Helicopter AH-1G 67-15802


Information on U.S. Army helicopter AH-1G tail number 67-15802
The Army purchased this helicopter 1168
Total flight hours at this point: 00000358
Date: 05/11/1969
Incident number: 690511191ACD Accident case number: 690511191 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: D/101 AVN
The station for this helicopter was Phu Bai in
Number killed in accident = 1 . . Injured = 1 . . Passengers = 0
costing 551741
Source(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Army Aviation Safety Center database.

Crew Members:
AC WO1 RUCKER JOHN MARSHALL KIA
P W1 DJ PRICE


Accident Summary:

 ON THE MORNING OF 11 MAY 1969 AT 0800 HRS THE AIRCRAFT WAS CRANKED IN PREPARATION FOR A CRANE ESCORT MISSION. THE RUNUP CHECKS WERE COMPLETED BY THE CREW AND THE LIGHT FIRE TEAM DEPARTED LIFTMASTER PAD TO THE EAST AT 0810 HRS AND TURNED TO A WESTERLY HEADING CONTINUING TO CLIMB WITH AN INDICATED AIRSPEED OF 85 KNOTS TO RENDEVOUS WITH A CH-54 IN THE VICINITY OF FIRE BASE BIRMINGHAM. APPROXIMATELY 4,000 METERS WEST OF LIFTMASTER PAD THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER OF THE LEAD SHIP CALLED HIS WING MAN AND TOLD HIM THAT THE ENGINE CHIP DETECTOR LIGHT HAD ILLUMINATED. HE ALSO SAID HE WAS RETURNING TO LIFTMASTER. THIS WAS THE LAST RADIO TRANSMISSION HEARD FROM THE AIRCRAFT. THE LEAD AIRCRAFT THEN INITIATED A LEFT TURN TO RETURN TO LIFTMASTER PAD. ONE HALF WAY THROUGH THE TURN THE PILOT NOTED THE LOW ENGINE OIL PRESSURE WARNING LIGHT WAS ON AND HE RELAYED THIS OBSERVATION TO THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER WHO ACKNOWLEDGED THAT THE ENGINE OIL PRESSURE WAS DROPPING RAPIDLY. AT THIS POINT THE ENGINE FAILED AND THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER ENTERED AUTOROTATION. THE PILOT EXECUTED A MAYDAY ON VHF BUT NOTED THAT HE WAWAS NOT TRANSMITTING. THE WING SHIP NOTED A PUFF OF SMOKE NORMALLY SEEN WITH A POWER CHANGE AND THE AIRCRAFT BEGAN A RAPID DESCENT. THE WING SHIP CALLED THEIR UNIT OPERATIONS AND INFORMED THEM OF THE SITUATION WHO IN TURN CALLED MEDEVAC. AS THEY WERE IN AN AUTOROTATIVE TURN TO THE LEFT, THE PILOT NOTICED THAT THE ROTOR RPM NEEDLE WAS POINTED DIRECTLY DOWNWARD. THE PILOT THEN PULLED ENOUGH COLLECTIVE PITCH TO PUT THE ROTOR RPM IN THE HIGH GREEN AND THEN REMOVED HIS HAND FROM THE CONTROL. OVER THE INTERCOM THE PILOT SAID, "JOHN?" THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER ANSWERED WITH, "I'VE GOT MY SPOT." THE PILOT NOTED THEIR RATE OF DESCENT TO BE FAST, APPARENT GROUNDSPEED TO BE SLOW AND THE ROTOR RPM NEEDLE POINTING TO 5500 ENGINE RPM. THE AIRCRAFT DESCENDED VERTICALLY FROM APPROXIMATELY 15 FT AND CONTACTED THE HILLSIDE VERY HARD WITH THE LEFT SKID, ON A WESTERLY HEADING. AS IT DID SO THE PLEXIGLASS IN THE GUNNER'S CANOPY HATCH WAS BROKEN. THE SIGHTING STATION MAY HAVE BROKEN THE CANOPY. WHEN THE AIRCRAFT MADE FIRST CONTACT WITH THE GROUND THE LEFT WING AND ITS STORES WERE SEPARATED FROM THE AIRCRAFT. THE AIRCRAFT THEN FLIPPED OVER TO THE RIGHT AND CAME TO REST INVERTED IN WATER WITH THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE AIRCRAFT AGAINST THE BANK. THE AIRCRAFT WAS THREE FOURTHS SUBMERGED WITH THE CANOPY COMPLETELY SUBMERGED.\\

This record was last updated on 05/25/1998


Additional information is available on CD-ROM.

Please send additions or corrections to: The VHPA Webmaster Gary Roush.

KIA statistics

Return to the KIA name list

Return to the KIA panel date index

Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


Copyright © 1998 - 2017 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association