Helicopter UH-1H 68-15371


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-15371
Date: 03/11/1969
Incident number: 690311381ACD Accident case number: 690311381 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 129 AHC
The station for this helicopter was An Son in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 2 . . Injured = 3 . . Passengers = 2
costing 398907
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 WO1 STONER LARRY LEE KIA
CP W1 DG GRASHER
CE E4 LJ SPRAGUE
G SP4 BENDOR JOHN LEE KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
UNK UNK, LCO, G
X2 SW KIM, PAX, D


Accident Summary:

 AT ^1300 HOURS 11 MARCH 1969^ AIRCRAFT ^68-15371^ WAS SUPPORTING THE ^26TH ROK REST MAIN CP^ ON A^SNOOPY MISSION.^^MR. STONER^ FLEW THE LOW LEVEL REQUIREMENT OF THE MISSION. HE WAS SUPPORTED BY A CHASE SHIP AND TWO SHIPS FROM THE ^129TH AHC^. THE^SNOOPY MISSION^WAS COMPLETED AT APPROXIMATELY ^1500 HOURS^. THE GUNSHIPS WERE RELEASED AT THIS TIME TO RETURN TO ^LANE AHP^ TO REMAIN ON STANDBY STATUS. THE TWO REMAINING SHIPS WERE RETAINED AT ^MIAMI BEACH, 26TH ROK REGIMENT^ COORDINATES CQ 103-780, PENDING FURTHER MISSION REQUIREMENTS FROM THE SUPPORTED UNIT. THE TWO ^UH1H^ AIRCRAFT REFUELED DECIDED TO RETURN TO ^LAND AHP^ BY FLYING DUE WEST ALONG THE ^SONG CAI RIVER^ TO A POINT IN THE VICINITY OF THE RAILROAD BRIDGE INVOLVED IN THE ACCIDENT, THEN FLY NORTH AND FOLLOW ^LTL 68^ WHICH WOULD TAKE THEM DIRECTLY BACK TO ^LANE^. THE TWO AIRCRAFT TOOK OFF SHORTLY AFTER ^1545 HOURS^ WITH ^MR. SLAVENS^ WAS FLYING AT AN ALTITUDE OF 200 TO 400 FEET AGL WHILE ^MR. STONER^ WAS FLYING AT APPROXIMATELY 100 FEET AGL. THE BRIDGE AT THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT IS LOCATED EXACTLY 14 KILOMETERS WEST OF ^MIAMI BEACH^. JUST PRIOR TO REACHING THE PROXIMITY OF THE BRIDGE ^MR. STONER^ MADE A TRANSMISSION ON THE UHF RADIO IN WHICH HE STATED THAT HE WAS GOING TO ATTEMPT TO FLY UNDER THE RAILROAD BRIDGE. HE ASKED ^MR. SLAVENS^ IF HE WOULD LIKE TO FOLLOW HIM THROUGH, ^MR. SLAVENS^ REPLIED THAT HE WOULD NOT AS THAT HE WAS GETTING TOO SHORT FOR THAT SORT OF THING. ^MR. SLAVENS^, WHO AT THE TIME WAS TAKING PICTURES, HAD HIS CP MANEUVER THE AIRCRAFT IN SUCH A MANNER AS TO GET JUST APPROXIMATELY HIGHER AND TO THE RIGHT OF THE BRIDGE. THEY APPROACHED THE BRIDGE APPROXIMATELY 80-90 KNOTS. AT A DISTANCE OF 200 METERS SHORT OF THE BRIDGE ^MR. SLAVENS^ INSTRUCTED HIS CP TO SLOW UP THE AIRCRAFT SO THAT HE COULD TAKE A PICTURE OF THE OTHER AIRCRAFT GOING UNDERNEATH. AS ^MR. STONER^ APPROACHED THE BRIDGE HE APPEARED TO BE CLEAR OF THE BOTTOM GIRDER OF THE STEEL I BEAM STRUCTURE. AT THIS TIME ^MR. STONER^ STARTED A FLARING LEFT TURN IN AN ATTEMPT TO AVOID COLLISION WITH THE LOWEST PORTION OF THE BRIDGE. BEFORE TURN COULD BE COMPLETED AND ENOUGH ALTITUDE GAINED THE ROTOR MAST STRUCK A VERTICAL I BEAM SUPPORT AT THE LOWER SECTION OF THE BRIDGE. THE MAIN ROTOR MAST SHEERED OFF JUST BELOW THE DAMPENERS, THE REMAINDER OF THE AIRCRAFT, NOW OUT OF SIGHT BUT ASSUMED TO BE INTACT ROLLED INVERTED, IMPACTED THE GROUND AND SPUN 180 AND CAME TO REST SIXTY METERS AWAY FROM THE BRIDGE. UPON IMPACT WITH THE BRIDGE ^MR. SLAVENS^ TOOK CONTROL OF HIS AIRCRAFT AND FLEW TO THE OTHER SIDE WHERE HE SAW THAT THE AIRCRAFT WAS INVERTED AND TILTED TO THE LEFT FRONT, THE TAIL BOOM HAD SEPARATED FROM MAIN BODY OF THE AIRCRAFT AND A FIRE STARTED, PRESUMABLY ON IMPACT. ^MR. SLAVENS^ LANDED IMMEDIATELY AND INSTRUCTED HIS CREW CHIEF AND GUNNER TO GET OUT AND RENDER ASSISTANCE TO THE CREW OF THE CRASHED AIRCRAFT. AS THE CREW MEMBERS RUSHED FROM THEIR AIRCRAFT, THE ^KOREAN^ FOLLOWED BY THE CREW CHIEF WERE OBSERVED CRAWLING FROM THE WRECKAGE.\\

This record was last updated on 09/20/1998


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