number: 690201131ACD Accident case number: 690201131 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 190 AHC
The station for this helicopter was Bien Hoa in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 5 . . Injured = 4 . . Passengers = 7
costing 422904
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 O2 MS CHENEY
P WO1 BARNES JACKSON DILLON KIA
CE E5 DF WATSON
G E4 WL BRYANT

Passengers and/or other participants:
X1 NGUYEN, , PX, KIA
X1 TRIEU DV, , PX, KIA
X1 NGUYEN, , PX, KIA
HALL, PAX, G
CPT NICHOLS THOMAS EDWARD, NOT, A
SP5 WARD JAMES HOWARD, AR, PX, KIA
E6 RL PALMER, PAX, D


Accident Summary:

 THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED AT THE HELIPAD OF THE ^ARVN 30TH ENG BN, HOC MON, RVN^, AT ^1345 HOURS, 1 FEB 69^. THE AIRCRAFT WAS A TOTAL LOSS. THE UH-1D PILOTED BY ^1LT CHENEY AND WO1 BARNES^, DEPARTED ^SPARTAN HELIPAD^ AT ^1300^ HOURS, ^1 FEB 69^, ON A DIRECT COMBAT SUPPORT MISSION. AFTER STOPS AT THE ^III CORPS HQ HELIPAD, BIEN HOA (SOCCER FIELD)), AND HOTEL-3 HELIPAD SAIGON^. THE AIRCRAFT LANDED AT THE ^30TH ARVN ENGINEER BATTALION HELIPAD^ AT ^HOC MON^ AT APPROXIMATELY ^1340^ HOURS WITH THE THREE PASSENGERS ON BOARD. AT ^HOC MON^, FOUR MORE PASSENGERS WITH SOME BAGGAGE WERE LOADED ABOARD THE UH-1D. ^LT CHENEY^ HOVERED THE AIRCRAFT TO THE NORTHERN CORNER OF THE HELIPAD. THE AIRCRAFT HOVERED AT EIGHT TO TEN FEET ABOVE THE GROUND FOR A PERIOD OF TWO TO THREE MINUTES. AT THIS TIME, IT IS ASSUMED THAT A HOVER-CHECK WAS BEING MADE AND THE DIRECTION OF THE WIND WAS BEING CHECKED. THE TAKE-OFF WAS MADE BY ^LT CHENEY^ WHO WAS SITTING IN THE LEFT SEAT OF THE AIRCRAFT. WITHOUT SETTING THE AIRCRAFT ON THE GROUND, ^LT CHENEY^ STARTED THE TAKE OFF. THE TAKE OFF PATH WAS APPROXIMATELY DIRECTLY INTO THE WIND, SLIGHTLY TO THE LEFT OF THE FLAG POLE ON A HEADING OF ABOUT 180 DEGREES. THE AIRCRAFT MADE A SLIGHT LEFT TURN AS IT BEGAN MOVING FORWARD. THE AIRCRAFT MADE AN AIRSPEED OVER ALTITUDE TAKE OFF. AFTER THE AIRCRAFT HAD TRAVELED ABOUT 130 FEET, THE ADVANCING MAIN ROTOR BLADE ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE AIRCRAFT STRUCK A WHITE FLAG POLE 24 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND. THE FLAG POLE WAS APPROXIMATELY 40 FEET TALL AND WAS CONSTRUCTED OF A FOUR INCH STEEL PIPE WITH A FADED YELLOW VIETNAMESE FLAG FLYING AT ITS TOP. THE ADVANCING BLADE STRUCK THE POLE 66 INCHES INBOARD FROM THE BLADE AT ABOUT THE TWO O'CLOCK POSITION RELATIVE TO THE AIRCRAFT. AT THE IMPACT OF THE BLADE WITH THE POLE, THE MAIN TRANSMISSION WAS TORN LOOSE FROM THE AIRCRAFT. THE FAILURE OCCURRED AT THE BASE OF THE MAIN TRANSMISSION CASE WHERE IT ATTACHES TO THE SUPPORT CASE. WHEN THE TRANSMISSION WAS TORN LOOSE, SEVERE MAST BUMPING OCCURRED AND THE MAST WAS SEVERED AT THE POINT WHERE THE STATIC STOPS ON THE HUB CAME IN CONTACT WITH THE MAST. THE TRANSMISSION HURLED 90 DEGREES TO THE RIGHT OF THE FLIGHT PATH OF THE AIRCRAFT, LANDING NEXT TO THE BUNKER ADJACENT TO THE FLAG POLE. THE MAIN ROTOR BLADES STRUCK THE TOP PART OF THE FLAG POLE AT LEAST TWICE MORE, THROWING PIECES OF THE POLE THROUGH THE ROOF OF THE BUILDING IN FRONT OF THE AIRCRAFT. THE FUSELAGE OF THE HELICOPTER CONTINUED FORWARD DUE TO ITS MOMENTUM IN A NOSE LOW ATTITUDE DUE TO ITS ACCELERATING ATTITUDE AT THE TIME OF IMPACT WITH THE POLE. WHEN THE TRANSMISSION WAS TORN OFF TO THE RIGHT OF THE AIRCRAFT, THIS FORCE GAVE THE FUSELAGE A RIGHT ROLLING MOMENT. THESE FORCES RESULTED IN THE HELICOPTER STRIKING THE GROUND ON ITS RIGHT SIDE IN A NOSE LOW ATTITUDE ABOUT 30 FEET PAST THE FLAG POLE IN THE DIRECTION OF FLIGHT. AFTER THE MAIN ROTOR SYSTEM SEPARATED FROM THE MAST, IT CONTINUED TO FLY FORWARD, MOVING AHEAD OF THE FUSELAGE OF THE HELICOPTER. BECAUSE THE PITCH CHANGE LINKS WERE ALSO TORN LOOSE, EACH BLADE OF THE MAIN ROTOR WAS FREE TO FEATHER IN ANY DIRECTION ABOUT THE HYB. AS THE MAIN ROTOR TRAVELED FORWARD OF THE AIRCRAFT, THE RETREATING WHITE BLADE CUT DOWN THROUGH THE COCKPIT, ENTERING ABOVE THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER, CUTTING THROUGH THE WIND SHIELD CENTER POST, AND THROUGH THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE FUSELAGE, EXITING AT ABOUT THE CENTER OF THE RIGHT PILOT'S DOOR. THE ARMOR PLATING ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE RIGHT PILOT'S SEAT WAS TORN OFF AND CAME TO REST ABOUT TEN FEET FORWARD OF THE FUSELAGE. THE TAIL BOOM WAS BROKEN AT IMPACT AND WAS HELD TO THE FUSELAGE BY ITS SKIN ON ONE SIDE. THE ENGINE CONTINUED TO RUN AT A HIGH RPM AFTER IMPACT. THE CREW CHIEF WAS UNABLE TO TURN IT OFF WITH THE THROTTLE AND FUEL SWITCH. THE AIRCRAFT DID NOT BURN DUE TO THE FACT THAT PERSONNEL FROM THE ^30TH ENG^ COMPOUND USED SEVERAL FIRE EXTINGUISHERS ON IT. THE BATTERY HAD BEEN ARCED WHERE ONE OF ITS CABLES HAD BROKEN. THE ENGINE FINALLY STOPPED ABOUT FIVE TO TEN MINUTES AFTER IMPACT BY THE CREW CHIEF SPRAYING A CO2 FIRE EXTINGUISHER INTO THE ENGINE INLET.

This record was last updated on 09/20/1998


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