Helicopter OH-6A 67-16218

Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A tail number 67-16218
The Army purchased this helicopter 0768
Total flight hours at this point: 00000709
Date: 07/13/1969
Incident number: 690713131ACD Accident case number: 690713131 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 2d Bde 101st Abn
The station for this helicopter was Gia Le in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 1 . . Injured = 1 . . Passengers = 1
costing 109221
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, GOLDBOOK (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:

Accident Summary:

On the morning of 13 July 1969, LT Mecredy was given the mission of flying the LOH for 2d BN, 327th INF. He departed LZ Sally with 2 passengers for drop off at Phy Bai airfield on the way to FSB Roy, where the battalion TOC had recently located. He arrived at FSB Roy at approximately 0825 hours. He was directed to fly to Coastal Group 13 and pick up LT Roger Bove, USN and bring him to FSB Roy. This he did without incident, shutting down upon his return at FSB Roy. About 1030 hours LT Mecredy departed FSB Roy with LT Bove to return him to Coastal Group 13. On the way they flew NW to the western end of a dike where a diversion dam is set into the dike, which extends across the northwestern end of the bay, Dam Cau Hai. LT Bove wished to inspect the dam, which he intended to blow, allowing his boats entrance into the Song Cong Quan stream. The flight to the dam was at 700-900 feet. At the appropriate spot a high overhead descent was made to 50 feet, one left hand circle was made and the aircraft departed at low level, LT Bove having stated the dam would be blown. As they departed LT Mecredy reminded himself of previous engine failures in his unit and began a normal climb to altitude. At about 250-300 feet and 60-70 knots, LT Mecredy heard a "loud crack" behind his head which was accompanied by a left yaw. Believing this to be an engine failure, LT Mecredy smiled to himself for his foresight as he floored the pitch, rolled off the throttle and corrected the yaw with right pedal. At this instant he noted LT Bove had unbuckled his seat belt and was sitting up as if he intended to do something. LT Mecredy yelled at him to fasten his harness and leaned over toward LT Bove, pushing the available seat belt and harness toward him to give him the idea to rebuckle. LT Mecredy stated he then locked his inertial reel as he checked his instruments, noting only that N1 was in the green. Cyclic control was still present, though there was a feedback which caused hand and arm motion. He therefore rolled on throttle and pulled a bit of pitch, getting a loud response from the engine which was "the best sound in the world". During this sequence of events he also noted that the water of the bay, which had previously been below and visible forward only between the pedals, was now straight ahead. At this point LT Mecredy believes that they were doing perhaps 90 knots, however he did not look at the airspeed indicator. Realizing they were going into the water he flipped the radio to guard and got off one MAY DAY which may have been on intercom, as he unlocked his inertial reel, pulled "a wild hairy flare, and big handful of pitch," at an estimated 10-15 feet altitude, but the collective response to the pitch pull "felt like a wet noodle." He believes that they hit tail low which caused them to cartwheel forward 5 or 6 times as he saw sky-water flash past in sequence several times. Coming to rest underwater, but still harnessed in his seat, LT Mecredy unstrapped and felt to his left where the passenger should have been, but found nothing. He then pushed straight out of his seat in a direction he assumed was through the bubble or perhaps the green house, though not certain anything of the aircraft was even there, and found himself standing in waist deep water. He noticed his helmet floating upright about 100 feet ahead of him, approximately in the direction of the original flight. He walked around what he thought was the aircraft looking for LT Bove but saw only the tail boom a few yards back down the track of flight. Finding nothing, he began wading toward the village calling for help from boats coming toward him. As he waded toward shore he found the log book which he picked up, then after a few yards decided he did not need it and pitched it over his shoulder. Picked up by a boat, he was carried to shore and dropped off, and the boat returned to the wreck. Others took him to the village and dressed his wounds. About 1 and 1/2 hours later a helicopter from his unit arrived and called a DUSTOFF that took him to the 22d Surgical Hospital in Phu Bai. The unit chopper then went out to the wreckage and recovered LT Bove's body and took it to the 22d Surgical Hospital.

War Story:
This helicopter served with 4 units as follows: during 6807 flew 0 hours for F Trp 8th Cav, during 6808 flew 1 hours for DIR SUP / TRAN, from 6809 to 6906 flew 670 hours for 2d Bde 101st Abn, and during 6907 flew 38 hours for 142d Trans (AMDS) Co.

This record was last updated on 05/25/1998

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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023

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