Helicopter UH-1D 66-01079


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1D tail number 66-01079
The Army purchased this helicopter 1266
Total flight hours at this point: 00003058
Date: 09/25/1971
Incident number: 710925011ACD Accident case number: 710925011 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 117 AHC
The station for this helicopter was Plantation in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: YT039128
Number killed in accident = 2 . . Injured = 2 . . Passengers = 1
costing 355145
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 W1 RS MARCHMAN
AC WO1 MILLER JOHN JEROME JR KIA
CE E4 D HARBISON
G SP4 NEVILLE STEVEN WAYNE KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
O4 WE FERNANDEZ, LCO, G


Accident Summary:

 AT APPROXIMATELY 0500 HOURS THE ^117TH AHC ESB^ (EMERGENCY STANDBY TEAM) WAS LAUNCHED AS A RESULT OF BIEN HOA AFB HAVING RECEIVED INCOMING ROUNDS. THE TEAM CONSISTED OF ONE UH-1H LIGHTSHIP AND TWO UH-1C/M ARMED HELICOPTERS. THEIR MISSION WAS TO ATTEMPT TO LOCATE THE POSITION FROM WHICH THE ENEMY HADFIRED THE ROUNDS. THE TEAM PROCEEDED TO THE SUSPECTED AREA AND THE LIGHTSHIP BEGAN A LOW-LEVEL RECONNAISSANCE OF THE AREA WHILE BEING COVERED BY THE ARMED HELICOPTERS. AT THE TIME OF EMPLOYMENT THERE WAS A THIN LAYER OF GROUND FOG IN THE IMMEDIATE AREA. TO THE NORTH, NORTHEAST AND NORTHWEST WAS A MUCH HEAVIER CONCENTRATION OF GROUND FOG WHICH WAS MOVING TOWARD THE OPERATIONAL AREA. AS THE SEARCH PROGRESSED A LAYER OF FOG ESTIMATED AT 250 FEET THICK TRAVERSED OVER THE LIGHTSHIP. AS A RESULT THE ARMED HELICOPTERS COULD NOT MAINTAIN VISUAL CONTACT WITH THE LIGHTSHIP THEREFORE THE GUN LEAD ELECTEDTO TERMINATE THE MISSION AND INFORMED THE LIGHTSHIP OF HIS DECISION. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER OF THE LIGHTSHIP ACKNOWLEDGED THE TRANSMISSION AND ANNOUNCED HIS INTENTION TO CLIMB OUT TO THE SOUTHWEST. ONE OF THE ARMED HELICOPTERS HAD SEEN AN UNIDENTIFIED AIRCRAFT TO THE SOUTHWEST HEADING TOWARD THE SEARCH AREA AT LOW-LEVEL AND SUGGESTED THE LIGHTSHIP TURN AND CLIMB OUT TO THE NORTH. AGAIN THE LIGHTSHIP ACKNOWLEDGED AND INITIATED A RIGHT TURN TOWARD A NORTHERLY HEADING. AT APPROXIMATELY THE SAME TIME AS THE TURN WAS COMPLETED THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER ESTABLISHED A POWER SETTING WHICH STABILIZED THE N1 AT 94%. (HE HAS STATED HIS HOVER POWER WAS ABOUT 93%). AT THIS TIME THE AIRCRAFT WAS PLACED IN AN ACCELERATION ATTITUDE AND THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER WATCHED THE AIRSPEED INDICATOR UNTIL IT REACHED 60 KNOTS, AT WHICH TIME HE REPORTS ALL INSTRUMENTS WERE IN THE GREEN, THE ATTITUDE INDICATOR WAS INDICATING A CLIMB BUT THE VSI WAS READING A 500 FPM (FEET PER MINUTE) DESCENT. SIMULTANEOUS WITH THE ACCELERATION THE LIGHT SYSTEM (A CLUSTER OF SEVEN '7' C-130 HERCULES LANDING LIGHTS) WERE EXTINGUISHED. UPON NOTICING THE INDICATION OF A DESCENT THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER STATES HE INCREASED COLLECTIVE BUT THE AIRCRAFT CONTINUED TO DESCEND. AT AN ESTIMATED FIVE TO TEN FEET AGL (AC'S ESTIMATE WITHOUT VISUAL GROUND REFERENCE) COLLECTIVE WAS INCREASED TO THE DEGREE WHERE A "BLEEDING OFF" OF RPM WAS ENCOUNTERED. THE LOW RPM WARNING SYSTEM WAS ACTIVATED JUST PRIOR TO IMPACT. IMPACT WAS AT A SHALLOW ANGLE, NEAR LEVEL, AT APPROXIMATELY 60 KNOTS. INITIAL IMPACT WAS WITH LOW TREES FOLLOWED BY GROUND IMPACT AT WHICH TIME THE LEFT SKID AND THE AFT CROSSTUBE SEPARATED. FROM THAT POINT THE AIRCRAFT WAS STILL RELATIVELY LEVEL, SLIDING ON THE BELLY UNTIL IT HIT A SMALL TREE AND A MOUND OF DIRT AT APPROXIMATELY THE SAME POINT AS TAB E ITEM E. THIS CAUSED THE AIRCRAFT TO YAW AND ROLL TO THE LEFT SIDE. FROM THIS PIINT THE AIRCRAFT BEGAN SHEDDING PARTS. DURING THIS SEQUENCE OF EVENTS THE PILOT (LEFT SIDE) AND THE CREWCHIEF WERE THROWN FROM THE AIRCRAFT. THE PILOT WAS FOUND AT POINT 1, TAB E AND HIS SEAT WAS FOUND AT POINT Q TAB E. THE CREWCHIEF CAME TO REST IN CLOSE PROXIMITY TO THE PILOT'S SEAT. THE MAIN WRECKAGE WAS LOCATED AT TAB E POINT P WHERE THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER RELEASED HIMSELF FROM HIS SEAT AND MOVED FROM THE BURNING WRECKAGE. PORTIONS OF THE AIRCRAFT CONTINUED ON BEYOND THE MAIN WRECKAGE. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER AND CREWCHIEF WERE EVACUATED BY SIDEWINDER 8, THE ARMED HELICOPTER LEAD AIRCRAFT. THE CO-PILOT WAS EVACUATED BY A MEDICAL EVACUATION HELICOPTER AND LATER SUCCUMBED AT THE 24TH EVACUATION HOSPITAL AT LONG BINH. THE DOORGUNNER REMAINED IN THE MAIN WRECKAGE AND RECEIVED FATAL INJURIES THERIN. THE AIRCRAFT AND ALL SYSTEMS WERE TOTALLY DESTROYED.\\

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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