Helicopter OH-6A 66-17905


Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A tail number 66-17905
Date: 06/02/1971
Incident number: 710602011ACD Accident case number: 710602011 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: B/1/9 CAV
The station for this helicopter was Bear Cat in
Number killed in accident = 2 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 0
costing 215021
Source(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Army Aviation Safety Center database.

Crew Members:
P WO1 LAMUSGA MICHAEL ALAN KIA
G SP4 KING DANNY RAYMOND KIA


Accident Summary:

 THE CREW OF OH-6A, ^SN 66-17905^ WAS ON A COMBAT MISSION ON THE 2ND OF JUNE, 1971. THE OH-6A AND AN AH-1G COMPOSED A PINK VISUAL RECONNAISSANCE TEAM. BECAUSE THE POL POINT AT BEARCAT (ASSIGNED STATION) WAS INOPERATIVE, THE PILOT FLEW TO LASSITER HELIPORT AT BIEN HOA, RVN, TO REFUEL. THE AH-1G PROCEEDED TO WARD FSB FURR WHERE THE TEAM HAD A CONTACT MISSION. AT 0710 HOURS, AFTER REFUELING AT LASSITER THE OH-6A BEGAN ENROUTE FLIGHT ALONG HIGHWAY QL1 TO FSB FURR. THERE WERE SCATTERED GROUND CLOUDS AND THE PILOT ELECTED TO FLY LOW-LEVEL. AT 0730 HOURS THE PILOT OF OH-6A SN: ^66-17905^ RADIOED THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER OF THE AH-1G THAT HE WAS 10 KILOMETERS WEST OF XUAN LOC. AFTER NO FURTHER CONTACT AT 1740 HOURS WITH THE OH-6A, THE A/C OF THE AH-1G INITIATED A SEARCH. OH-6A SN: ^66-17905^ STRUCK POWER LINES, AT GRID COORDINATES YT319117, 2 KILOMETERS NORTH OF HIGHWAY QL 1. THE AIRCRAFT STRUCK THE POWER LINES PERPENDICULAR TO ITS FLIGHT PATH CATCHING THE SUPPORT CABLE ABOVE THE LANDING SKIDS ON THE LANDING STRUTS UNDER THE FORWARD FUSELAGE SECTION PROBABLY FLIPPING THE AIRCRAFT. THE CABLE WAS PULLED ALONG THE FLIGHT PATH FOR APPROXIMATELY 50 METERS. THE PILOT LOST CONTROL OF THE AIRCRAFT AND CRASHED. UPON IMPACT THE AIRCRAFT WAS IN AN UPRIGHT POSITION WITH THE NOSE OFF TO THE RIGHT. UPON IMPACT THE AIRCRAFT BEGAN TO DISINTEGRATE AND CAUGHT FIRE. THE AIRCRAFT PROBABLY ROLLED TO THE LEFT, ALLOWING THE MIAN ROTOR SYSTEM TO STRIKE THE GROUND. COMPONENTS ALONG THE PATH WERE: ONE MAIN ROTOR BLADE; TAIL BOOM; SKIDS; EMPENNAGE SECTION; ENGINE; GENERATOR; MAIN TRANSMISSION AND MAIN ROTOR SYSTEM; MAIN BODY OF AIRCRAFT AND BATTERY. THE COCKPIT AND FORWARD FUSELAGE SECTION CAME TO REST APPROXIMATELY 140 FEET FROM POINT OF IMPACT WITH THE PILOT'S BODY STRAPPED IN THE SEAT. THE GUNNER'S BODY WAS 15 YARDS BEHIND THE FUSELAGE SECTION TOWARD THE POINT OF IMPACT. IT IS NOT KNOWN IF THIS WAS DUE TO THE GUNNER'S OWN EFFORTS OR TO THE FAILURE OF THE SAFETY BELTS. THE SEAT BELTS WERE BURNED. FIRE RESULTED FROM IMPACT. THE GRASS ALONG THE WRECKAGE PATH WAS BURNED BY ESCAPING FUEL. THE ENGINE AND FORWARD FUSELAGE SECTION BURNED, DESTROYING POSSIBLE ANALYSIS. BOTH HELMETS OF THE CREW WERE OFF THE BODIES WHEN FOUND. THE HELMETS WERE BURNED DOWN TO ASHES. THE GUNNERS HELMET WAS APPROXIMATELY 100 FEET FROM HIS BODY, THE PILOT'S HELMET WAS NEXT TO HIS BODY. THE HEAD INJURIES SUSTAINED BY THE PILOT INDICATES THE HELMET MAY HAVE COME OFF PRIOR TO THE FINAL IMPACT.\\


War Story:
Although I didn't know Danny King very well I remember him and the incident that killed him, as if it happened yesterday. I had arrived in B troop in April after serving a year in A troop. On this morning of 2 June 71, WO1 Lamusga and King were the low bird crew assigned to me. We flew what was called a pink team, which is the low bird(OH-6A) and the high bird(AH-1G Cobra) in which I was the aircraft commander. The night before the crash I had given Mike a hair cut. I wasn't much good at it. The following morning we met on the flight line(the firebase was called Bearcat). As was the usual case, we would take off as a team and fly to a forward base called Mase. On this day Mike was having some sort of problem with his helicopter, and told me it was going to take about 30 minutes to fix. I advised him that I would take off and meet him at Mase. I arrived at Mase and after an hour, without Mike showing up, I called Bearcat and asked how much longer my low bird would be. I was told that he had departed over 30 minutes prior to my call. I advised my base that I was going to take off and look for them. After departing Mase and climbing to 1000 feet, I observed smoke coming from a field, about half way between Mase and Bearcat. I advised my base of the smoke and the approximate. location and requested a Huey helicopter to assist. When I arrived at the smoke, it was obvious that it was a small helicopter and that it had struck the only wire that remained between two high tension towers. All the other wires had been blown off long ago. The helicopter had struck the wire and then crashed into some very sparse green plants of some kind. The helicopter skidded approximately 200 feet leaving a burning trail behind it, then came to rest and continued to burn. When the Huey arrived, they confirmed that the helicopter was that of Mike and Danny. Mike had remained strapped in the wreckage and Danny had been thrown out, shortly after the Helicopter had first made contact with the ground. That's about it, it was a very sad day for all of us and I always wondered if I had waited for them, would this have ever happened. I know Mike believed that there were no wires left, as I did also. I remember taking some film of the crash site. I don't remember if they were still pictures or super8 movies, but I believe it was movies. About the only thing I really remember about Danny, is that I never saw him without his dark glasses on. Keep in mind that officers and enlisted did not sleep or eat in the same area and pretty much stayed apart except for flying. Jerry Boyle, Banzai24@aol.com , February 1999.

This record was last updated on 02/12/1999


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