Helicopter UH-1H 68-15571


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-15571
The Army purchased this helicopter 0469
Total flight hours at this point: 00000485
Date: 03/03/1970
Incident number: 700303381ACD Accident case number: 700303381 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: HHB/4/77 ARA 101 ABN
This was an Operational Loss caused by an accident by Accident with the mission function of Administration/Liaison (flights of an operational nature, not directly connected with specific combat operations or logistics movements)
The station for this helicopter was Phu Bai in South Vietnam
Casualties = YES . . Number killed in accident = 5 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 4
Search and rescue operations were Not Required
costing 500945
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Survivability/Vulnerability Information Analysis Center AVDAC database. Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
AC WO1 WALDING JARED BRUCE KIA
P CW2 PAWLAK RICHARD VICTOR KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
SP4 BRUMMET PAUL DOUGLAS, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 HANKS DANNY DEAN, AR, PX, KIA
SP4 KARR GEORGE GEOFFREY, AR, PX, KIA


Accident Summary:

 AT APPROXIMATELY 1915 HOURS ON 3 MARCH 1970 THE S-3 OF 4/77 ARTILLERY RECEIVED A MESSAGE STATING THAT TWO AIRCRAFT FROM THE UNIT HAD BEEN INVOLVED IN A GROUND ACCIDENT AT LZ SALLY (YD 637274). THE BATTALION SAFETY OFFICER WAS NOTIFIED AND PREPARED TO LEAVE FOR THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT IN A UH-1H FROM THE HEADQUARTERS AVIATION SECTION. THE SAFETY OFFICER AND THE PILOT, WO1 WALDING, TOOK THE AIRCRAFT WITHOUT THE USUAL CREWMEMBERS AS THEY HAD TO LEAVE IMMEDIATELY AND THE CREWCHIEF AND GUNNER WERE NOT AVAILABLE AT THE TIME. AT APPROXIMATELY 1925 HOURS 3 MARCH 1970 THE BATTALION XO WAS NOTIFIED BY RADIO OF THE GROUND ACCIDENT AT 6Z SALLY AND HE PROCEEDED TO THAT LOCATION IN A AH-1G, WITH CW2 PAWLAK AS CO-PILOT BETWEEN THE HOURS OF 2030 AND 2100 ON 3 MARCH 1970 THE CO-PILOT, CW2 PAWLAK, FROM THE XO'S AH-1G SWITCHED PLACES WITH THE SAFETY OFFICER IN THE UH-1H. THIS WAS DONE SO THE SAFETY OFFICER COULD RETURN TO HIS HEADQUARTERS AND INITIATE THE REQUIRED REPORTS. THE UH-1H WAS TO TAKE THE PILOTS FROM THE GROUND ACCIDENT AT LZ SALLY BACK TO CAMP EVANS AND THEN RETURN WITH A SECURITY FORCE TO GUARD THE WRECKAGE UNTIL THE ACCIDENT COULD BE INVESTIGATED AT FIRST LIGHT. THE UH-1H, DEPARTED WITH WO1 WALDING AS PILOT AND CW2 PAWLAK AS CO-PILOT FROM LZ SALLY FOR CAMP EVANS WITH THE FOUR PILOTS WHO HAD BEEN INVOLVED IN THE GROUND ACCIDENT. WO1 WALDING RADIOED BACK TO THE 4/77 TOC THAT HE WAS AT CAMP EVANS AND WAS GOING TO WAIT FOR THE SECURITY FORCE TO GET READY. AT APPROXIMATELY 2130 HOURS 3 MARCH 1970 WG1 WALDING CALLED EVANS TOWER FOR TAKEOFF FROM THE C/4/77 ARA "HOT SPOT". HE