Helicopter UH-1C 66-00742


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1C tail number 66-00742
The Army purchased this helicopter 0167
Total flight hours at this point: 00001047
Date: 03/21/1969
Incident number: 690321301ACD Accident case number: 690321301 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 173 AVN
The station for this helicopter was Lai Khe in
Number killed in accident = 2 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 1
costing 367415
Source(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Army Aviation Safety Center database.

Crew Members:
ME SP5 THOMPSON MICHAEL KELLY KIA
ME SP5 THOMPSON GERALD RICHARD KIA


Accident Summary:

 ^ON 21 MARCH 1969^, A UH-1C HELICOPTER, ^SN 66-742^, BELONGING TO THE ^173D ASSAULT HELICOPTER COMPANY, LAI KHE, RVN^, WAS ON A LOCAL AVIONICS TEST FLIGHT WHEN IT CRASHED JUST EAST OF^LAI KHE, RVN,^KILLING BOTH OCCUPANTS. THE CONTROL TOWER STATED TO THE INVESTIGATION BOARD THAT AIRCRAFT ^66-742^ HAD MADE AN INITIAL RADIO CALL SOUTH SOUTHWEST OF^LAI KHE^FOR ENTRY INTO THE TRAFFIC PATTERN AND LANDING INSTRUCTIONS. THE AIRCRAFT WAS INSTRUCTED TO ENTER LEFT TRAFFIC FOR^RUNWAY 23^. THERE WERE NO RADIO CALLS MADE TO THE CONTROL TOWER WHEN THE AIRCRAFT ENTERED DOWN WIND. THIS COULD HAVE BEEN THE RESUT OF THE PILOT EITHER BEING BUSY TRYING TO CONTROL THE AIRCRAFT WHEN PROBLEMS OCCURRED OR RADIO FAILURE. UH-1C HELICOPTER, ^SN 66-742^, WAS SEEN TO EXECUTE A RAPID RATE OF DESCENT WITH A SLIGHT LEFT TURN (APP 5 DEGREE BANK). DURING THE LAST ONE THIRD OF THE FLIGHT, THE RATE OF DESCENT INCREASED WITH A SLIGHT NOSE LOW ATTITUDE. IT WAS OBSERVED BY WITNESSES THAT THE MAIN ROTOR BLADES WERE TURNING VERY SLOWLY AND THE FLIGHT PATH WAS A NEAR VERTICAL DESCENT. IMPACT WAS AT A SLIGHT NOSE LOW LEFT BANK ATTITUDE WITH A RELATIVELY HIGH RATE OF DESCENT. THE AIRCRAFT IMPACTED THE GROUND ON A HEADING OF 360 DEGREES WITH ENOUGH FORWARD SPEED TO HAVE A GROUND RUN OF 32 FEET BEFORE HITTING A TREE STUMP AND MOUND OF DIRT. WHEN THE AIRCRAFT HIT THE STUMP THE LEFT SKID WAS TORN OFF AND THE LEFT CHIN BUBBLE BROKEN. AT THIS TIME THE AIRCRAFT SPUN TO THE RIGHT 150 DEGREES MOVING FORWARD ANOTHER 17 FEET ON A 045 DEGREE HEADING, AND CAME TO REST. THE TAIL BOOM SEPARATED AT THE ATTACHING POINTS DURING THE 150DEGREE SPIN AND CAME TO REST, 17 FEET FROM THE MAIN PART OF THE AIRCRAFT, AND AT 100 DEGREE FROM THE DIRECTION OF LANDING. AT THIS TIME THE AIRCRAFT CAUGHT FIRE AND THE FUSELAGE SECTION OF THE AIRCRAFT WAS COMPLETELY DESTROYED. THE PILOT'S BODY WAS FOUND NEAR THE LEFT SEAT IN THE WRECKAGE. HIS HELMET WAS FOUND 10 FEET WEST OF THE WRECKAGE. ^SP5 THOMPSON'S^ BODY WAS FOUND 9 FEET EAST OF THE WRECKAG. HIS HELMET WAS NOT FOUND AND IT IS SUSPECTED THAT HIS HELMET BURNED WITH THE AIRCRAFT. THE INTENSITY OF THE FIRE AND EXPLODING AMMO PRECLUDED THE REMOVAL OF THE BODIES UNTIL SOME TIME LATER. WITH THE EXCEPTION OF THE TAIL BOOM, THE AIRCRAFT WAS COMPLETELY DESTROYED BY FIRE.\\

This record was last updated on 05/25/1998


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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