Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 69-15138
The Army purchased this helicopter 0270
Total flight hours at this point: 00000201
Incident number: 700707071ACD Accident case number: 700707071 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 11 GS 1 CAV
The station for this helicopter was Phouc Vinh in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 7 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 3
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
AC 1LT MICHEL WILLIAM FREDERICK KIA
P MGN CASEY GEORGE WILLIAM KIA
CE SGT FULLER RONALD FRANCIS KIA
G SGT CHRISTENSON WILLIAM LEE KIA
Passengers and/or other participants:
MAJ HOTTELL JOHN A III, AR, PX, KIA
SGT SMOLIK VERNON KENNETH JR, AR, PX, KIA
SGM COOPER KENNETH WILLIAM, AR, PX, KIA
THE CREW OF UH-1H, SN: ^69-15138^ WAS PERFORMING AN ADMINISTRATIVE FLIGHT TO CAM RANH BAY, RVN. A FLIGHT OF 2 AIRCRAFT, SN: ^69-15138^ AND SN: ^6816502^ DEPARTED PHUOC VINH AT APPROXIMATELY 0900 HOURS ON A HEADING OF 060. AIRCRAFT ^138^ CONTACTED PHUOC VINH GCA AND REQUESTED THAT THEIR ASCENT BE MONITORED. AT APPROXIMATELY THE SAME TIME AIRCRAFT ^502^ CONTACTED CAPITOL CENTER AND FILED A FLIGHT PLAN AS A FLIGHT OF TWO (2) AIRCRAFT, ^502^ AND ^138^, ESTIMATING CAM RANH BAY AT 1100 VIA BAO LOC, WITH AN ESTIMATE OF BAO LOC AT 0945. AT 0910 HOURS AIRCRAFT ^138^ CONTACTED SONG BE GCA REQUESTING A RADAR VECTOR TO BAO LOC. AIRCRAFT ^138^ USED ITS TRANSPONDER, MODE 3, CODE 0700 AND CONTACT WAS MADE 20 MILES SOUTH OF SONG BE. THE AIRCRAFT'S HEADING WAS 030 AT 4500 FEET AT THE TIME RADAR CONTACT WAS MADE. A RIGHT TURN TO A HEADING OF 050 WAS GIVEN. APPROXIMATELY 12 MILES SOUTHEAST OF SONG BE AIRCRAFT ^138^ ADVISED SONG BE GCA THAT HE WAS TURNING TO A HEADING OF 030 TO AVOID CLOUDS. THE TURN WAS APPROVED BY SONG BE GCA. AFTER 2 MILES ^138^ TURNED BACK TO A HEADING OF 050. SONG BE GCA TERMINATED RADAR SERVICE AT APPROXIMATELY 18 MILES EAST SOUTHEAST OF SONG BE ^(COORDINATES YT 4493)^ AND GAVE INSTRUCTIONS TO CONTACT BAO LOC TOWER ON 278.1 TO FIND OUT IF BAO LOC HAD GCA FACILITIES. AIRCRAFT ^138^ ACKNOWLEDGED THE TRANSMISSION AT 0917 HOURS. THE FLIGHT OF 2 PROCEEDED AND AT APPROXIMATELY 0930 HOURS CAPITOL CENTER RECEIVED A POSITION REPORT FROM AIRCRAFT ^502^ (A FLIGHT OF 2 WITH ^138^) AS BEING 25 MILES SOUTH (OR SOUTHWEST) OF DALAT AT 0930 HOURS. THE REPORT WAS RELAYED THROUGH AN AIRCRAFT WHOSE CALL SIGN IS UNKNOWN. THE POSITION REPORT WAS ACKNOWLEDGED AND AIRCRAFT ^502^ LOST COMMUNICATIONS WITH THE RELAY AIRCRAFT. IT WAS AT THIS TIME AIRCRAFT ^138^ BEGAN A LEFT DESCENDING TURN THROUGH A HOLE IN THE CLOUDS FROM AN ALTITUDE OF APPROXIMATELY 6500 FEET. AIRCRAFT ^502^ FOLLOWED AIRCRAFT ^138^ DOWN THROUGH THE HOLE. AIRCRAFT ^502^ SAW THE GROUND AT ABOUT 3500 FEET AND BOTH AIRCRAFT WERE STILL DESCENDING. THE DESCENT WAS MADE INTO A VALLEY WITH STEEP RIDGE LINES AND A RIVER AT THE BOTTOM. BOTH AIRCRAFT PROCEEDED UP THE V&335 # RAFT ^502^ WAS FOLLOWING ^138^. AIRCRAFT ^502^ LOST VISUAL CONTACT, REGAINED VISUAL CONTACT AND LOST CONTACT AGAIN. BOTH AIRCRAFT WENT IFR AND ENTERED CLOUDS. AIRCRAFT ^138^ RADIOED TO ^502^ THAT HE WAS IFR AND DOING A 180 TURN AND RECOMMENDED THAT ^502^ DO THE SAME. THIS WAS THE LAST KNOWN CONTACT MADE WITH AIRCRAFT ^138^. AIRCRAFT ^502^ BEGAN CLIMBING IN ORDER TO GET VFR ON TOP. ^502^ BROKE OUT AT 7000 FEET AND TUNED IN THE DALAT NDB (385DL). AIRCRAFT ^502^ PROCEEDED ON A HEADING OF 090 FOR APPROXIMATELY 15 TO 20 MINUTES TO DALAT. THE AIRCRAFT WRECKAGE WAS FOUND ON A HILLSIDE ON A HEADING OF 110. THE AIRCRAFT WAS COMPLETELY DESTROYED. THE COMPONENT PARTS OF THE AIRCRAFT WERE LOCATED ALONG AXES OF THE 110 HEADING. THE TAIL BOOM WAS SEVERED WITH THE LEFT SYNCHRONIZED ELEVATOR STILL ATTACHED TO THE TAIL BOOM. THE RIGHT SYNCHRONIZED ELEVATOR WAS FOUND 2 FEET TO THE SOUTH OF THE TAIL BOOM. THE 90 GEAR BOX WAS FOUND APPROXIMATELY 22 FEET NORTHWEST OF THE CENTER OF IMPACT. THE ATTACHING EARS ON THE OIL COOLER WERE BROKEN OFF ON IMPACT, AND THE OIL COOLER HAD BEEN MELTED BY FIRE. APPARENTLY IT WAS BROKEN OFF ON IMPACT, BURNED, AND WAS THROWN 30 FEET BY AN EXPLOSION CAUSED BY THE FIRE. THE MAIN ROTOR SYSTEM AND TRANSMISSION SEPARATED FROM THE AIRCRAFT ROTATING FORWARD ON IMPACT WITH THE GROUND. THE TRANSMISSION AND MAST WERE FOUND 1 FOOT TO THE SOUTHEAST OF CENTER OF IMPACT. THE LANDING SKIDS WERE IMBEDED IN THE GROUND 6 FEET ON EACH SIDE OF THE CENTER OF IMPACT. THE ENGINE WAS LOCATED 5 FEET WEST OF THE CENTER OF IMPACT. THE CREW COMPARTMENT WAS DEMOLISHED ON IMPACT AND DESTROYED IN THE ENSUING FIRE. THE CRASH CREATED A CRATER 4 FEET DEEP, 20 FEET LONG, AND 10 FEET WIDE.\\
