Helicopter CH-47A 66-19029


Information on U.S. Army helicopter CH-47A tail number 66-19029
The Army purchased this helicopter 1266
Total flight hours at this point: 00001434
Date: 05/06/1969
Incident number: 690506241ACD Accident case number: 690506241 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 205 ASHC
This was a Accident incident.
The station for this helicopter was Phu Loi in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: YU215107
Number killed in accident = 39 . . Injured = 9 . . Passengers = 45
costing 1075517
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 W3 HJ FISCHER
P W2 JJ OCONNER
CE E4 JD FLEEMAN
G E4 PA CAPUTO
FE SP4 ALLUMS ALLEN WAYNE KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK UNK, PAX, A
UNK VX NGUYEN, PAX, D
UNK K THE, PAX, D
UNK VH CAO, PAX, D
CPT PADRON IRENARDO FELIX, AR, PAX, KIA
O2 F FANG, PAX, D
E4 PH HEWITT, PAX, D
E7 DL GLENN, PAX, D
E4 PF ROGERS, PAX, D


Accident Summary:

 BRIEF: AT APPROXIMATELY 1120 HOURS ON ^6 MAY 69^ THE AIRCRAFT ARRIVED AT LZ ^BUTTONS^ WHICH IS ABOUT 6 KILOMETERS SOUTHWEST OF ^SONG BE^ CITY AIRSTRIP. AT THIS TIME THE AIRCRAFT WAS REFUELED AND A MAINTENANCE CHECK CONDUCTED. THE AIRCRAFT DEPARTED THE AREA AND ORBITED SOUTH AWAITING FURTHER INSTRUCTIONS. AT APPROXIMATELY 1250 HOURS THE AIRCRAFT WAS LANDED AT THE PICK UP ZONE, ^SONG BE^ CITY AIRSTRIP. A THIRTY (30) MINUTE DELAY WAS THEN ENCOUNTERED EITHER WAITING FOR THE TROOPS TO ARRIVE OR LOAD. THE AIRCRAFT WAS NOT SHUT DOWN. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER THOUGHT IT NECESSARY TO REMIND THE FLIGHT ENGINEER OF THE TOTAL NUMBER OF PASSENGERS HE DESIRED ABOARD. THE TROOPS WERE LOADED AND THE FLIGHT ENGINEER ASSURED THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER THAT THERE WERE 65 PASSENGERS. DUE TO THE CONFUSION OF LOADING ^ARVN^ PASSENGERS AMD MAKING SURE THAT THEIR WEAPONS WERE CLEAR, THE FLIGHT ENGINEER PERMITTED SEVENTY-EIGHT (78) PASSENGERS TO BOARD THE AIRCRAFT. APPROXIMATELY 650 POUNDS OF TORQUE WAS REQUIRED TO ACCOMPLISH A TEN (10) FOOT HOVER. NEITHER CREW MEMBER CAN RECALL WHAT THE OTHER ENGINE INSTRUMENTS INDICATED EXCEPT THAT THEY WERE ALL IN THE GREEN. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER, WHO WAS AT THE CONTROLS, COMMENTS THAT HE PULLED ABOUT EIGHTY (80) ADDITIONAL POUNDS OF TORQUE TO GET THE AIRCRAFT MOVING AT ABOUT 096 HEADING. THE AIRCRAFT MAINTAINED THE TEN (10) FEET AFT GEAR HEIGHT UNTIL REACHING THE ACTUAL ^SONG BE^ CITY AIRSTRIP. AT THIS TIME THE AIRCRAFT EXPERIENCED TRANSLATIONAL LIFT AND APPEARED TO BE FLYING IN A NORMAL MANNER. AS AIRSPEED WAS GAINED TO 30-40 KNOTS, ADDITIONAL TORQUE WAS APPLIED INCREASING IT TO 760 POUNDS. ABOUT FORTY METERS PAST THE AIRSTRIP THE NUMBER TWO TORQUE NEEDLE FELL OFF TO 450 POUNDS WITH THE NUMBER ONE ENGINE TORQUE INCREASING TO APPROXIMATELY 800 POUNDS. THIS OCCURRED WITH A SIMULTANEOUS DECREASE IN ROTOR RPM DOWN TO 210. AN ATTEMPT WAS MADE AT THIS TIME TO DECREASE POWER SLIGHTLY IN ORDER TO REGAIN RPM. HOWEVER, THE RPM CONTINUED TO DECAY RAPIDLY. NOW, THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER WAS GIVEN THE ALTERNATIVE TO EITHER ATTEMPT A CONTINUED TAKE OFF OR ABORT. DUE TO THE RAPIDLY APPROACHING PRECIPICE OF SOME 400 FEET AND ROUGH GROUND TRACK, THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER ELECTED TO CONTINUE HIS TAKE OFF, HOPING TO CLEAR THE RIDGE LINE. THIS WOULD HAVE POSSIBLY GIVEN HIM THE TIME AND ALTITUDE NECESSARTY TO CORRECT HIS RAPIDLY DECAYING RPM. BY THIS TIME THE ROTOR RPM WAS DOWN TO 200 AND THE AFT GEAR WAS ENTANGLED IN A STRAND OF 1/4 INCH COPPER WIRE. THIS WAS ENOUGH TO DRAG THE AIRCRAFT TO THE GROUND WHERE IT SKIDDED 84 1/2 FEET BEFORE GOING OVER THE EDGE OF THE CLIFF.AFTER THE WIRE STRIKE THE AIRCRAFT'S NOSE PITCHED UP AND SLIGHTLY TO THE LEFT. THE AIRCRAFT THEN DESCENDED DOWN THE CLIFF IN A NOSE HIGH ATTITUDE UNTIL THE AFT ROTOR BLADES CONTACTED THE GROUND. THIS IN TURN, TURNED THE AIRCRAFT TO THE LEFT IN AN APPROXIMATE 318 HEADING AND ALSO THREW ALL THREE BLADES OFF THE AFT ROTOR SYSTEM. AFTER THE AIRCRAFT TURNED BACK INTO THE INCLINE THE FORWARD BLADE STRUCK THE GROUND 64 FEET AND AT A 266 HEADING FROM THE FORWARD TRANSMISSION. THE AIRCRAFT SLID ABOUT EIGHT FEET FROM THE INITIAL POINT OF CONTACT BY THE FUSELAGE. AT THIS POINT THE AIRCRAFT CAUGHT FIRE AND BURNED.\\


