Helicopter UH-1H 68-16220


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-16220
The Army purchased this helicopter 0969
Total flight hours at this point: 00000253
Date: 12/09/1969
Incident number: 691209191ACD Accident case number: 691209191 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: A/123 AVN 23 INF
The station for this helicopter was Chu Lai in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: BS508466
Number killed in accident = 6 . . Injured = 1 . . Passengers = 3
costing 530145
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 O3 JL COLVIN
P WO1 HOOPER WARD LAWRENCE JR KIA
CE SP4 MCCLANE MICHAEL JAMES KIA
G SP5 FRATUS EDWARD FRANCIS KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
LTC LANGE KARL FERDINAND, AR, PX, KIA
MAJ HEINZ ROGER WILLIAM, AR, PX, KIA
CPT SHUMBRIS EUGENE PAUL, AR, PX, KIA


Accident Summary:

 AIRCRAFT WAS ON A ROUTINE SHUTTLE MISSION FOR SUPPORT COMMAND. ON THE MORNING OF 9 DECEMBER 1969 AT 0715 HOURS THE AIRCRAFT TOOK OFF FROM KY HA HELIPORT, LANDED AT THE DIVISION ADMIN PAD, AND PICKED UP THREE PASSENGERS. THE AIRCRAFT THEN DEPARTED FOR MINH LONG. FOLLOWING A CHANGE IN PASSENGERS, THE AIRCRAFT DEPARTED MINH LONG ENROUTE TO BA TO. THREE PASSENGERS AND A CREW OF FOUR WERE ON BOARD AT THIS TIME. THERE WAS A LIGHT RAIN FALLING. THE AIRCRAFT DEPARTED MINH LONG ON A HEADING OF 210 DEGREES WHICH WOULD ENABLE IT TO FOLLOW A VALLEY TO BA TO AFTER PASSING THROUGH A SADDLE AT GRID COORD BS507468. AS THE AIRCRAFT PASSED THROUGH THE SADDLE, THEY INADVERTENTLY WENT IFR. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER THEN ASSUMED CONTROL OF THE AIRCRAFT FROM THE PILOT. HE TURNED LEFT TO A HEADING OF 090 DEGREES AND INITIATED A 500 FOOT PER MINUTE CLIMB. HIS AIRSPEED AT THIS TIME WAS APPROXIMATELY 60 TO 70 KNOTS. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER WAS PLANNING TO CONTACT DUC PHO FOR A RADAR PICKUP. AFTER COMPLETING HIS TURN TO 090 DEGREES, THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER WAS LOOKING THROUGH THE CHIN BUBBLE WHEN HE SAW THE MOUNTAINSIDE APPROACHING RAPIDLY. HE ATTEMPTED TO CLIMB OVER THE HILL BY APPLYING AFT CYCLIC AND FULL PITCH. THE MAIN ROTOR'S RETREATING BLADE CONTACTED SMALL SHURBS AND TALL ELEPHANT GRASS ON THE UPHILL SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN. AS THE AIRCRAFT MOVED FORWARD, THE SKIDS STRUCK THE GROUND AND WERE SHEARED OFF. THE FUEL CELLS BURST AT THIS TIME BECAUSE OF THE IMPACT AND TEARING FORCE OF THE SKID CROSS TUBES. ONE OF THE SUMP PUMPS WAS FOUND THIRTY FEET FORWARD OF THE POINT OF INITIAL IMPACT. MOMENTUM CONTINUED TO CARRY THE AIRCRAFT FORWARD. THE MAIN ROTOR STRUCK THE GROUND AND WAS SHEARED FROM THE TRANSMISSION. THE TIAL BOOM WAS ALSO SEVERED FROM THE FUSELAGE OF THE AIRCRAFT. THE AIRCRAFT CONTINUED TO MOVE FORWARD FOR 144 FEET BEFORE BURNING. IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE TO DETERMINE THE EXACT FINAL RESTING POSITION OF THE AIRCRAFT BECAUSE THE SLOPE WHERE THE ACCIDENT OCCURRED WAS APPROXIMATELY 60 DEGREES AND MANY OF THE COMPONENTS ROLLED DOWN THE SLOPE FOLLOWING THE FIRE.\\

This record was last updated on 02/15/2015


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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