CPT Hottel wrote his own obituary prior to his death in Casey’s Huey:
"I am writing my own obituary for several reasons, and I hope none of them are too trite. First, I would like to spare my friends, who may happen to read this, the usual clichés about being a good soldier. They were all kind enough to me, and I not enough to them. Second, I would not want to be a party to perpetuation of an image that is harmful and inaccurate: "glory" is the most meaningless of concepts, and I feel that in some cases it is doubly damaging. And third, I am quite simply the last authority on my own death.
I loved the Army: it reared me, it nurtured me, and it gave me the most satisfying years of my life. Thanks to it I have lived an entire lifetime in 26 years. It is only fitting that I should die in its service. We all have but one death to spend, and insofar as it can have any meaning, it finds it in the service of comrades in arms.
And yet, I deny that I died FOR anything - not my country, not my Army, not my fellow man, none of these things. I LIVED for these things, and the manner in which I chose to do it involved the very real chance that I would die in the execution of my duties. I knew this, and accepted it, but my love for West Point and the Army was great enough -- and the promise that I would someday be able to serve all the ideals that meant anything to me through it was great enough - for me to accept this possibility as a part of a price which must be paid for all things of great value. If there is nothing worth dying for - in this sense - there is nothing worth living for.
The Army let me live in Japan, Germany and England with experiences in all of these places that others only dream about. I have skied the Alps, killed a scorpion in my tent [while] camping in Turkey, climbed Mount Fuji, visited the ruins of Athens, Ephesus and Rome, seen the town of Gordium where another Alexander challenged his destiny, gone to the opera in Munich, plays in the West End of London, seen the Oxford-Cambridge rugby match, gone for pub crawls through the Cotswolds, seen the night-life in Hamburg, danced to the Rolling Stones and earned a master's degree in a foreign university.
I have known what it is like to be married to a fine and wonderful woman and to love her beyond bearing with the sure knowledge that she loves me; I have commanded a company and been a father priest, income-tax adviser, confessor, and judge for 200 men at one time; I have played college football and rugby, won the British national diving championship two years in a row, boxed for Oxford against Cambridge only to be knocked out in the first round, and played handball to distraction - and all of these sports I loved, I learned at West Point. They gave me hours of intense happiness.
I have been an exchange student at the German Military Academy, and gone to the German Jumpmaster school. I have made thirty parachute jumps from everything from a balloon in England to a jet at Fort Bragg. I have written an article that was published in Army magazine, and I have studied philosophy.
I have experienced all these things because I was in the Army and because I was an Army brat. The Army is my life, it is such a part of what I was that what happened is the logical outcome of the life I loved. I never knew what it is to fail, I never knew what it is to be too old or too tired to do anything. I lived a full life in the Army, and it has exacted the price. It is only just."
Also the late Lou Rochat, who was buried at Arlington National Cemetary in August 2010 was used as an A/1-9 Cav Loach driver to find the crash site. Retired LTG Paul Funk was the troop commander at the time.
This record was last updated on 09/20/2010
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Date posted on this site: 11/13/2023
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