Helicopter OH-58A 69-16098


Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-58A tail number 69-16098
The Army purchased this helicopter 0570
Total flight hours at this point: 00000001
Date: 07/04/1970
Incident number: 700704121ACD Accident case number: 700704121 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 52 CAB
The station for this helicopter was Pleiku in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 1 . . Injured = 1 . . Passengers = 1
costing 160102
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 CW2 WINGENFELD ROBERT JOHN KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
E5 WD SIMPSON, PAX, D


Accident Summary:

 ON 3 JULY 1970 AT 1800 HOURS ^CW2 WINGENFELD^ AND ^SP5 SIMPSON^ DEPARTED PLEIKU AFB FOR TON SON NHUT AFB TO PICK UP A NEW OH-58 THAT HAD BEEN ASSIGNED TO ^HHC 52D AVN BN (CBT.^ THEY ARRIVED AT TON SON NHUT AT 2100 HR. LOCAL. UPON ARRIVAL THEY HAD A CHEESEBURGER AND DEPARTED THE BASE FOR A NEARBY HOTEL. ONCE AT THE HOTEL THEY ARRANGED FOR ROOMS AND DRANK FOUR BEERS EACH BEFORE GOING TO BED AT 2400 HRS.\\ SIMPSON^ LEFT THEIR HOTEL FOR TON SON NHUT AFB. UPON ARRIVAL, THEY WENT IMMEDIATELY TO THE HELIPORT AND SIGNED FOR THE NEW AIRCRAFT. AFTER SIGNING FOR THE AIRCRAFT, THEY CHECKED THE SHIP OVER AND THEN WENT TO THE BASE EXCHANGE AT 1000 HRS LOCAL. AT THE EXCHANGE THEY HAD ANOTHER CHEESEBURGER AND AT 1100 LEFT FOR THE AIRCRAFT.\\ ^MR. WINGENFELD^ STARTED THE AIRCRAFT AND A MAINTENANCE OPERATIONS CHECK WAS PERFORMED. AT 1130 HRS. LOCAL THEY DEPARTED THE HELIPORT, FLEW AROUND THE TRAFFIC PATTERN ONCE, AND THEN HEADED FOR NHA TRANG. APPROXIMATELY 20 MINUTES OUT OF TON SON NHUT THEY STOPPED FOR FUEL. PRIOR TO DEPARTING TON SON NHUT, ^MR. WINGENFELD^ DID NOT CHECK THE WEATHER NOR DID HE FILE A FLIGHT PLAN.\\ TRANG, ^MR. WINGENFELD AND SP5 SIMPSON^ WENT TO THE ^17TH AVN GP (DBT) HEADQUARTERS) TO SEE ^SFC LEWIS,^ GROUP MAINTENANCE, AND THEN TO THE PX AND THE PX SNACK BAR. THE SNACK BAR WAS CLOSED. THEY THEN RETURNED TO ^17TH AVN GP HEADQUARTERS^ AND FROM THERE THEY WENT STRAIGHT TO THE AIRCRAFT.\\ 1430 HRS. ^CPT BASS, HHT 7/17 CAV.^ RODE WITH ^MR. WINGENFELD AND SP5 SIMPSON^ TO THEIR AIRCRAFT. ^CPT BASS^ AIRCRAFT WAS PARKED DIRECTLY BEHIND THE OH-58. ^MR. WINGENFELD^ STARTED HIS AIRCRAFT BUT HAD TO DELAY TAKE OFF BECAUSE OF SEVERE RAIN SHOWERS. AFTER THE RAIN HAD SUBSIDED, ^MR. WINGENFELD AND CPT BASS^ RECEIVED CLEARANCE TO TAKE OFF. ^MR. WINGENFELD^ THEN MOVED TO POSITION HIS AIRCRAFT FOR DEPARTURE FROM RUNWAY 05. TAKE OFF TIME WAS AT 1440 HRS. AFTER TAKE OFF, ^MR. WINGENFELD^ CONTINUED ON A GENERAL NORTH TO NORTH WEST HEADING AND WAS LAST SEEN BY ^CPT BASS^. ^MR. WINGENFELD^ WAS FLYING PARALLEL TO HIGHWAY 1 WHICH FOLLOWS THE COAST.