Helicopter UH-1D 66-16699

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-16699
The Army purchased this helicopter 0867
Total flight hours at this point: 00001975
Date: 12/06/1969
Incident number: 69120657.KIA
Unit: 57 AHC
South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: ZB036029
Casualties = 05 KIA . .
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Also: OPERA, Unit history (Operations Report. )
Summary: Hit by small arms fire, resulting in loss of power at a low altitude above thick jungle canopy.
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:

Passengers and/or other participants:

War Story:
The 57th AHC's unit history states that Aircraft 699, commanded by CPT Charles Ferrell, and pilot, 1LT Phillip Shrock, with the crew chief SP5 Miranda and gunner PFC Ronald Durflinger crashed, killing the crew and given passengers aboard. It is believed that the aircraft was hit by small arms fire, resulting in loss of power at a low altitude above thick jungle canopy. The VHPA asked members of the 57th Association for help with the phrase "given passengers" because The WALL database lists only five KIAs in Kontum Prov for this date. This includes the four crew member plus COL Miller. COL Miller's organization code indicates he was assigned to MACV. Former members of the 57th AHC provided the following ideas. The events surrounding this accident are a very dark day for the 57th. CPT Ferrell was about to DEROS and he had never flown as AC or PIC. He was a member of the Second Lift Platoon. CPT Wong was the platoon leader at this time. The night before, Ferrell made out his platoon's schedule for the next day and put himself up to fly left seat without Wong's knowledge or approval. The mission was flown for the Kontum Sector which was a cream-puff mission. You just flew the advisors around to Montagnard villages. Ferrell was taking off from a fire base or some place high on a hill. He was so overloaded that he crashed on takeoff down a steep cliff. The phrase "given passengers" probably should read "eleven passengers" because they were stacked in the Huey, shoulder to shoulder. Apparently the only American passenger was a MACV full colonel who may have been the Sector commander. This was a high profile accident.

The following is from Craig P. J. Wheel, WO-1 2nd Plt, 57th AHC (69-70):

The report stated that CPT Ferrell just assigned himself to the left seat without CPT Wong's knowledge. I find this to be questionable as there was a pretty lengthy discussion by the AC's the night prior to the accident about the crewing assignments.CPT Ferrell was assigned to be the Aircraft Commander(AC) by Maj. Charles and was a concern to the ACs of the platoon. While CPT Ferrell met the time requirements to be an Aircraft Commander, he had not taken the normal training and checkride to be an official Aircraft Commander. CPT Wong objected to this assignment but was overruled. While CPT Ferrell had been with the unit for 11 months, his primary duties had been as the Project Officer for many of the compound's building projects. This precluded him from getting the varied experience expected of an AC. The eleven passengers consisted of COL Miller, and his RVN counterpart and staff.

From Craig P. J. Wheel, WO-1 2nd Plt, 57th AHC (69-70)

This record was last updated on 04/03/2011

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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017

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