Helicopter AH-1G 67-15539


Information on U.S. Army helicopter AH-1G tail number 67-15539
The Army purchased this helicopter 0368
Total flight hours at this point: 00000816
Date: 07/21/1969
Incident number: 690721051ACD Accident case number: 690721051 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: B/25 AVN 25 INF
This was an Operational Loss caused by an accident by Mid-Air Collision 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 Cu Chi in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: XT438125
Casualties = YES . . Number killed in accident = 2 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 0
Search and rescue operations were Not Required
costing 572741
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. )
Loss to Inventory and Helicopter was not recovered

Crew Members:
AC CW2 GRINNELL GEORGE ALLEN KIA
P WO1 STAGGS ROBERT DALE KIA


Accident Summary:

 THIS MAJOR AIRCRAFT ACCIDENT INVOLVED TWO HELICOPTERS, AN AH-1G AND AN UH-1D 66-00897, WHICH COLLIDED IN MID-AIR DURING A COMBAT MISSION IN RVN. THE AH-1G AIRCRAFT WAS OBSERVED TO STRIKE THE UH-1D AIRCRAFT IN ITS RIGHT AFT SECTION WHILE THE UH-1D WAS FLYING LEVEL AT APPROXIMATELY 1200 FEET. THE MAIN ROTOR HEAD OF THE AH-1G SEPARATED AT THE MAST AND THE AIRCRAFT WAS OBSERVED TO FALL TO THE GROUND AND BURST INTO FLAMES. THE TWO CREW MEMBERS ABOARD THE AH-1G AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT SUSTAINED FATAL INJURIES. THE UH-1D AIRCRAFT WAS OBSERVED TO MAKE AN AUTOROTATION WHICH TERMINATED IN A HARD LANDING. ALL PERSONNEL ABOARD THE UH-1D AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT SUSTAINED NON-FATAL INJURIES. THE UH-1D DID BURN.\\


War Story:
George Grinnel was the back-seater on this flight and was the AC. He was just finishing up his 2nd or 3rd tour, was engaged to be married, and was due to go home about the time of this incident. I believe he was engaged to a girl he met on R&R in Hong Kong, but it's been over 30 years, and I could be mistaken. I witnessed this mid-air between the Diamond Head cobra and a slick from another (unknown) unit. I was working as the low level (OH-6A) bird on a D Trp. 3/4 Cav. Hunter-Killer team at the time. I don't remember who was my high bird at the time. We were working an area known as the sugar mill on the Siagon River, on the Cambodian border, south west of Cu Chi. We saw the cobra and slick fall, and I headed for the cobra as it was going down. When I saw the cobra explode on impact, I diverted to the slick, which had crashed, but there was no post crash fire. There were survivors of the crash, and I think maybe everybody survived. My gunner, PFC Rocky Rhodes, and my CE, SP4 Steve Snoddy, got out and assisted in the recovery of the wounded. I wrote an after accident report as part of the accident investigation, and I may still have a copy of my hand written report. Hope you can correct the AC entry as George was a real hero in my book. I have pictures of him and his crew when he was flying UH-1C gunships prior to the unit getting AH-1Gs, after they shot up a .51 Cal position, and the gun was captured by the grunts. The .51 Cal ended up out in front of Diamond Head Ops as a display. I was with B Co., 25th Avn, 25th Inf., with George and Bob, until I was transfered to D Trp. 3/4 Cav., after they lost most of their LOHs and needed replacement LOHs and crews. My home e-mail is, jgjones@sierra.net Gary A. Jones VHPA L02206 Diamond Head/Centaur January 2001

This record was last updated on 04/15/2004


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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