Helicopter UH-1C 66-15129


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1C tail number 66-15129
The Army purchased this helicopter 0567
Total flight hours at this point: 00000911
Date: 10/28/1969
Incident number: 691028231ACD Accident case number: 691028231 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 57 AHC
The station for this helicopter was Kontum in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: ZB034214
Number killed in accident = 4 . . Injured = 2 . . Passengers = 5
costing 404415
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 WO1 WHITTINGTON JOHN HEZEKIAH KIA
P W1 TL MORRIS

Passengers and/or other participants:
W1 JC BOSWELL, FCO, G
SP5 BEST GARY ALLEN, AR, PX, KIA
SP5 TORGERSON BARRENT OTTO, AR, PX, KIA
SP5 NEELEY DONALD LEE, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 GAMBLE CHARLES F JR, AR, PX, KIA


Accident Summary:

 AIRCRAFT DEPARTED TO THE WEST OF DAK TO ACTIVE. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER WAS PILOTING THE GUNSHIP. THE AIRCRAFT COMMENCED TO FLY A STANDARD TYPE TRAFFIC PATTERN, ALTHOUGH HIS ALTITUDE DID NOT EXCEED 150 FEET, DUE TO ARTILLARY BEING FIRED TO THE NORTHEAST, OUT OF DAK TO. UPON TAKE OFF HE TURNED 90 DEGREES TO THE RIGHT AND FLEW APPROXIMATELY 500 FEET, AND THEN ENTERED DOWNWIND, TURNING ONCE MORE 90 DEGREES TO THE RIGHT. NEAR THE EASTERN END OF THE AIRSTRIP, THE PILOT THEN COMMENCED A 180 DEGREE RIGHT HAND TURN FOR THE PURPOSE OF LOW LEVELING, PARALLEL AND TO THE NORTH OF THE AIRSTRIP. HIS AIRSPEED AT THIS TIME WAS BETWEEN 60 TO 70 KMOTS. THE PILOT APPLITED SLIGHT FORWARD CYCLIC FOR THE PURPOSE OF INCREASING AIRSPEED. THE PILOT OBTAINED HIS HEADING SHORTLY BEFORE REACHING HIS DESIRED ALTITUDE. APPROXIMATELY 10 FEET AGL, THE PILOT INCREASED HIS PITCH. AT THIS TIME THE AIRCRAFT REMAINED AT TEN FEET FOR FOUR TO FIVE SECONDS. HE AIRSPEED WAS APPROXIMATELY 60 TO 70 KNOTS. AT THIS POINT THE AIRCRAFT BEGAN TO FALL THROUGH TO THE GROUND RESULTING FROM (1) UNLOADING OF MAIN ROTOR SYSTEM AND/OR (2) ENGINE MALFUNCTION OR FAILURE AND/OR (3) APPLICATION OF INSUFFICIENT PITCH. THE PILOT APPLIED INCREASED PITCH AND SLIGHT AFT CYCLIC. THE AIRCRAFT, NEVER THE LESS, MADE CONTACT WITH THE GROUND, NOSE SLIGHTLY HIGH. SKID MARKS INDICATE THAT THE AIRCRAFT SLID FOR APPROXIMATELY 100 FEET. AS THE AIRCRAFT SLID IT BEGAN TO ROCK FORWARD. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER THOUGHT THE AIRCRAFT WOULD FLIP AND CONSEQUENTLY PULLED IN FULL COLLECTIVE AND MAXIMUM AFT CYCLIC ABRUPTLY. THIS RESULTED IN THE MAIN ROTOR BLADES FLEXING, STRIKING THE TAIL BOOM, AND SEVERING THE VERTICAL STABLISZER PORTION OF THE TAIL BOOM AT STATION 304, JUST AFT OF THE SYNCHRONIZED ELEVATOR. AT THIS TIME THE AIRCRAFT CAME BACK UP IN THE AIR APPROXIMATELY 50 FEET. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER HAD CONSEQUENTLY LOST HIS ANTI-TORQUE CONTROL AND THE AIRCRAFT SPUN THREE COMPLETE REVOLUTIONS IN THE AIR, IMPACTING WITH THE GROUND 310 FEET FROM LAST CONTACT WITH THE GROUND. THE AIRCRAFT MADE CONTACT WITH THE GROUND ON THE LEFT SIDE. IT IMMEDIATELY BURST INTO FLAMES.\\


War Story:
John Whittington died on 24 Nov 69 but we were shot down on 28 Oct 69. He died from burns that he received on that date. I was the only survivor. The Army listed this as an aircraft accident but, as far as I know, no one ever asked me what happened.
We were at Dak To on a convoy cover mission. Our normal missions were C.C.C. out of Dak To. We were stationed at Kontum.
from Terry L. Morris, Jan 97.

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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