Helicopter UH-1H 67-17628


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 67-17628
The Army purchased this helicopter 0768
Total flight hours at this point: 00001663
Date: 04/10/1971
Incident number: 710410021ACD Accident case number: 710410021 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 68 MED DET
The station for this helicopter was Chu Lai in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: BT479167
Number killed in accident = 1 . . Injured = 3 . . Passengers = 2
costing 305145
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 PETTIT HUGH MICHAEL KIA
P W1 JB CULVEYHOUSE
CE E4 ED DRIGGERS

Passengers and/or other participants:
E3 A TURNER, M, D
O5 WR BENTLEY, LCO, G


Accident Summary:

 AT 0400 HOURS, 10 APR 71, ^WO1 PETTIT^ ^(DUSTOFF 83)^ AND HIS CREW DEPARTED CHU LAI DISTOFF HELIPAD AND FLEW TO THE ^91ST EVACUATION HOSPITAL^ IN CHU LAI WHERE THEY PICKED UP A LOAD OF PATIENTS WHICH WERE BEING TRANSFERRED TO DA NANG. THE MISSION WAS COMPLETED WITHOUT PROBLEMS, AND ^DUSTOFF 83^ RETURNED TO CHU LAI TO PICK UP ANOTHER FINAL LOAD OF PATIENTS FOR DA NANG. AFTER THEY FLEW TO DA NANG AND DROPPED OFF THE PATIENTS, THEY REFUELED, PICKED UP ONE PASSENGER, AND RETURNED TO THE 27TH SURGICAL HOSPITAL IN CHU LAI WHERE THE PASSENGER GOT OFF. AFTER DROPPING THE PASSENGER, ABOUT 0730 HOURS, ^WO1 PETTIT^ DECIDED TO MAKE A SHORT TEST FLIGHT TO CHECK ROTOR RPM DURING AUTOROTATION, WHICH HAD BEEN WRITTEN UP IN THE LOG BOOK AS HAVING A TENDENCY TO BUILD. WHEN THEY REACHED THE AREA NEAR WHERE THEY CRASHED, THEY WERE AT AN ALTITUDE OF 1500 FEET AGL, AND THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER THEN ENTERED AUTOROTATION, HEADING IN A NORTHWESTERLY DIRECTION ALONG THE BEACH. ^WO1 PETTIT^ THEN MADE A POWER RECOVERY AT A HOVER OVER THE BEACH, AND THEN TOOK OFF TO THE NORTH, CLIMBING AND TURNING TO THE LEFT, TO A SOUTHEAST HEADING ALONG THE BEACH. AT AN ALTITUDE OF 1000 TO 1500 FEET AGL, HE ENTERED A STEEP LEFT TURN OF 90 BANK AND DIVED THE AIRCRAFT TOWARD THE WATER. DURING THE MANEUVER, THE AIRSPEED REACHED 120 KNOTS IAS AND THE RATE OF DESCENT EXCEEDED 3000 FEET PER MINUTE. AS THEY NEARED THE WATER, THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER LEVELED THE AIRCRAFT AND ATTEMPTED TO RECOVER FROM THE HIGH RATE OF DESCENT. DESPITE HIS ATTEMPTS, THE AIRCRAFT STRUCK THE WATER IN AN ALMOST LEVEL ATTITUDE, APPROXIMATELY TEN (10) DEGREES NOSE LOW, AT 100 TO 110 KNOTS IAS. THE AIRCRAFT IMPACTED THE WATER APPROXIMATELY SEVEN FEET DEEP, FIFTY METERS FROM SHORE, HEADING IN AN EASTSOUTHEAST DIRECTION. THE AIRCRAFT PITCHED NOSE DOWN ON IMPACT AND THEN SETTLED INTO THE WATER IN AN UPRIFHT POSITION. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER'S LAP BELT SEPARATED AND HE, AS WELL AS HIS SEAT, WERE THROWN FROM THE AIRCRAFT AN UNDETERMINED DISTANCE. HIS BODY SEPARATED FROM THE SEAT AND LATER DRIFTED ASHORE APPROXIMATELY ONE HUNDRED FIFTY METERS TO THE SOUTH ALONG THE BEACH FROM THE MAIN WRECKAGE. THE PILOT'S LAP BELT ALSO SEPARATED, AND HE WAS THROWN IN THE SEAT, APPROXIMATELY TEN FEET FROM THE AIRCRAFT, COMING TO REST IN AN UPRIGHT POSITION, HELD IN THE SEAT BY THE SHOULDER HARNESSES. HE WAS SUBSEQUENTLY RELEASED AND AIDED SHORE BY THE CREW CHIEF AND MEDIC. THE CREW CHIEF AND MEDIC WERE ALSO THROWN FROM THE AIRCRAFT FOR AN UNKNOWN DISTANCE. THEY BOTH SWAM BACK TO THE WRECKAGE AND ASSISTED THE PILOT OUT OF HIS SEAT AND TO THE BEACH. THE PILOT RECEIVED NUMEROUS CUTS TO THE HEAD, LEGS, AND GROIN, AS WELL AS A FRACTURE OF THE RIGHT LOWER LEG. THE CREW CHIEF HAD SEVERAL TEETH KNOCKED OUT, AS WELL AS NUMEROUS CUTS AND BRUISES. THE MEDIC RECEIVED CUTS AND BRUISES, AS WELL AS A POSSIBLE BACK INJURY.\\

This record was last updated on 09/20/1998


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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