Helicopter UH-1H 67-17587


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 67-17587
The Army purchased this helicopter 0668
Total flight hours at this point: 00001475
Date: 08/17/1970
Incident number: 700817221ACD Accident case number: 700817221 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 119 AHC
The station for this helicopter was An Khe in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 6 . . Injured = 1 . . Passengers = 3
costing 545945
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:
AC WO1 WENTZEL MERLYN LEE KIA
P WO1 OBRIEN PATRICK RORY KIA
CE SP4 JOHNSTON RICHARD KEITH KIA
G SP4 STANSBURY RAYMOND L II KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
SP4 DEMALINE PAUL ALLEN, AR, PX, KIA
PFC ATER ROBERT ALLAN, AR, PX, KIA
E4 CA PUDLO, PAX, D


Accident Summary:

 AT APPROXIMATELY 1530 HOURS, 17 AUGUST 1970, A SINGLE UH-1H HELICOPTER, SERIAL NUMBER ^67-17587^, OF THE ^119TH AVIATION COMPANY^, DEPARTED FROM LANDING ZONE POWDER AT COORDINATES BS 635178. THE THREE PASSENGERS, SP4 DEMALINE; SP4 ATER; AND SP4 PUDLO, WERE BEING FLOWN TO LANDING ZONE NORTH ENGLISH AT COORDINATES ^BS 881058^, WHICH IS APPROXIMATELY 25KILOMETERS TO THE SOUTHEAST OF LANDING ZONE POWDER. ^SP4 CHESTER A. PUDLO^, WAS BEING FLOWN TO LANDING ZONE NORTH ENGLISH FOR DEROS PROCESSING. THE AIRCRAFT, RATHER THAN GOING TO LANDING ZONE NORTH ENGLISH, DEVIATED FROM ITS COURSE AND FLEW TOWARD THE COAST WHERE IT CRASHED.\\ BOE, A PLT. SGT. WITH THE ^278TH R.F^ AN INTERPRETER, ^LE TAI, KIT CARSON^ FOR THE ^2ND BN 503RD INF.^, ^173RD AIRBORNE BDE.^, WAS USED TO OBTAIN MORE COMPLETE INFORMATION FROM ^SGT. PHAN BOE^. ACCORDING TO ^SGT. PHAN BOE^, THE AIRCRAFT APPROACHED THE BEACH FROM THE SOUTHWEST ON A HEADING OF APPROXIMATELY 040 DEGREES. THE AIRCRAFT WAS VERY LOW LEVEL OVER THE RIVER, BELOW THE CREST OF THE SANDBARS ON EITHER SIDE. THE AIRCRAFT MADE AN ABRUPT, CLIMBING TURN TO THE RIGHT, TO AVOID HITTING A BAMBOO FISHING TOWER NEAR THE EAST BANK OF THE RIVER. . AT THIS TIME THE TAILBOOM OF THE AIRCRAFT STRUCK THE TOP OF THE SANDBAR, THE AIRCRAFT BEGAN TO SPIN OUT OF CONTROL. FURTHER INVESTIGATION REVEALED WHEN THE TAILBOOM STRUCK THE SANDBAR, ONE OF THE TAIL ROTOR BLADES WAS TORN LOOSE CAUSING THE AIRCRAFT TO SPIN UNCONTROLLABLY. IT WAS IN THIS SPIN THAT ^SP4 CHESTER A. PUDLO^, THE ONLY SURVIVOR, WAS THROWN FROM THE AIRCRAFT. AFTER IMPACTING LEFT NOSE LOW, THE TAILBOOM, COMPLETE WITH 90 DEGREE GEARBOX AND ONE (1) TAIL ROTOR BLADE, WAS TORN FROM THE AIRCRAFT AND CAME TO REST, UP-SIDE DOWN, APPROXIMATELY TEN (10) METERS TO THE WEST OF THE FUSELAGE. THE MAIN ROTOR ASSEMBLY CAME TO REST ON THE WEST SIDE OF THE SANDBAR AT THE EDGE OF THE RIVER, APPROXIMATELY ONE HUNDRED (100) METERS FROM THE FUSELAGE. NO FIRE RESULTED FROM THE CRASH. AS FAR AS THIS INVESTIGATION HAS DETERMINED, AIRCRAFT ^67-17587^ WAS NOT IN RADIO CONTACT IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE CRASH, NOR WAS THERE A DISTRESS CALL. THE BODIES WERE TAKEN TO LANDING ZONE ENGLISH AND LATER TO QUI NHON, WHERE AN AUTOPSY WAS PERFORMED. THE RESULTS WILL BE FORWARDED WHEN THEY BECOME AVAILABLE. ^SP4 CHESTER A. PUDLO^ WAS EXAMINED AND TREATED IN THE ^67TH EVACUATION HOSPITAL^ IN QUI NHON, RVN, THEN REMOVED TO JAPAN ON 19 AUGUST 1970. AT 1730 HOURS, 17 AUGUST 1970, ^1LT RICHARD F. STEWART^, THE APPOINTED INVESTIGATING OFFICER, ARRIVED AT THE SCENE OF THE ACCIDENT. HE INSURED THE SECURITY OF THE AIRCRAFT AND HAD A MILITARY PHOTOGRAPHER TAKE PICTURES OF THE CRASH SITE. FUEL AND OIL SAMPLES WERE NOT TAKEN AT THIS TIME BECAUSE SAMPLE BOTTLERS WERE NOT AVAILABLE. RIGGING OF THE AIRCRAFT FOR EXTRACTION WAS POSTPONED UNTIL THE NEXT AFTERNOON, DUE TO IMPENDING DARKNESS AND INCLEMENT WEATHER. SECURITY WAS PROVIDED BY ELEMENTS OF THE ^137RD AIRBORNE BDE^. UNTIL THE AIRCRAFT WAS REMOVED THE FOLLOWING AFTERNOON, 18 AUGUST 1970.\\

This record was last updated on 06/15/2005


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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