War Story:
I was also flying with the Geronimo ship (A model) that went down at Sombay City. I had 65 ARVN 11Bs on my ship and the Geronimo ship had about 55. We were making a combat assault somewhere back toward the border. My pilots made a running take-off. The Geronimo ship came up to a hover and went to the North attempting to take off. When he went over the edge of the top of the hill, he lost ground hover and started to loose altitude ( Please forgive the spelling). His aft rotor blades struck the side of the hill and the aircraft began to come apart. There was a call come up on UHF saying "Black Cat has gone down". I was monitoring that radio and told the pilot what had been said. He turned our ship downwind and all we could see was fire and smoke. When we passed over at about 1000 ft the magnesium transmission housings were on fire, making sparks much like a steel pour at a steel mill. The ARVNs on our ship saw what was going on and began to talk to one another. We were told to continue to the LZ. When we came in, we were so loaded and rushed that we fell through on short final, landing between two large trees that had been cut off about 5 ft high by a Mountain Yard. The ship was scraped on both sides, but the fuel pods were not damaged. We had to force the ARVNs off. After we were again airborne and headed back to Sombay City they came up on FM and told us the mission had been aborted. We had to turn around and go back for the ARVNs we had just kicked off. The ARVNs were still mad but not mad enough to not get back on and out of the LZ. We picked up the door gunner on the Geronimo ship after off-loading our packs. He told us of seeing the rotor blades coming through the cabin, cutting off most of the ARVNs heads on one side and catching the other side about center-chest. The next thing the gunner said he remembered was finding himself sitting on the ground with the left window draped down around him. He said the cockpit had come off and rolled down the hill. He and crew chief cut them out. The FE was alive but walked back into the fire. He must have been hit in the head. He was the only crew member that was lost. This may differ from what the records say, but is what the door gunner told me. George French, georgefrench@bluebonnet.net, Dec 98.

This record was last updated on 12/21/1998


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Date posted on this site: 05/26/2019


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