Helicopter UH-1H 67-17175


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 67-17175
The Army purchased this helicopter 0168
Total flight hours at this point: 00001301
Date: 02/17/1970
Incident number: 700217101ACD Accident case number: 700217101 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: B/123 AVN 23 INF
The station for this helicopter was Chu Lai in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 11 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 7
costing 750945
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 BATEMAN JAMES TERENCE KIA
P 1LT RICHARDSON ARLEN DEL KIA
CE SP4 DRYE JACK LEE KIA
G SP4 MITCHELL JOHN LOUIS KIA
PX SP4 WILLIAMS THEODORE ALFORD KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
SP4 BROWN KARL EUGENE, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 JAMES SAMUEL JR, AR, PX, KIA
CPL MITCHELL GEORGE GROVER, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 FREASIER THOMAS HALL, AR, PX, KIA
CPL MEANS RONALD LEE, AR, PX, KIA
SFC GORDON JAMES BERNARD L JR, AR, PX, KIA


Accident Summary:

 THE UH-1H AIRCRAFT, PILOTED BY 1LT RICHARDSON AND COMMANDED BY WO BATEMAN, WAS PART OF A RECONNAISSANCE TEAM FROM B COMPANY, 123D AVIATION BATTALION (COMBAT) THAT HAD BEEN ASSIGNED TO "VR" (VISUALLY RECON) THE GENERAL AREA SOUTH OF HILL 4-11 AND WEST OF QUANG NGAI (SEE TAB 10). THE TEAM CONSISTED OE TWO COBRAS, THE NUMBER ONE COBRA CONTAINING THE TEAM LEAD, A LIGHT OBSERVATION HELICOPTER (LOH), AND THE UH-1H "SLICK". THE PURPOSE OF THE SLICK WAS TO ORBIT ABOVE THE LOH AND THE COBRAS WITH SEVEN INFANTRY MEN ON BOARD, READY TO INSERT THE INFANTRY IF A SUITABLE OBJECTIVE WAS FOUND BY THE RECON TEAM. IT'S NORMAL CRUISING ALTITUDE WOULD BE 1500 FEET AGL. AT THE BEGINNING OF THE DAY THE UH-1H SLICK HAD DEPARTED CHU LAI TO JOIN THE REST OF THE TEAM AT QUANG NGAI AIRFIELD. THE FIRST FLIGHT LASTED 40 MINUTES. THE TEAM WAS BRIEFED, REFUELED AND DEPARTED QUANG NGAI AT 1030 HRS TO BEGIN THE VR. APPROXIMATELY HALFWAY THROUGH THE MISSION THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER CALLED THE TEAM LEAD AND REPORTED A LOSS OF TRANSMISSION OIL PRESSURE AND STATED HIS INTENT TO RETURN TO QUANG NGAI. HE RECEIVED AN ACKNOWLEDGEMENT FROM THE TEAM LEAD. THE SLICK WAS THEN AT APPROXIMATE COORDINATES BS5463 AND PROCEEDED IN A GENERAL HEADING OF NORTHEAST, TOWARD QUANG NGAI. HIS FLIGHT PATH PROBABLY CURVED TO AVOID VARIOUS HILL MASSES, WHOSE TOPS WERE OBSCURED ON THAT DAY (SEE TAB 3). AT APPROXIMATE COORDINATES BS 5666 THE SLICK WAS OBSERVED BY A FLIGHT OF HELICOPTERS FROM THE 174TH AVIATION COMPANY, WHO AT THE TIME WERE INVOLVED IN A COMBAT ASSAULT IN THAT AREA. THE FLIGHT WAS CLOSE ENOUGH TO THE SLICK TO IDENTIFY THE AIRCRAFT AS NOT BEING A 174TH AIRCRAFT BY VIRTUE OF DIFFERENT COLOR CODING ON THE TAIL BOOM. THE SLICK WAS HEADED GENERALLY NORTH, THE SAME DIRECTION AS THE 174TH FLIGHT, AND AT THE SAME ALTITUDE-1500 FEET MSL. THE SLICK WAS OBSERVED IN STRAIGHT AND LEVEL FLIGHT FOR APPROXIMATELY ONE MINUTE. APPROXIMATELY TWO MINUTES HAD ELAPSED FROM THE TIME THE SLICK FIRST REPORTED THE LOSS OF TRANSMISSION OIL TO TEAM LOAD UNTIL HIS SECOND CALL OF DISTRESS, DURING WHICH HE TRANSMITTED ALMOST CONTINUOUSLY, NEARING IMPACT WITH THE GROUND. THE SLICK WAS OBSERVED TO ENTER A GRADUAL RIGHT TURN, BEGIN WITH A DESCENT, AND INCREASE BOTH THE RATE OF TURN AND THE RATE OF DESCENT. HALFWAY THROUGH THE TURN, THE SLICK ENTERED A SPIN, DURING WHICH THE MAIN ROTOR BLADES WERE OBSERVED TO SLOW DOWN. AT AN ESTIMATED ALTITUDE OF FROM 400 FEET TO 700 FEET AGL, THE ROTOR BLADES STOPPED PERPENDICULAR TO THE FUSELAGE, AND THE SLICK ENTERED A FLAT SPIN, IMPACTING SLIGHTLY NOSE LOW AND IN A SLIGHT LEFT BANK. THE IMPACT FLATTENED THE HELICOPTER AND DROVE PARTS OF IT INTO THE GROUND. A FUEL SPRAY ERUPTED, AND IGNITED MOST OF THE WRECKAGE, TO INCLUDE MUNITIONS THAT WERE IN THE SLICK. AN ATTEMPT WAS MADE BY TWO OF THE 174TH AIRCRAFT TO LAND TROOPS CLOSE ENOUGH TO THE WRECKAGE TO MAKE A RESCUE ATTEMPT, BUT EXPLODING AMMO MADE ANY SORT OF RESCUE IMPOSSIBLE. THE AIRCRAFT IMPACTED ALMOST VERTICALLY, WITH VERY LITTLE DISTRIBUTION OF WRECKAGE (SEE TAB 9). TIME OF IMPACT WAS 1110 HRS, OBTAINED FROM SEVERAL VICTIMS WATCHES.\\

This record was last updated on 09/20/1998


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