Helicopter UH-1H 68-16528


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-16528
The Army purchased this helicopter 1269
Total flight hours at this point: 00000411
Date: 05/31/1970
Incident number: 700531071ACD Accident case number: 700531071 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 120 CAC
The station for this helicopter was Long Binh in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 9 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 5
costing 680945
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 GRIFFIN JAMES DONALD KIA
AC WO1 BURRIS JOHN CHARLES KIA
CE SP5 RICHARDSON BRUCE KIA
G E2 O BRIEN ROBERT PHILLIP KIA
G PVT OBRIEN ROBERT PHILLIP KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
LTC SHEA HAROLD JOSEPH, AF, PX, KIA
MAJ ASBURY BENTON FRANCIS, AF, PX, KIA
SSG WOLF DURWYN LEE, AF, PX, KIA
CPT HULTS GARY DEAN, AF, PX, KIA
LTC BONNER JOHN SIDNEY JR, AF, PX, KIA


Accident Summary:

 THE CREW WAS ASSIGNED AN AUTHORIZED SERVICE MISSION BEGINNING AT 0725 HOURS ON 31 MAY 1970 FOR THE PURPOSE OF TRANSPORTING AN AIRFIELD INSPECTION TEAM TO BU PRANG, O'RANG, BU DOP, LOC NINH AND TO RETURN TO SAIGON HELIPORT. (SEE TAB K). AT 0725 HOURS, 31 MAY 1970, DEAN 528 (UNIT IDENTIFICATION) TOOK OFF AND OPENED HIS FLIGHT PLAN WITH CAPITOL CENTER, DEPARTING LONG BINH FOR SAIGON. AT 0730 HOURS THEY CALLED "TALLY HO" SAIGON AND LATER DEPARTED AT 0745 HOURS ENROUTE TO VUNG TAU. AT 0800 HOURS, THEY CALLED "TALLY HO" VUNG TAU, (SEE TAB D STATEMENT 9). AT 0810 HOURS DEAN 528 CALLED OFF VUNG TAU, VIA XUAN LOC FOR LONG BINH AND CALLED "TALLY HO" AT 0845 HOURS. AT 0905 HOURS, DEAN 528 CALLED OFF LONG BINH FOR SAIGON BUT CHANGED HIS DESTINATION FROM SAIGON TO O'RANG, COORDINATES YU3463. DEAN 528 REQUESTED FREQUENCY CHANGE TO PARIS CONTROL AND RETURNED SEVERAL MINUTES LATER TO CONTINUE FLIGHT FOLLOWING WITH CAPITOL CENTER. (SEE TAB D STATEMENTS 10 & 11). ABEAM DONG XOAI THEY WERE HANDED OFF BY CAPITOL CENTER TO SONG BE RADIO FOR FLIGHT FOLLOWING. THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE THAT DEAN 528 CONTACTED SONG BE RADIO UNTIL AFTER LANDING AND DEPARTING BU DOP. AFTER DEPARTING BU DOP, DEAN 528 REQUESTED FLIGHT FOLLOWING SERVICE WITH SONG BE RADIO ENROUTE TO LOC NINH. AT THE ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL (1520 HOURS) DEAN 528 CALLED "TALLY HO" LOC NINH. (SEE TAB D STATEMENT 12). THIS WAS THE LAST KNOWN RADIO TRANSMISSION FROM DEAN 528. AT APPROXIMATELY 1625 HOURS DEAN 528 DEPARTED LOC NINH IN LIGHT RAIN,BETWEEN TWO (2) THUNDERSTORMS, ON A HEADING OF 200 DEGREES AND WAS NOT SEEN OR HEARD FROM AGAIN. (SEE TAB D STATEMENT 2). AT APPROXIMATELY 1800 HOURS 31 MAY 1970, DEAN OPERATIONS, (120TH AHC OPERATIONS) WAS NOTIFIED BY CAPITOR CENTER THAT DEAN 528 HAD NOT CONTINUED FLIGHT FOLLOWING WITH CAPITOL CENTER. AT THIS TIME A TELEPHONE AND RADIO SEARCH WAS INITIATED BY THE 120TH AVIATION COMPANY OPERATIONS OFFICER AND CONTINUED UNTIL 0130 HOURS, 1 JUNE 1970. AN AERIAL SEARCH WAS NOT INITIATED UNTIL 1000 HOURS 1 JUNE 1970 BECAUSE OF DARKNESS AND ADVERSE WEATHER CONDITIONS. AT APPROXIMATELY 1000 HOURS THE 120TH AVIATION COMPANY LAUNCHED ONE (1) UH-1H HELICOPTER AND A LIGHT FIRE TEAM TO SEARCH FOR THE MISSING AIRCRAFT IN THE VICINITY OF LOC NINH. ADDITIONAL SEARCH AIRCRAFT WERE LAUNCHED BY THE 1ST AIR CAV DIVISION WHICH CONSISTED OF TWO (2) HUNTER KILLER TEAMS OUT OF QUAN LOI. A 1ST AIR CAV OH-6A FOUND THE MISSING AIRCRAFT AT APPROXIMATELY 1330 HOURS AT COORDINATES XU713054. THE DEAN UH-1H LANDED IN THE AREA AS SOON AS THE REGIONAL AND POPULAR FORCES WERE ABLE TO SECURE THE AREA. THE DEAN CREW REMOVED THE BODIES WHILE THE MAINTENANCE OFFICER MADE A SKETCH OF THE ACCIDENT SITE. DUE TO THE ONSET OF NIGHT FALL AND DETERIORATING WEATHER CONDITIONS, THE BODIES WERE FLOWN TO QUAN LOI AND THE 120TH SEARCH PARTY RETURNED TO LONG BINH. IT WAS NOT POSSIBLE TO SECURE THE AREA DURING THE HOURS OF DARKNESS BECAUSE OF THE LOCATION OF THE WRECKAGE,KNOWN VC ACTIVITY IN THE AREA AND THE NON-AVAILABILITY OF SECURITY FORCES.\\


War Story:
This was my assigned helicopter as crew chief ....before it's last mission. The crew that flew that day were volunterred to take it. From: James Collins

This record was last updated on 09/20/1998


Additional information is available on CD-ROM.

Please send additions or corrections to: The VHPA Webmaster Gary Roush.

KIA statistics

Return to the KIA name list

Return to the KIA panel date index

Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


Copyright © 1998 - 2017 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association