Helicopter UH-1H 68-15684


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-15684
The Army purchased this helicopter 0569
Total flight hours at this point: 00000655
Date: 11/26/1969
Incident number: 691126241ACD Accident case number: 691126241 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 119 AHC
The station for this helicopter was An Khe in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 4 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 0
costing 455945
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 CPT KUHNKE WILLIAM ANDREW KIA
P CW2 DAVIS EDWARD THOMSON JR KIA
CE SP5 PLATE JAMES RICHARD KIA
G SP4 BADOSTAIN TIMOTHY ERNEST KIA


Accident Summary:

 AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT, CPT KUHNKE AND HIS CREW WERE ATTEMPTING TO COMPLETE ONE LAST SORTIE OF NONCOMBAT MATERIAL FROM LZ TAPE TO LZ TEG. THE PAD NCOIC LOCATED AT LZ TAPE HAD REQUESTED WO1 SHERMAN, WHO WAS PILOTING A/C 721 OF THE 119TH AHC TO TAKE THIS LAST SORTIE TO LZ TEG PRIOR TO BEING RELEASED. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER REFUSED TO TAKE THIS LAST SORTIE TO LZ TEG DUE TO ADVERSE WEATHER. AT THIS TIME THE PAD NCOIC WAS INFORMED BY CPT KUHNKE, WHO WAS PILOTING A/C 684, THAT HE WOULD ATTEMPT TO COMPLETE THIS LAST SORTIE FOR HIM. WO SHERMAN THEN REQUESTED THAT CPT KUHNKE REMAIN ON THE GROUND AT LZ TAPE UNTIL HE, IN A/C 721 COULD MAKE A WEATHER CHECK OF 44S LOCATION. JUST AS WO SHERMAN REACHED THE CREST OF THE HILL HE HEARD CPT KUHNKE CALL OFF OF LZ TAPE FULLY LOADED. LZ TEG POPPED A FLARE FOR WO SHERMAN BUT HE WAS UNABLE TO SPOT IT DUE TO THE LOW CEILINGS AND VISIBILITIES, SO HE TURNED AWAY. CPT HUHNKE BROKE IN OF FM AND INFORMED THE PEOPLE AT LZ TEG THAT HE WOULD TRY TO MAKE IT IN. WO SHERMAN HAD CPT HUHNKE IN SIGHT UNTIL HE FLEW BEHIND OR INTO SOME CLOUDS. CPT KUHNKE KEPT CALLING AND ASKING THE PEOPLE AT LZ TEG IF THEY COULD SEE HIM. THE GROUND PERSONNEL AT LZ TEG TOLD THE ACCIDENT BOARD THAT AT THE TIME OF THE ACCIDENT THE WEATHER AT THEIR LOCATION WAS ZERO CEILING WITH NO MORE THAN 20 FEET VISIBILITY. THE GROUND PERSONNEL KEPT DIRECTING CPT KUHNKE NORTH EVEN THOUGH THE WEATHER WAS BELOW MINIMUMS. THEY DID NOT HAVE CPT KUHNKE IN SIGHT DURING THESE COURSE CORRECTIONS. CPT KUHNKE THEN REQUESTED A LONG COUNT. HE WAS CONTACTED BY WO SHERMAN ON UHF AT THIS TIME TELLING HIM TO GET OUT OF THAT LOCATION. NO REPLY WAS RECEIVED BY WO SHERMAN SO HE ATTEMPTED THE SAME CALL ON FM. APPROXIMATELY 2 MINUTES LATER WO SHERMAN HEARD OVER FM "I CAN'T SEE A DAMN THING" THEN SILENCE. FINALLY THE CONTROL AT LZ TAPE CALLED WO SHERMAN AND INFORMED HIM THAT CPT KUHNKE HAD CRASHED INTO THE TREES.\\

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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