Helicopter AH-1G 67-15667


Information on U.S. Army helicopter AH-1G tail number 67-15667
Date: 11/23/1969
Incident number: 691123051ACD Accident case number: 691123051 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: D/3/4 CAV
The station for this helicopter was Cu Chi in
Number killed in accident = 2 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 0
costing 486854
Source(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Army Aviation Safety Center database.

Crew Members:
P CPT CLEMENTS ROBERT ANDREW KIA
P WO1 BROWN ALEXANDER CAMERON KIA


Accident Summary:

 AIRCRAFT WAS ON A VISUAL RECONNAISSANCE MISSION. AT APPROXIMATELY 0630 HOURS THE LIGHT SCOUT TEAM, CONSISTING OF AH-1G 67-15669 AND AN OBSERVATION HELICOPTER, DEPARTED CU CHI BASE CAMP ON THEIR VISUAL RECONNAISSANCE MISSION. THE TEAM PROCEEDED WEST TO FIRE SUPPORT BASE JACKSON LOCATED AT XT 425168. AS THEY PASSED SOUTH OF FIRE SUPPORT BASE JACKSON, THE AH-1G COMMANDER OBSERVED SOME SMALL FIRES SOUTHWEST OF THEIR LOCATION. THE AH-1G AIRCRAFT COMMANDER INSTRUCTED HIS OBSERVATION HELICOPTER PILOT TO CONTINUE IN A WESTERLY DIRECTION WHILE HE PROCEEDED TO DETERMINE THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE SMALL FIRES. AT THIS TIME, THE AH-1G WAS AT APPROXIMATELY 600 FEET. HE TURNED TOWARD THE SOUTHWEST AND PROCEEDED TOWARD THE AREA WHICH CONTAINED THE FIRES. AS HE ARRIVED OVER THE AREA, HE MADE A NON-FIRING DIVE TO APPROXIMATELY 300 FEET. DURING THE DIVE HE STARTED A LEFT HAND TURN TO BRING HIM BACK TO THE AREA HIS OBSERVATION HELICOPTER HAD PROCEEDED. IT IS ASSUMED HE HAD ASCERTAINED THAT THE FIRES WERE OF NO TACTICAL VALUE AND WAS GOING TO REJOINHIS WINGMAN. AS HE STARTED HIS TURN BACK TO THE NORTH, WITNESSES DESCRIBE AN EXPLOSION AND WHAT APPEARED TO BE THE OBSERVATION HELICOPTER FALLING AWAY TO THE WEST. THIS OBJECT WAS, IN FACT, THE MAIN ROTOR HEAD AND ROTOR BLADES WHICH SEPARATED FROM THE AIRCRAFT. IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THIS EVENT, THE TAIL ROTOR SEPARATED FROM THE AIRCRAFT CAUSING THE NOSE TO PITCH SHARPLY DOWNWARD AND TO THE RIGHT FROM LOSS OF ANTI-TORQUE CONTROL AND CENTER OF GRAVITY. AT THE INSTANT THE TAIL ROTOR SEPARATED FROM THE AIRCRAFT, IT IS SUSPECTED THE PILOT OVER COMPENSATED FOR THE AIRCRAFT YAW AND LOSS OF CENTER OF GRAVITY WITH A VIOLENT CYCLIC MANEUVER. THIS VIOLENT MANEUVER INDUCED SEVERE MAST BUMPING, WHICH, IN TURN, CAUSED THE MAIN ROTOR HEAD TO SEPARATE FROM THE MAST. IT IS ALSO POSSIBLE THAT THE PILOT IMMEDIATELY REDUCED COLLECTIVE WHEN THE TAIL ROTOR FAILURE OCCURRED CAUSING THE ROTOR HEAD TO LOSE ITS LOAD FORCES. THIS, IN TURN WOULD INDUCE SEVERE MAST BUMPING AND LOSS OF THE ROTOR HEAD. AS A CONSEQUENCE OF THE LOSS OF THE ROTOR HEAD, THE AIRCRAFT PLUMMETED TO THE GROUND WHERE ITS FUEL AND ORDINANCE CAUSED AN EXPLOSION AND FIRE WHICH DESTROYED THE AIRCRAFT.\\

This record was last updated on 05/25/1998


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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