Helicopter UH-1C 66-00530


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1C tail number 66-00530
The Army purchased this helicopter 0766
Total flight hours at this point: 00001313
Date: 10/09/1969
Incident number: 691009331ACD Accident case number: 691009331 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 118 AHC
The station for this helicopter was Bien Hoa in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: YT185092
Number killed in accident = 4 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 2
costing 436015
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:
P CW2 HIRANO OWEN TETSUMI KIA
P 1LT MASON ROBERT SCOTT JR KIA
CE SP5 SCOTT GREG BRADFORD KIA
G SP4 SPENCER DANNY RAY KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
ONE, MCO, G
O2 JW MACK, FCO, G


Accident Summary:

 TWO UH-1C HELICOPTER GUNSHIPS WERE SUPPORTING TROOPS IN HEAVY CONTACT AT COORDINATES YT3015 ABOUT SEVEN MILES EAST OF BIEN HOA, RVN. LT MACK WAS THE AC OF THE LEAD SHIP AND CW2 HIRANO WAS AC OF THE WING SHIP. WHILE IN SUPPORT OF THE GROUND TROOPS, DARKNESS HAD FALLEN AND WEATHER IN THE AREA HAD BECOME WORSE. AFTER THE FIRE TEAM COMPLETED THEIR MISSION WITH THE GROUND TROOPS, LT MACK BECAME DISORIENTED AND FLEW TOWARD XUAN LOC, RVN INSTEAD OF TOWARD BIEN HOA, WHERE THEY WERE BASED. DURING THIS TIME, THEY LOST CONTACT WITH THE GROUND AND STARTED FLYING ON INSTURMENTS. THE LEAD SHIP TUNED IN THE BIEN HOA VOR AND STARTED TRACKING INBOUND TOWARD BIEN HOA WITH THEIR WING SHIP FOLLOWING THEM. LT MACK WAS FLYING AT 1000 FEET INDICATED AND CW2 HIRANO WAS FLYING AT 600 FEET INDICATED. THE RMI OF CW2 HIRANO'S UH-1C WAS INOPERATIVE AND HIS CLOCK WAS MISSING. AFTER FLYING FOR APPROXIMATELY 10 MINUTES, CW2 HIRANO CALLED LT MACK AND TOLD HIM THAT HE HAD HIGHWAY 1 IN SIGHT WITH HIS SEARCH LIGHT. LT MACK MADE A 360 DEGREE TURN AND STARTED FOLLOWING CW2 HIRANO. LT MACK HAD CW2 HIRANO'S AIRCRAFT IN SIGHT AND ABOUT 200 FEET BELOW HIM. HE COULD SEE THE HIGHWAY WITH THE AID OF CW2 HIRANO'S SEARCH LIGHT. THEY PROCEEDED THIS WAY UNTIL JUST AFTER THEY PASSED OVER TRANG BOM. AT THIS TIME, THEY RAN INTO EXTREMELY HEAVY RAIN AND WENT COMPLETELY IFR. CW2 HIRANO CALLED AT THIS TIME AND SAID HE WAS MAKING A 180 DEGREE TURN TO THE RIGHT. LT MACK STARTED A RIGHT 180 DEGREE TURN AT THE SAME TIME. AFTER TURNING ABOUT 90 DEGREES TO THE RIGHT, LT HINDERLITER, FLYING WITH LT MACK, LOST SIGHT OF CW2 HIRANO'S AIRCRAFT DUE TO THE TURN. ABOUT ONE MINUTE LATER, LT MACK SPOTTED THE LIGHTS OF TRANG BOM AND GAVE CW2 HIRANO A CALL TO LAND THERE. HE RECEIVED NO ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. LT MACK TRIED TO CONTACT CW2 HIRANO ON UHF, FM, AND VHF RADIOS, INCLUDING GUARD FREQUENCY, BUT TO NO AVAIL. LT MACK LANDED AT TRANG BOM. ABOUT TWENTY MINUTES LATER, THE WEATHER HAD CLEARED SUFFICIENTLY AND LT MACK CONTINUED TO BIEN HOA. HE AGAIN TRIED TO CONTACT CW2 HIRANO, BUT RECEIVED NO ANSWER. SHORTLY AFTER CW2 HIRANO STARTED HIS RIGHT TURN, HE PROBABLY EXPERIENCED VERTIGO. IF LT MASON, HIS PILOT, TOOK THE CONTROLS, HE WOULD HAVE HAD NO INDICATION OF HIS HEADING BECAUSE THE RMI WAS INOPERATIVE AND THE MAGNETIC COMPASS IS NOT VISIBLE FROM THE LEFT SEAT OF THE UH-1. THE AIRCRAFT CONTINUED TO THE RIGHT, TURNING A TOTAL OF 450 DEGREES. AT THIS TIME, THE UH-1C WAS OUT OF CONTROL AND IMPACTED THE GROUND IN A 70 TO 80 DEGREE DIVE WITH THE NOSE TURNED SLIGHTLY TO THE RIGHT AT A HIGH RATE OF SPEED. THE UH-1C WAS COMPLETELY CRUSHED, KILLING ALL FOUR CREWMEMBERS. THE ADVANCING BLADE STRUCK THE GROUND AND FORMED A HOLE ALMOST STRAIGHT INTO THE GROUND. AT THIS TIME, THE TAIL BOOM BROKE NEAR ITS BASE AND FELL TO THE GROUND POINTING ABOUT 30 DEGREES TO THE RIGHT OF THE DIRECTION OF FLIGHT. SHORTLY AFTER IMPACT, THE REMAINDER OF THE FUSELAGE TURNED OVER IN THE DIRECTION OF FLIGHT AND CAME TO REST INVERTED. A SMALL FIRE STARTED ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE ENGINE BUT WAS QUICKLY EXTINGUISHED, PROBABLY DUE TO THE HEAVY RAIN. THE UH-1C HAD CRASHED INTO A HEAVY STAND OF BAMBOO. IN THE CRASH, THE ROTOR BLADES HAD CUT THE BAMBOO, MUCH OF WHICH COVERED THE WRECK AND MADE IT INVISIBLE FROM THE AIR.\\

This record was last updated on 09/20/1998


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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