Helicopter AH-1G 67-15638


Information on U.S. Army helicopter AH-1G tail number 67-15638
The Army purchased this helicopter 0668
Total flight hours at this point: 00000487
Date: 07/10/1969
Incident number: 690710221ACD Accident case number: 690710221 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: ACT/11 ACR
This was an Operational Loss caused by an accident by Storm with the mission function of Armed Helicopter (having primary weapon subsystems installed and utilized to provide direct fire support)
The station for this helicopter was Quan Loi in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: XT830899
Casualties = YES . . Number killed in accident = 2 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 1
Search and rescue operations were Not Required
costing 593230
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center AVDAC database. Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Summary: Crashed 2 KM East-Southeast of Quan Loi Air Field due to bad weather.
Loss to Inventory and Helicopter was recovered

Crew Members:
AC 1LT WETZLER ROBIN KIRMEYER KIA
P 1LT CERES THOMAS ALLEN KIA


Accident Summary:

 AT APPROXIMATELY 0345 HOURS ON 10 JULY 1969 A LIGHT FIRE TEAM CONSISTING OF TWO AH-1G HELICOPTER GUNSHIPS WERE SCRAMBLED FROM THE AIR CAVALRY TROOP REVETMENTS LOCATED AT MIDPOINT ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF THE ACTIVE IN QUAN LOI, RVN. THEIR MISSION WAS TO GIVE DIRECT FIRE SUPPORT TO A UNIT OF THE 11TH ARMORED CAVALRY REGIMENT IN CONTACT WEST OF QUAN LOI. FROM THE TIME OF TAKEOFF TO THE TIME OF RE-ENTRY THE WEATHER CONDITIONS HAD BECOME INTERMITTENT IFR. THE CLOUDS WERE THEN ON THE TREES IN SOME AREAS AND HEAVY GROUND FOG WAS FORMING AROUND THE AIRFIELD. AT 0430 HOURS WHEN THE TEAM HAD COMPLETED ITS MISSION THEY CONTACTED THE CONTROL TOWER WHILE OVER AN LOC, FIVE MILES SOUTHWEST OF QUAN LOI. THE FLIGHT WAS CLEARED BY THE TOWER FOR A STRAIGHT IN APPROACH TO RUNWAY 05. ON THEIR FIRST PASS THEY WERE UNABLE TO MAINTAIN SIGHT OF THE AIRFIELD, THE RUNWAY OR SURROUNDING OBSTACLES. THE TEAM BROKE TO THE LEFT AND MAINTAINED ALTITUDE AND RE-ENTERED TRAFFIC FOR ANOTHER ATTEMPT AT RUNWAY 05, WHICH WAS TO NO AVAIL. A THIRD ATTEMPT WAS MADE FROM LEFT TRAFFIC ALSO TO NO AVAIL. ON THAT PASS A TEAR DROP PATTERN WAS FLOWN IN ORDER TO SET UP FOR A 23 APPROACH. AT THAT TIME THE TOWER WAS ASKED IF THERE WERE ANY LIGHTS ON THE RUNWAY. THE TOWER REPLIED, "YES, THERE ARE THREE POTS BURNING ON THE EAST END OF THE RUNWAY." THE TOWER OPERATOR THEN SIGNALED THE TEAM WITH A GREEN LIGHT GUN, WHICH THEY ACKNOWLEDGED. ON THEIR FIRST ATTEMPT ON AXIS 23 THEY WERE UNABLE TO MAKE POSITIVE IDENTIFICATION OF ANY FEATURE ON THE GROUND. WHILE STILL ON FINAL, THE TOWER REQUESTED KNOWLEDGE OF THEIR ALTERNATE FIELD. THEIR REPLY TO THIS WAS THAT THEY INTENDED TO FLY AROUND IN THE IMMEDIATE AREA AND SEE IF THE WEATHER WOULD GET BETTER. ON THEIR FINAL PASS AT APPROXIMATELY MIDFIELD, THE LEAD SHIP BROKE TO THE LEFT, HEADING ABOUT 120 FOR ABOUT 30-60 SECONDS AT WHICH TIME THE AIRCRAFT ENTERED A CLOUD BANK AND THEN APPEARED TO START A LEFT CLIMBING TURN, AS REPORTED FROM THE PILOT OF THE WING SHIP. WO BUBELL. FROM THAT TIME ON NO RADIO OR VISUAL CONTACT WAS MADE WITH COBRA 638. THE WING SHIP THEN BROKE TO THE RIGHT AND AFTER SEVERAL MORE ATTEMPTS TO LAND WHILE BEING "TALKED DOWN" COMPLETED A SUCCESSFUL TOUCHDOWN. AIRCRAFT 638 ENTERED THE RUBBER TREES AT HIGH AIRSPEED AT A 60 ANGLE. THE AIRCRAFT WAS EMBEDDED 5-6 FEET IN THE GROUND. THE FUSELAGE WAS LYING ON A HEADING OF 115 AND WAS TILTED 60 TO THE RIGHT. VERY LITTLE DAMAGE TO THE SURROUDING TREES AND A SMALL HOLE IN THE FOLIAGE INDICATES AN EXCESSIVE NOSE LOW CONDITION. AFTER IMPACT THE SHIP CONTINUED TO BURN BUT DID NOT EXPLODE FOR ABOUT 10-15 MINUTES. THE EXPLOSION GREATLY WIDENED THE HOLE DRIVING THE FRONT SECTION OF THE AIRCRAFT WITH THE PILOTS INTO THE GROUND 8-10 FEET.\\

This record was last updated on 10/23/2016


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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