\\ THE WEATHER PRIOR TO TAKE OFF AND DURING THE FLIGHT WAS A CEILING OF 2,500', VISIBILITY OF 10 MILES, WITH A REPORTED CUMULUS BUILDUP TO THE N-E-SW OF NHA TRANG. AT 1515 LOCAL THE WEATHER WAS REPORTED AS A CEILING OF 4,000', VISIBILITY OF 10 MILES WITH DISTANT RAINSHOWERS TO THE N AND NE.\\ AFTER HIS DEPARTURE FROM NHA TRANG ^MR. WINGENFELD^ PARALLED HIGHWAY 1 UP THE COAST. SHORTLY AFTER PASSING OVER THE VILLAGE OF THON PHU XUONG, HE WENT THROUGH THE HON KHO PASS. AT THIS POINT HE WENT INADVERTENT IFR. ^MR. WINGENFELD^ FLEW ON FOR APPROXIMATELY TWO TO THREE MINUTES, MADE A LEFT HAND TURN, INCREASED AIRSPEED, AND MADE A RAPID NOSE LOW DESCENT. ^MR. WINGENFELD^ BROKE OUT OF THE CLOUDS AT APPROXIMATELY 25 TO 50 FEET ABOVE THE WATER IN AN APPROXIMATELY 30 NOSE LOW ATTITUDE, WITH OVER 80 KNOTS IAS. IN THIS ATTITUDE THE AIRCRAFT ENTERED THE WATER.\\ SIMPSON AND MR. WINGENFELD^ SURFACED. THE BACK SEAT CUSHION ALSO FLOATED TO THE SURFACE. ^MR. WINGENFELD^ WAS BLEEDING BADLY FROM CUTS ON HIS FACE. ^MR. WINGENFELD TOLD SP5 SIMPSON^ THAT HE COULD NOT SWIM. ^SP5 SIMPSON^ GAVE ^MR. WINGENFELD^ THE BACK SEAT CUSHION AND HELPED HIM STAY AFLOAT. FOR APPROXIMATELY ONE HALF HOUR ^SP5 SIMPSON^ TRIED TO KEEP AFLOAT, BUT HE COULD NOT CALM ^MR. WINGENFELD.^ AT THIS POINT ^SP5 SIMSPON^ REMOVED HIS BOOTS SO THAT HE COULD MORE EASILY HELP ^MR. WINGENFELD.^ WHEN ^SP5 SIMPSON^ SURFACED FROM REMOVING HIS BOOTS, ^MR. WINGENFELD^ WAS NOT VISIBLE. HE CALLED FOR ^MR. WINGENFELD BUT RECEIVED NO ANSWERE.\\ ^SP5 SIMPSON^ THEN BEGAN SWIMMING FOR SHORE. THE SEA WAS ROUGH AND HEAVING WITH AN OUTGOING TIDE. WIND WAS FROM THE NW AND IT WAS RAINING. AFTER APPROXIMATELY 1 1/2 HOURS OF SWIMMING ^SP5 SIMPSON^ REACHED SHORE.\\ CONTACTED BY A VIETNAMESE WOMAN WHO GAVE HIM DIRECTIONS TO NHA TRANG. SOMETIME LATER HE WAS PICKED UP BY A VIETNAMESE FISHING BOAT AND TAKEN TO A VIETNAMESE PATROL BOAT. THERE WAS NOT AN U.S. ADVISOR ON BOARD, BUT THE VIETNAMESE UNDERSTOOD THAT HE WAS HURT AND THAT HE WAS AN AMERICAN AVIATOR. SINCE THEY WERE THE ONLY PATROL BOAT ON DUTY IN THE AREA, THEY COULD NOT TAKE ^SP5 SIMPSON^ TO THE HOSPITAL. THE VIETNAMESE ON THE PATROL BOAT CALLED THEIR HIGHER HEADQUARTERS AND ANOTHER BOAT WAS DISPATCHED AND TOOK ^SP5 SIMPSON^ TO THE ^8TH FIELD HOSPITAL^ AT NHA TRANG AFB.\\

This record was last updated on 09/20/1998


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