REQUESTED A SOUTH TAKEOFF AND THIS WAS GRANTED WITH WINDS GIVEN AS 300 DEGREES AT 14 KNOTS AND ALTIMETER OF 29.81. AT APPROXIMATELY THE SAME TIME (2130) THERE WERE TWO ARTILLERY BATTERIES ACTIVE ON THE SOUTHERN PERIMETER OF CAMP EVANS. THEY WERE FIRING ON AZIMUTHS OF 120 DEGREES. WO1 WALDING MUST HAVE BEEN AWARE OF THIS AS HE REQUESTED A SOUTH DEPARTURE WHICH WOULD HAVE KEPT HIM CLEAR OF THE GUN TARGET LINE DURING TAKEOFF. WO1 WALDING CALLED ON THE BATTALION CF NET STATING THAT HE WAS OFF CAMP EVANS ENROUTE TO CAMP SALLY, THEN TO CAMP EAGLE, ETA 25 TO 30 MINS. THIS WAS THE LAST RADIO CONTACT WITH 571 AND THIS TRANSMISSION WAS ONLY HEARD BY C/4/77 AT CAMP EVANS. AN INFANTRY GROUND RECON FORCE WAS IN THEIR NDP AT COORDINATES YD 543253. TWO OF THE SIX MEN WERE AWAKE ON GUARD WHEN THEY HEARD AN AIRCRAFT. IT APPEARED TO BE HEADING SOUTHEAST FROM CAMP EVANS AT A FAIRLY LOW ALTITUDE. WHEN THE AIRCRAFT WAS ABOUT 3 KILOMETERS TO THE NORTHEAST OF THE NDP IT HEADED SOUTH FOR A SHORT TIME THEN TURNED TO THE SOUTHWEST OVERFLYING THE NDP. THE TWO WITNESSES WATCHED THE AIRCRAFT MAINTAIN A GENERAL HEADING OF SOUTHWEST WHICH WAS LEADING IT TOWARD A HIGH RIDGE LINE WHICH IS OVER 1500' MSL. THE AIRCRAFT APPEARED TO BE AT APPROXIMATELY 200' AGL. ONE WITNESS REMARKED THAT THE LIGHTS ON THE AIRCRAFT, BOTH NAVIGATIONAL AND ROTATING BEACON, WERE VISIBLE AS IT PASSED HIM AND CONTINUED TO THE SOUTHWEST. THE LIGHTS THEN APPEARED TO GO OUT AND THE WITNESSES HEARD A LOUD THRASHING SOUND, SIMILAR TO ROTOR BLADES STRIKING FOILAGE. THE AIRCRAFT LIGHTS REAPPEARED AND THE AIRCRAFT SEEMED TO BE CLIMBING BUT IT WAS WOBBLING AS IF IT HAD PROBLEMS. THE AIRCRAFT THEN LOST ALTITUDE RAPIDLY AND CRASHED RESULTING IN FATAL INFURIES TO THE FIVE PERSONS ON BOARD. A POST CRASH FIRE ERUPTED WITHIN 10 - 15 SECONDS.\\


War Story:
Pawlak was flying with a Toro B/4/77 aircraft on a CCN. When the mission aborted they returned to Camp Sally for fuel. Two AH-1G's from C/4/77 ARA meshed blades in a CH-47 refuel pad. The battalion safety officer arrived in a UH-1 and for some reason Rich swapped seats and joined the pilot who was new. They were sent to Camp Evans to get a guard force to secure the two AH-1G's. On return to Sally, now after dark and marginal weather, they crashed. The aircraft went inverted and burned with no survivors. from CWO Jack Taber, the accident investigating officer, July 1997.

I was with C battery,4 battalion, 77 arty from 7/69 to 8/70. This H - model and the pilot and co-pilot were from Headquarters Co. but the three guys in the back were all from "C" battery. They were the security for the damaged ships at LZ Sally.

From: Gene Garraty Sp. 4, 'C' 4/77 ARA, 101 Abn. (69-70) CE A/C 67-15604

This record was last updated on 04/29/2011


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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