Helicopter CH-47C 67-18513


Information on U.S. Army helicopter CH-47C tail number 67-18513
The Army purchased this helicopter 0468
Total flight hours at this point: 00000439
Date: 08/02/1969
Incident number: 690802211ACD Accident case number: 690802211 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: C/159 AVN
This was a Accident incident.
The station for this helicopter was Phu Bai in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: BT143074
Number killed in accident = 5 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 0
costing 1793024
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 VAQUERA ALBERT ALVARADO KIA
P WO1 DIVES THOMAS LAMONTE JR KIA
CE SP4 STACEY JAMES SHELTON KIA
G SP4 IRELAN DANIEL ALBERT KIA
CE SP4 RYAN THOMAS KEVIN KIA


Accident Summary:

 THIS MAJOR A/C ACCIDENT INVOLVED A MID-AIR COLLISION BETWEEN AN AIRMY CH-47C AIRCRAFT AND AN AIR FORCE O-2A IN RVN. THE CHINOOK WAS BEING FLOWN ON A LOGISTICAL SUPPORT MISSION AND WAS CLIMBING THROUGH APPROXIMATELY 3000' OF INDICATED ALTITUDE WHEN IT WAS STRUCK FROM THE LEFT REAR BY THE O-2A WHICH WAS IN THE PROCESS OF MAKING A LEFT TURN. BOTH AIRCRAFT PARTIALLY DISINTEGRATED IN MID-AIR AND THENCE FELL TO THE GROUND OUT OF CONTROL. ALL PERSONNEL ABOARD BOTH AIRCRAFT SUSTAINED FATAL INJURIES. THE REMAINS OF THE CHINOOK WERE MOSTLY CONSUMED BY POST-CRASH FIRE.\\


War Story:
It happened about 10:00 a.m. on Aug. 2, 1969. The sky was clear with visibility unlimited. We had been making two-ship sorties to a firebase west of Chu Lai since dawn. The loads consisted of our taking 105mm ammo in and hauling out an occasional wounded. We were getting shot at with 51cal on most trips in and out so we were making steep spiralling approaches from about 4500, drop our load and haul ass back out the same way......steep spiralling ascent.....at max climb out. Gene Collings and I led the flight of two the first four loads we took to the firebase that morning, then we swapped off and Al Vaquera and Tommy Dives in 513 led the trail formation. They dropped their load first and we were right behind them......dropped our load and began the climb out. They were about 100 yards in front and above us climbing out in a steep left hand spiral. At about 3500 feet and from directly behind and below them I saw a puff of smoke and what looked like sticks flying away from 513. The sticks were the blades. My first thought was they had been hit by an SA-7 but then Gene said he saw the Air Force FAC just as they collided. I was almost certain it was a pusher-puller type....thought that was an 0-2 but maybe it is an OV-10 (CRS). (Location was approximately five miles NW of Tam Ky.) We followed 513 to the ground and I kept calling them on the radio but got no response. To this day I have no idea why I kept calling them.....but at the time it seemed like the right thing to do.....maybe just to say goodbye. 513 tumbled end over end after the blades came off. In the initial mid-air the Hook blades cut the FAC in half killing the Air Force pilot on impact.. 513 was in a steep climbing left hand bank. The FAC was in a steep left hand bank also. This meant he could only see forward, right and up, or left and down. The crew in 513 could only see forward and up, right and up, or left and down. They couldn't see left and up because of the steep bank and the FAC couldn't see right and down because of his steep bank and so they collided 513 hit the ground flat on the belly of the a/c and the impact broke the cockpit off clean just behind the forward pylon and it bounced about 100 feet forward of the rest of the a/c. The remainder of the chinook exploded on impact and was engulfed in flames. We landed as close as we could and my crew chief went over to check the cockpit. Both Al and Tommy were still in the cockpit and were dead. We were in iIndian country so we took off and orbited until we could get some troops flown out to secure the area then we went back to Chu Lai where we were staying TDY. Before we went to Vietnam, I flew 513 most of the time and got to be good friends with Jim Stacy (crew chief). WO-1 Jerry Yost and I flew 513 from Ft. Sill to California to ship it to Vietnam in November of 1968. Coming out of El Paso on the second day of the trip our internal fuel bladder came apart and flooded the inside of the a/c with JP-4. We did a power on auto-rotation and landed safely and ran like hell. Got it all drained out and then discovered that in the excitement we had landed in Mexico. Ooops. I gave Jim some stick time on that trip and he was doing good with flying. He wanted to go to flight school after his tour in VN. On the morning of August 2, 1969 before we launched, the maintenance NCO took Jim Stacy over to the Red Cross to pick up a telegram......His wife had given birth to twin girls. We razzed him about his instant family all morning. And then he died. from Mike Maloy, July 2000.

This record was last updated on 07/16/2009


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