Helicopter UH-1B 63-08550


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1B tail number 63-08550
The Army purchased this helicopter 0264
Total flight hours at this point: 00001722
Date: 06/04/1969
Incident number: 690604271ACD Accident case number: 690604271 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 128 AHC
The station for this helicopter was Phu Loi in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: YS023796
Number killed in accident = 4 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 2
costing 530760
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Army Aviation Safety Center database. Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center Helicopter database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
AC WO1 ZAPPINI JOSEPH VINCENT JR KIA
P WO1 MAYER OSCAR CLEMENT III KIA
CE SP5 TURNER MICHAEL DENTIS KIA
G SP4 FINCH PATRICK DALE KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
UNK MF ASSEMBLER, MFP, G
O4 MR VEAL, LCO, G


Accident Summary:

 THE AIRCRAFT WAS ON A COMBAT ASSAULT MISSION SERVING AS SECURITY FOR A COMPANY SIZE INSERTION OF ARVN RANGERS AND THEIR AMERICAN ADVISORS FROM THE 34TH RANGER BATTALION. WHILE ON THIS MISSION, THE AIRCRAFT CRASHED INTO THE SAIGON RIVER KILLING ALL FOUR CREWMEMBERS ABOARD. AFTER RETURNING TO THE OPERATIONAL AREA FROM REFUELING AND REARMING AT NHA BE, RVN, THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER RADIOED STATING THAT HE HAD SIGHTED A BUNKER COMPLEX AND WAS GOING INBOUND TO POP SMOKE ON THE COMPLEX. ACCORDING TO EYE WITNESS STATEMENTS, AFTER ROLLING OUT OF THE BANK, THE NOSE OF THE AIRCRAFT STARTED TO TUCK AT APPROXIMATELY 100 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL. THE AIRCRAFT CONTINUED IN A GRADUAL NOSE LOW CONDITION UNTIL THE AIRCRAFT APPEARED TO REACH A VERTICAL ATTITUDE. THE AIRCRAFT HELD THIS ATTITUDE FOR A BRIEF SECOND AND THEN CONTINUED ON OVER INTO AN INVERTED ATTITUDE AT APPROXIMATELY 75 FEET ABOVE GROUND LEVEL. THE AIRCRAFT CRASHED INTO THE RIVER IN AN INVERTED POSITION, IMPACTING TAIL FIRST. WITNESSSES OBSERVED THAT THE AIRCRAFT WAS IN TACT PRIOR TO IMPACT. THE AIRCRAFT IMPACTED INVERTED ON AN APPROXIMATE AZIMUTH OF 080 DEGREES. ON IMPACT, THE TAILBOOM, ROTOR SYSTEM, TRANSMISSION AND ENGINE WERE TORN FREE OF THE WRECKAGE. ONLY THE ROTOR SYSTEM, TRANSMISSION, AND AIRCRAFT CABIN WERE RECOVERED. THE NAVY DIVERS COULD NOT LOCATE THE TAILBOOM AND ENGINE BEFORE THE AREA HAD TO BE EVACUATED DUE TO HOSTILE FIRE. THERE WAS NO FIRE CONNECTED WITH THE ACCIDENT.\\

This record was last updated on 09/20/1998


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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