Helicopter OH-58A 68-16964


Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-58A tail number 68-16964
The Army purchased this helicopter 0470
Total flight hours at this point: 00000433
Date: 12/30/1970
Incident number: 701230031ACD Accident case number: 701230031 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: B/3/17 CAV
The station for this helicopter was Di An in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 3 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 0
costing 250102
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 1LT HORINEK BRIAN ANTHONY KIA
OB SP4 DENIKE STEVE SPENCER KIA
CE PFC BRAMLETT HOWARD WAYNE JR KIA


Accident Summary:

 1LT HERINEK WAS ENROUTE TO XUAN LOC, RVN TO REFUEL UPON COMPLETION OF A VISUAL RECONNAISSANCE MISSION. HE WAS FLYING A HEADING 140 DEGREES AND AT AN APPROXIMATE ALTITUDE OF 1200 FEET DIRECTLY BEHIND HIS COBRA GUNSHIP. WHILE ENROUTE THE PILOT OF THE GUNSHIP, CW2 BELLEHUMEUR, REPORTED THAT 1LT HORINEK CALLED TO TELL HIM THAT HE WAS GOING TO CONTACT HIS HIGHERS, VIA RADIO. THAT WAS THE LAST TIME HE HAD RADIO CONTACT WITH 1LT HORINEK. SOMETIME WITHIN THE NEXT FIFTEEN MINUTES IT IS SUBJECTED BY THE BOARD THAT: THE OH-58A FLOWN BY 1LT HORINEK ENTERED A CYCLIC DIVE OF 20 TO 30 DEGREES FROM ALTITUDE TO GO LOW LEVEL. THIS WAS INDICATED PRIMARILY BY THE DISTANCE OF THE MAIN IMPACT POINT WITH THE GROUND FROM THE INITIAL WIRE STRIKE. ANGLE OF IMPACT BEING ABOUT THIRTY DEGREES. SECONDARILY THE DIVE ANGLE (DIVE HERE MEANING A NOSE LOW DESCENT) WAS DEMONSTRATED TO BE THAT OF ABOUT THIRTY DEGREES BY THE EYE WITNESSES USING A MODEL AIRCRAFT. AS THE AIRCRAFT MADE CONTACT WITH THE HIGH TENSION LINES (ABOUT 75 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND) THE SKIDS AND CROSSTUBES WERE TORN OFF. BECAUSE THE LEFT SKID AND CROSS TUBE MADE CONTACT WITH THE HIGH TENSION LINE FIRST THE HELICOPTER PROBABLY PITCHED FORWARD AND TO THE LEFT. THE OH-58A WAS COMPLETELY DESTROYED BY FIRE AND IMPACT FORCES EXCEPT FOR THE TAILBOOM AND MAIN ROTOR. WHEN THE AIRCRAFT STRUCK THE GROUND THE RED ROTOR BLADE DUG INTO THE GROUND (THREE TO FOUR FEET). THE WHITE MAIN ROTOR BLADE AND HEAD ASSEMBLY SEPERATED COMPLETELY FROM THE MAST WAS THROWN 150 FEET. TORSIONAL SHEARING OF THE MAIN ROTOR MAST INDICATES POWER WAS BEING SUPPLIED TO THE SYSTEM AT THE TIME OF IMPACT. WHEN THE AIRCRAFT MADE CONTACT WITH THE GROUND SP4 DENIKE WAS THROWN OUT. THE FUSELAGE CONTINUED TO ROLL FOR 300 FEET, CAME TO REST, AND BURNED. THE PILOT REMAINED WITH THE AIRCRAFT. THE OBSERVER WAS LYING 10 FEET FORWARD AND TO THE LEFT OF MAIN WRECKAGE.\\


War Story:
I served with Echo Recon 2/7th 1st Cav Div July70-Mar71 and B-2/5 Cav Mar-July71. On Dec 30, 1970 a Bell Ranger LOH was flying cover for my recon platoon when it crashed during the mission. I found the names of the men in your website. I've always remembered this particular day because it was so close to the holidays. I had also wished one of the pilots a Happy New Year. Which pilot, I'm not sure, maybe the one who died. We were being inserted in two groups along the Song Dong Nai. One group was to float down-river in rubber rafts to an enemy bunker complex where they were to place sensors. The other group (mine) was to secure a site down-river for their extraction. This was the last of four float trips that started in late Sept. 70. I remember the crash happened early in the mission and that it held things up until another LOH could be sent out. I think they started before the replacement bird arrived. Th! e team entering the bunker complex ran into a couple bad guys who wandered in and got away clean. My pickup team then received a coded message telling us that there were 50-60 bad guys spotted in the open about two clicks away. I had fifteen men in my position and wasn't too happy to hear that. The other team finished their work, manned the rafts and decided to use the outboard motors for the one and only time during these missions because they had been discovered. As luck would have only one motor started and they had to throw a rope and tow the other raft. I have a picture of the one being towed. They made it down-river to my position with no other problems until we prepared to fly out of there. The smoke grenades set fire to the field and the chopper pilots refused to land until all the fires were out. We finally extinguished the fires and got the hell out of there. I did make contact a while back with the family of pilot Brian Horinek who died that day. They have a page on the "Wall" dedicated to him. From: Kevin Perrier at kevperr@yahoo.com 31 December 2005.

This record was last updated on 12/31/2005


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