Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-16599
The Army purchased this helicopter 1269
Total flight hours at this point: 00000592
Incident number: 70051011.KIA
Unit: C/7/1 CAV
UTM grid coordinates: WT309435
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Also: OPERA (Operations Report. )
Loss to Inventory
CE SP4 TURNBULL GARY ALLEN KIA
G SP4 MERSCHMAN JOHN WILLIAM KIA
AC MAJ SMITH ALLAN LESLIE KIA
P CPT MOLINO EDDIE JR KIA
All four of these crew members were killed on 70/05/10 in the C&C Huey due to a thrown main rotor blade. This Huey was one assigned to HQ Section, C/7/1. SP4 Turnbull and SP4 Merschman were assigned to my Section, HQ Section. I watched from the front seat of a cobra approximately 0.5 mi away as this aircraft fell out of the sky at approximately 1330 hours, 10 May 70. Crew members from the Lift Platoon, were on the ground and watched the aircraft throw a blade. The Squadron Commander had already designated me as his new Assistant S-3 so I moved to the HQ&HQ Troop a week or two later. Within five or six weeks, I heard that another huey in the Delta had thrown a blade and crashed. After another month or 6 weeks, a message came down to me at the Squadron, grounding all aircraft with a particular lot number blade until those blades were replaced. Apparently, over the course of about 16 to 18 months, 6 aircraft had thrown a blade and crashed. Each of these aircraft had at least one of the same lot number blade. The hole in the end of the blade for the balancing weight bolt for this particular lot number blade had been over drilled by 1/16". Apparently, the balancing bolt would back out with time and the unbalance would throw the head into mass bumping. James H. Evans (CPT) C/7/1 and HHT/7/1 Air Cav 70-71 (COL) ret.
This record was last updated on 09/04/1998
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Date posted on this site: 05/26/2019
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