Helicopter AH-1G 67-15733


Information on U.S. Army helicopter AH-1G tail number 67-15733
The Army purchased this helicopter 0968
Total flight hours at this point: 00000692
Date: 08/16/1969
Incident number: 690816141ACD Accident case number: 690816141 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: D/229 AVN
This was an Operational Loss caused by an accident by Accident 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 Dau Tieng in South Vietnam
Casualties = YES . . Number killed in accident = 2 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 0
Search and rescue operations were Not Required
costing 631433
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 recovered

Crew Members:
P WO1 MCCRARY CLIFFORD PAUL KIA
AC CW2 EVELAND MARK W KIA


Accident Summary:

 AT APPROXIMATELY 0415 HOURS, 16 AUG 69, 733 DEPARTED TAY NINH, RVN, TO COVER UH-1H 226 WHICH HAD DEPARTED FIVE MINUTES EARLIER ON A PSYOPS MISSION. THE PILOT OF 733 REPORTED TO THE PILOT OF 226 THAT HE WAS AIRBORNE AND CLIMBING TO 2000 FEET ON A HEADING OF 360 DEGREES. SHORTLY THEREAFTER 226 CONTACTED GRANT GCA AND INFORMED THE CONTROLLER OF HIS POSITION AND INTENTIONS. THE CONTROLLER CONFIRMED RADAR CONTACT AND DIRECTED 226 TO A HEADING OF 070 DEGREES WHICH WOULD PUT HIM OVER HIS TARGET AREA. AT THIS TIME THE GCA CONTROLLER CONTACTED 733 AND DIRECTED HIM TO THE SAME HAADING, AT 2000 FEET. THIS WAS THE LAST CONFIRMED ALTITUDE OF 733, APPROXIMATELY TEN MINUTES PRIOR TO THE CRASH. THE PILOT OF 733 REPORTED THAT HE HAD VISUAL CONTACT WITH 226 AT HIS 12 O'CLOCK POSITION. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT GCA WAS PROVIDING A FLIGHT FOLLOWING SERVICE AND WAS NOT CAPABLE OF MONITORING ALTITUDE. AT 0440 HOURS, 733 NOTIFIED GCA THAT HE WAS ENCOUNTERING SCUD CONDITIONS AND WAS TURNING RIGHT TO A HEADING OF 180 DEGREES TO AVOID BECOMING IFR. ABOUT 1.5 MINUTES LATER 733 MADE HIS LAST TRANSMISSION, INFORMING GCA THAT HE WAS RETURNING TO A HEADING OF 070. THIRTY SECONDS LATER, AT WHAT APPEARED TO THE CONTROLLER TO BE THE COMPLETION OF THE TURN, RADAR CONTACT WAS LOST. ALTHOUGH THERE WERE SCATTERED THUNDERSTORMS IN THE AREA, THERE WAS NO SEVERE WEATHER IN THE VICINITY OF 733. GCA ATTEMPTED TO MAKE CONTACT WITH 733 SEVERAL TIMES BUT RECEIVED NO REPLY. HE THEN CALLED 226 AND REQUESTED THAT HE TRY TO CONTACT 733 ON VHF. WHEN THE PILOT OF 226 RECEIVED NO REPLY HE EXECUTED A 180 DEGREE TURN. AS HE CAME ON A WESTERLY HEADING, THE PILOT OBSERVED WHAT SEEMED TO BE AN EXPLOSION FROM THE AREA THAT WAS LATER INDENTIFIED AS THE CRASH SITE. 226 THEN FLEW TO THE CRASH SITE AND REMAINED, ORBITING ABOVE, UNTIL FURTHER CONFIRMATION COULD BE MADE. 733 CRASHED ON A HEADING OF 070 DEG APPROXIMATELY 1 MILE FROM THE AREA WHERE RADAR CONTACT WAS LOST. THE AIRCRAFT IMPACTED AT THE WESTERN EDGE OF A LARGE CLEARING IN AN INVERTED POSITION. I was the crew chief on UH-1H #226 the night that pilots CW2 Mark Eveland and WO1 Clifford McCrary crashed and burned on 67-15733 while providing Cobra gun coverage for us on a Psyops mission. My aircraft commander, door gunner and I continue to communicate regularly and for years, we have attempted to learn the names of the KIAs that night...we had only known Eveland as "Tiger 17." Somehow, I stumbled onto your site which provides a reasonably accurate description. However, my recollection of that incident is very clear and the story is a bit different than reported. My crew and I were woken very early in the a.m., and instructed to crank for a Psyops mission. The weather conditions were very bad with heavy cloud cover and visibility minimal. Initially, my AC refused the mission because the conditions were so poor. But for some reason unknown to me, there was some pressure to perform the mission (there is much more detail to this that I will save for a later date if you have interest). Typically, we would perform Psyops missions without Cobra gun coverage but the conditions were so bad that night that our AC requested coverage. Why the heck we were cranked in the middle of the night for a Psyops mission was beyond comprehension as such missions never seemed to produce results anyway...all it would do is get you shot at. Anyway, while en route to the targeted area, Tiger 17 met up with us and followed at our 6 o'clock. We were flying just below the cloud cover but conditions and visibility were not good and it was decided by both aircrafts to climb above the cloud cover. Tiger 17 confirmed that he would meet us on top. We found some break in the clouds and started climbing. As we were climbing, the door gunner and I noticed an explosion on the ground to our rear. Initially, we thought it to be artillery as such explosions were commonplace. When we got above the cloud cover, Tiger 17 did not appear and we started calling without a response. We contacted Dau Tieng (Tiger 17's base camp) to determine if he was in contact with the base camp but they had not received any communication. Frankly, I don't recall being monitored on GCA that night but I suspect that we were as that was typical protocol from my AC when flying conditions were poor. We reported to the AC that we had observed an explosion that we thought to be artillery. We dropped down below the cloud cover and could still see a fire burning in the approximate location of what we thought was the impact site of the artillery and we returned to the site. We reduced altitude and observed what appeared to be a helicopter burning in a clearing near a tree line. We contacted Tiger Company at Dau Tieng to request coverage but flight conditions had further deteriorated and were so poor, Tiger Company was unable to crank...this even though we reported that we thought Tiger 17 was down...you can imagine how poor the flight conditions were! In order to determine if there were any survivors, we hovered around the crash site at treetop level and below. It was apparent that the aircraft was in fact a Cobra that was engulfed in flames. It was also apparent that it would have been highly unlikely that there were survivors. Nevertheless, we continued to hover around the crash site and the clearing, calling for assistance without result until the morning dawned and visibility improved. We were now concerned about fuel and reported to Dau Tieng that we would be forced to soon depart from the crash site. I seem to recall that Tiger Company was then able to then get an aircraft airborne and en route to the site. I had flown several missions while Tiger 17 had provided gun coverage (Tiger Company was D/229th, 1st Cav; we were C/229th, 1st Cav) and always appreciated the gun support provided by Tiger Company. It was unfortunate that some rear echelon individual thought this mission to have such high priority...no aircraft should have been in the air that night. I have responded to this story not with the intention to criticize anyone. As you know, in Vietnam shit happened all the time. Rather, I have responded out of respect for the crew of Tiger 17. From my reading, the posted story does not impart the degree of how poor the flying conditions were on that night. The statement that "there was no severe weather in the vicinity of 733" is misleading. While I do not recall thundershowers, I remember clearly that visibility was very poor...this proven by the fact that Tiger Company was unable to get an aircraft airborne for one of its own. Donald J. Zennie CE #226 C Co/229th AHB, 1st Air Cav 6-69 / 6-70

This record was last updated on 04/15/2006


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