Helicopter UH-1H 66-17127


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 66-17127
The Army purchased this helicopter 1267
Total flight hours at this point: 00001902
Date: 02/14/1970
Incident number: 700214111ACD Accident case number: 700214111 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 281 AHC
The station for this helicopter was Nha Trang in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 6 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 3
costing 545945
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 WO1 PAYNE ELDON RAY KIA
P WO1 GUENTHER THOMAS ANDREW KIA
CE SP5 HUGHEY MICHAEL ALLEN KIA
G SSG BREWER BOBBIE HERALD KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
CO LOCAL, LCO, G
CPT NEUBAUER RONALD GEORGE, AR, OA, KIA
SGT DELANEY KENNETH LEON, AR, OA, KIA


Accident Summary:

 ARMY HELICOPTER UH-1H, SN: 66-17127 WAS INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT DURING AN AIRBORNE PERSONNEL DETECTOR (SNIFFER) MISSION WHICH WAS BEING CONDUCTED ON DONG BO MOUNTAIN, 4 NAUTICAL MILES SOUTHWEST OF NHA TRANG, RVN. THERE WAS A CREW OF 6 ON BOARD; 4 CREWING THE AIRCRAFT AND 2 OPERATING THE SNIFFER MACHINE. AT 1000 HOURS ARMY AIRCRAFT 67-17127 TOOK OFF FROM NHA TRANG AAF ENROUTE TO ITS MISSION ON DONG BO MOUNTAIN. ITS MISSION WAS TO FLY 50 FEET ABOVE THE TREES AT 70 KNOTS SO THAT THE SNIFFER MACHINE COULD DETECT ANY SMOKE IN THE AREA. FROM 1005 TO 1006 HOURS THE SNIFFER MACHINE HAD MEDIUM TO HIGH READINGS FROM BP 960 409 TO BP 950 424, THE LAST READING APPROXIMATELY 2 MINUTES BEFORE AIRCRAFT 66-17127 CRASHED INTO THE TREES. THE LEAD GUNSHIP, PILOTED BY WO1 GARDNER AND 1LT MCKEEGAN, WAS APPROXIMATELY 100 METERS BEHIND 66-17127. AT THIS POINT THERE IS CONFLICTING STATEMENTS BY THE WITNESSES. IT APPEARED TO SOME WITNESSES AS IF THE AIRCRAFT LOST ITS TAIL ROTOR BEFORE ASSUMING A NOSE LOW ATTITUDE. WHEN THE AIRCRAFT NOSED OVER IT LOST ALTITUDE AND IMPACTED INTO A TREE. UPON IMPACT THE AIRCRAFT ASSUMED A NOSE HIGH ATTITUDE AND BEGAN TURNING TO THE RIGHT GAINING SOME ALTITUDE. IT MADE TWO 360 TURNS BEFORE IMPACTING INTO THE TREES. SOME WITNESSES STATE THAT THE AIRCRAFT ASSUMED A NOSE LOW ATTITUDE AS IF THE AIRCRAFT WAS TRYING TO LOSE ALTITUDE BY CONTROLING HIS AIRSPEED. WHEN THE AIRCRAFT LOST ALTITUDE IT IMPACTED INTO A DEAD TREE. PLEXIGLASS SHATTERED AND THE AIRCRAFT INITIATED A CLIMB BUT YAWED TO THE RIGHT. IT WAS NOTED BY SOME WITNESSES THAT AT THIS TIME THE TAIL ROTOR CAME OFF. THE AIRCRAFT MADE TWO 360 TURNS TO THE RIGHT BEFORE IMPACTING INTO THE TREES ON ITS LEFT SIDE. IT WAS NOTED THAT THE AIRCRAFT HAD A VERY SLOW AIRSPEED AND LOW ROTOR RPM WHEN IT IMPACTED INTO THE TREES. IT WAS ALSO NOTED THAT THE AIRCRAFT'S MAIN ROTOR DID NOT COME INTO CONTACT WITH ANY TREES UNTIL IMPACT. ABOUT 2 SECONDS AFTER IMPACT THE AIRCRAFT BURST INTO FLAMES. AFTER THE CRASH SP4 JOHNSON, WHO WAS DOOR GUNNER ON THE COMMAND SHIP, WAS LOWERED TO THE GROUND, NEAR THE CRASH SITE, BY THE HOIST. THERE WAS ONLY ONE BODY VISIBLE ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE WRECKAGE. THERE WASN'T ANY SIGN OF LIFE SO SP4 JOHNSON WAS PULLED FROM THE AREA. WHILE SP4 JOHNSON WAS ON THE GROUND SP4 BECK, THE OTHER DOOR GUNNER ON THE COMMAND SHIP, SPOTTED A MAN IN A GREEN UNIFORM RUNNING FROM THE TOP OF THE HILL TOWARDS THE WRECKAGE. HE SAW HIM ONCE AGAIN RUNNING BACK UP THE HILL. SP4 JOHNSON DID NOT SEE THE PERSON WHILE HE WAS ON THE GROUND. THE INDIVIDUAL WAS NEVER IDENTIFIED. THE AIRCRAFT WAS TREVELING INTO THE WIND, WHICH WAS FROM THE NORTH, BEFORE THE AIRCRAFT WENT OUT OF CONTROL. IT IMPACTED ON A NORTHERLY HEADING, THE WIND BEING LIGHT AND THE VISIBILITY WAS UNLIMITED.\\

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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