Helicopter AH-1G 68-15043


Information on U.S. Army helicopter AH-1G tail number 68-15043
The Army purchased this helicopter 0269
Total flight hours at this point: 00000988
Date: 05/06/1970
Incident number: 70050611.KIA Accident case number: 700506371 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: B/25 AVN 25 INF
The station for this helicopter was Cu Chi in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: XT657145
Number killed in accident = 1 . . Injured = 1 . . Passengers = 0
costing 476630
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 O3 PRINCE JOSEPH STEPHEN KIA
CP O4 RC CROWL


Accident Summary:

 AIRCRAFT 68-15043 WAS FLYING AS WING SHIP IN AN AH-1G (COBRA) LIGHT FIRE TEAM. THEIR MISSION WAS TO PROVIDE SECURITY AROUND CU CHI BASE CAMP FOR VISITING VIP'S. THE TEAM WAS CLIMBING OVER THE SOUTHEASTERN CORNER OF THE BASE CAMP WITH THE LEAD SHIP AT 2200 FEET MSL AND THE WING SHIP AT 1800 FEET MSL. AT THIS POINT THE WING SHIP CALLED TO LEAD, "JOHN, (CW2 JOHN RILEY, PILOT OF LEADSHIP), I THINK I HAVE HAD A SHORT SHAFT FAILURE." THE PILOT OF THE DAMAGED AIRCRAFT SWITCHED TO CU CHI TOWER UHF FREQUENCY AND THE FOLLOWING CONVERSATION TOOK PLACE: A/C: CU CHI DIAMONDHEAD 8 TWR: DIAMONDHEAD 8 CU CHI A/C: THIS IS DIAMONDHEAD 8, ROGER, I JUST HAD AN ENGINE FAILURE OVER THE CAMP THERE. I AM GOING TO TRY TO MAKE YOUR ACTIVE. I WOULD LIKE CLEARANCE PLEASE. WHAT'S YOUR WINDS? TWR: DIAMONDHEAD 8 WIND IS 110 DEGREES AT 4, ACTIVE RUNWAY 4, SAY REQUEST? A/C: ROGER I'LL HAVE TO TRY TO MAKE A 22. I'M GONNA TRY AND MAKE YOUR FIELD HERE. I'M GOING IN MIDFIELD BASE. TWR: ROGER, UNDERSTAND THIS POSITION, YOU'LL BE LANDING ACTIVE RUNWAY? GO IN THE PADDY OVER THERE TWR: ROGER A/C: I THINK I'LL TAKE THE ROAD. THE CO-PILOT/GUNNER OF THE AIRCRAFT STATED THAT THERE WAS A LOUD "PING" FOLLOWED BY A DROP IN ALTITUDE. THE PILOT ENTERED AUTOROTATION, TURNED TOWARDS THE BASE CAMP AND GOT OFF HIS TWO RADIO CALLS TO THE LEAD SHIP AND TO CU CHI TOWER. WHEN THE PILOT REALIZED THAT HE COULD NOT MAKE THE ACTIVE RUNWAY, HE TURNED TO THE RIGHT AND TOOK UP A HEADING AT APPROXIMATELY 250 DEGREES. THIS WAS LINED UP TO LAND ON HIGHWAY 8A OR TO THE OPEN RICE PADDYS ADJOINING THE ROAD. ON SHORT FINAL, AT AN ALTITUDE OF 100 TO 155 FEET, THE PILOT REALIZED THAT A VEHICLE HEADED FROM EAST TO WEST ON HIGHWAY 8A WOULD BE IN CONFLICT WITH HIS INTENDED POINT OF TOUCHDOWN AND HE TURNED 60 TO 65 DEGREES TO THE LEFT TOWARDS A RICE PADDY. JUST PRIOR TO TOUCHDOWN THE SKIDS OF THE AIRCRAFT BECAME ENTANGLED IN A BARBED WIRE FENCE AND SEPARATED FROM THE AIRCRAFT. THE AIRCRAFT STRUCK THE GROUND ON IT'S RIGHT SIDE APPROXIMATELY TEN METERS FROM THE WIRE FENCE AND IMMEDIATELY BURST INTO FLAMES.\\


War Story:
I was a gunner with the 25 Avn Bn from 1/70 to 8/70. Under incident date 700519 of KIA's, if you want to add the type of helicopter he was flying when it crashed, it was a Cobra. He had promised to take me for a ride in a Cobra the next time he took it out for a test flight after a PE. On this particular test flight I was busy and couldn't go so Major Crowl, our company commander went instead. The craft went down during the flight on the way back to Cu Chi base camp. It hit the cosantina wire during an autorotation and flipped and caught fire. They were pulled out but badly injured. Crowl survived but Prince died later from those injuries. Gary Schoonover B, 25th Avn Bn 25th Inf Div (Diamond Head)

This record was last updated on 10/16/1999


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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