Helicopter UH-1H 69-15273


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 69-15273
The Army purchased this helicopter 0470
Total flight hours at this point: 00000366
Date: 02/20/1971
Incident number: 710220101ACD Accident case number: 710220101 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 498 MED
The station for this helicopter was An Son in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 4 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 2
costing 455945
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 RAUEN JOHN VERNON KIA
AC WO1 SOUTHER JOHN MARTIN KIA
CE SP4 GILLILAND DENNIS ELBERT KIA
MD SP4 LEVULIS JOHN JOSEPH KIA


Accident Summary:

 AT APPROXIMATELY 2150 HOURS, 20 FEBRUARY 1971, ^WO1 RAUEN^ (DUST OFF 30) AND HIS CREW WERE NOTIFIED OF AN EXTENDED MISSION IN SUPPORT OF ARMED OPERATIONS WEST OF KHE SANH AIRFIELD. AT THIS TIME ^WO1 RAUEN^ ELECTED TO REFUEL HIS AIRCRAFT, AND THE TOWER CLEARED HIM TO REPOSITION FROM B-MED TO POL. THE AIRCRAFT WAS FLOWN TO POL AND REFUELED WITHOUT INCIDENT. KHE SANH TOWER WAS AGAIN CONTACTED, AND DUST OFF 30 WAS CLEARED FROM POL BACK TO B-MED. DUST OFF 30 DEPARTED TO THE NORTH, AND AFTER OBTAINING A HEIGHT OF 60-80 FEET, THE AIRCRAFT WAS TURNED TO A SOUTHWESTERLY HEADING. UPON REACHING THE APPROACH END OF RW 09 THE AIRCRAFT WAS SEEN TO ENTER A FOG BANK WHICH PARTIALLY OBSCURED THE RUNNING LIGHTS AND ROTATING BEACON. WITNESSES STATED GROUND FOG HAD BEEN MOVING IN AND OUT OF THE AREA CAUSING THE HORIZONTAL VISIBILITY TO VARY FROM ZERO-ZERO TO UNLIMITED. SHORTLY AFTER THE AIRCRAFT ENTERED THE FOG, A HARD TURN LEFT WAS OBSERVED BY WITNESSES STANDING ON THE APPROACH END OF RW 09. WITNESSES FURTHER STATED THEY SAW THE AIRCRAFT LOSING ALTITUDE DURING THE STEEP TURN. NO POWER LOSS OR MALFUNCTION OF THE ENGINE WAS NOTED. AS THE AIRCRAFT NEARED THE GROUND, THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER APPARENTLY REALIZED WHAT WAS HAPPENING AND FLARED THE AIRCRAFT IN AN ATTEMPT TO DECREASE HIS RATE OF DESCENT. THE AIRCRAFT IMPACTED THE GROUND (AFT LEFT SKID), DESCENDING AT A RATE OF 650 FEET PER MINUTE, (BOTH PILOT AND CO-PILOT VSI). THE AIRCRAFT CONTINUED FORWARD, FLYING APPROXIMATELY 45 FEET THEN MADE GROUND CONTACT A SECOND TIME WHERE THE RIGHT SKID MADE A FURROUGH IN THE GROUND EIGHT (8) FEET THREE (3) INCHES LONG, TWO (2) FEET EIGHT (8) INCHES WIDE, AND EIGHT (8) INCHES DEEP. AS THE RIGHT SKID COLLAPSED, THE MAIN ROTOR BLADE MADE CONTACT WITH TWO FIFTY-FIVE (55) GALLON DRUMS. THE AIRCRAFT CONTINUED FORWARD IN APPROXIMATELY A THRITY (30) DEGREE RIGHT BANK CONDITION, AND A NOMEX SLEEVE WAS TORN OFF ONE OF THE CREW MEMBERS BY A JAGGED EDGE FROM ONE OF THE TWO FIFTY-FIVE (55) GALLON DRUMS. ALSO AT THIS POINT THE HEAD SEPARATED FROM THE MAST, AND AS THE AIRCRAFT BEGAN TO ROLL THE TAILBOOM SEPARATED FROM THE MAIN FUSELAGE. THE FUSELAGE ROLLED ANOTHER 250 FEET LEAVING PUDDLES OF BURNING JP-4, AND CAME TO REST IN THE UPRIGHT POSITION FACING NORTH. THE TAILBOOM ALSO CONTINUED FORWARD COMING TO REST NINETY (90) FEET NW OF THE FUSELAGE. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER (LEFT SEAT) WAS COMPLETELY ENGULFED IN FLAMES, AND THEREFORE WAS NOT REMOVED UNTIL THE FIRE WAS AT LEAST PARTIALLY EXTINGUISHED. THE PILOT WAS EXTRACTED FROM THE MAIN FUSELAGE WITH THE USE OF A FRONT LOADER. HE DIED 26 FEBRUARY 1971 FROM 3RD DEGREE BURNS OF THE HEAD AND SHOULDERS. THE CREWCHIEF WAS THROWN CLEAR OF THE MAIN FUSELAGE AND LANDED NEAR THE TAILBOOM, HOWEVER, HE DIED ENROUTE FROM KHE SANH TO QUANG TRI FROM 3RD DEGREEN BURNS OVER NINETY (90) PERCENT OF HIS BODY. THE MEDIC WAS EXTRACTED FROM THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE CARGO COMPARTMENT CRITICALLY BURNED, AND DIED 21 FEBRUARY 1971.\\ 

This record was last updated on 05/25/1998


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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