Helicopter UH-1H 67-17533


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 67-17533
The Army purchased this helicopter 0568
Total flight hours at this point: 00000748
Date: 07/25/1969
Incident number: 690725131ACD Accident case number: 690725131 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 525 MI GRP
The station for this helicopter was Saigon-Cochin China in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 8 . . Injured = 2 . . Passengers = 6
costing 625145
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 (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
AC CW2 GOLDBERG STEWART B KIA
P W1 TF DEVEREUX
CE E5 R MUNKVOLD
G SP4 VALDEZ DAVID MEDINA KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
CPT SABATINELLI VINCENT F, AR, PX, KIA
CPT PEELE ELVERNON, AR, PX, KIA
SFC EVERETT JAY LEROY, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 DYCKS RONALD KING, AR, PX, KIA
SGT DU BEAU GERALD EUGENE, NOT, KIA
CPT PFEFER ARTHUR THOMAS, AR, PX, KIA


Accident Summary:

The board has been able to reconstruct the following description of the accident: Aircraft #67-17533 had flown approximately four hours and fifteen minutes prior to the accident. All flight conditions were normal with the exception that low ceilings necessitated low level flight from Ban Me Thout to Pleiku. The cloud ceiling was approximately 450 feet AGL at the time of departure from Ban Me Thout City Field. Since the ceiling wouldn't permit VFR flight at 1000' AGL as required by 525th M. I. SOP, the Aircraft Commander elected to fly VFR low level. According to the pilot, clouds forced the aircraft down from approximately 400 feet AGL to approximately 50 feet AGL as the weather deteriorated. From Ban Me Thout they utilized dead reckoning navigation to intercept Highway 14, and followed it north towards Pleiku. Due to the additional strain encountered by low level flight, the Aircraft Commander and pilot exchanged control of the aircraft several times. As they approached Dragon Mountain, visibility rapidly deteriorated. At this time the Aircraft Commander took control, the Aircraft Commander instructed the pilot to monitor the instruments, slowed the aircraft from approximately 110 knots to 80 knots and initiated a right turn presumably to complete a 180 degree turn and regain VFR flight conditions. There is a distinct possibility that the Aircraft Commander went into vertigo at this time. The attitude indicator on the left side of the aircraft was inoperative. Another indication of vertigo is a tape recorded by Peacock Control, Pleiku. Approximately 2 seconds after the pilot Rogered a weather report, he told the Aircraft Commander that he was in a steep bank. The aircraft was heading into the side of Dragon Mountain at this time. The tape also indicates that the mountain was seen just prior to impact. The Aircraft Commander apparently initiated an extremely steep flare as is evidenced by the fact that the tail rotor blades struck the ground first. He must have also applied collective pitch in an effort to cushion the impact as is evidenced by the fact that the aircraft slid approximately 60 meters up a 50 to 60 degree slope before the main rotor made contact with the ground and broke away from the aircraft. The aircraft flipped end over end when the main rotor broke away and then rolled approximately 30 meters back down the mountain where it came to rest, upside down, and burned. The distribution of the wreckage can be found on the enclosed DA Form 2397-5.

This record was last updated on 05/31/2011


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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