Helicopter UH-1H 68-16460


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-16460
The Army purchased this helicopter 1169
Total flight hours at this point: 00001083
Date: 10/10/1971
Incident number: 711010041ACD Accident case number: 711010041 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 326 MED 101 ABN
The station for this helicopter was Camp Eagle in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: ZD027059
Number killed in accident = 4 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 2
costing 515745
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 CW2 LUC CHESTER ANTHONY KIA
P WO1 STANUSH THOMAS JOSEPH KIA
CE SP4 FUNES DAVID JOHN KIA
MD SP5 FEENEY JOSEPH MICHAEL KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
O4 LJ NORRIS, LCO, G


Accident Summary:

 AT 1905 HOURS ON 10 OCTOBER 1971 THE AIR AMBULANCE PLATOON, ^HQ COMPANY, 326TH MEDICAL BATTALION, 101ST AIRBORNE DIVISION (AMBL)^, RECEIVED AN URGENT MEDEVAC REQUEST TO EVACUATE A CRITICALLY WOUNDED MAN FROM FIRE SUPPORT BASE TOMAHAWK. WEATHER WAS FORECAST AT THE PICKUP SITE TO BE 500 FEET BROKEN, 1000 FEET OVERCAST, VISIBILITY 1 MILE, WINDS 270 DEGREES AT 06 KNOTS. THE COMMANDER OF THE AIR AMBULANCE PLATOON, ^MAJOR LAWRENCE NORRIS^, PERSONALLY APPROVED THE FLIGHT AND BRIEFED THE AC, ^CW2 CHESTER LUC^ (CALL SIGN DUSTOFF 904) AS TO THE TYPE OF MISSION, LOCATION OF THE PICKUP SITE, WEATHER, AND RECOMMENDED ROUTE OF FLIGHT. THE AIRCRAFT TO BE USED, UH-1H ^#68-16460^, HAD BEEN PREFLIGHTED PRIOR TO 0800 HOURS, 10 OCTOBER 1971. AT APPROXIMATELY 1910 HOURS DUSTOFF 904 TOOK OFF AND SHORTLY THEREAFTER CONTACTED CHAPEL 32, THE S-3 OF THE ^1/501 INFANTRY BATTALION, 101ST AVN DIV (AMBL)^ AT FSB TOMAHAWK, SAYING THAT THE WEATHER WAS BAD AND REQUESTING ILLUMINATION. ILLUMINATION WAS BEGUN WITH 81MM MORTAR FLARES BUT DUSTOFF 904 WAS UNABLE TO SEE IT AND REQUESTED A FOUR DIGIT COORDINATE TO GET VECTOR. DUSTOFF 904 THEN CONTACTED THE HUE APPROACH CONTROL AND REQUESTED A RADAR VECTOR TO FSB TOMAHAWK. HE REPORTED HIS POSITION AT THIS TIME AS BEING ON THE 090 DEGREE RADIAL FROM KLS RADIO BEACON AT 800 FEET AGL. HUE APPROACH CONTROLLER INFORMED DUSTOFF 904 THAT A RADAR VECTOR WOULD BE AT THE PILOTS DISCRETION BECAUSE HE WAS BELOW MINIMUM SAFE VECTORING ALTITUDE IN THAT AREA. DUSTOFF 904 THEN SAID THAT HE WOULD TRY TO MAKE IT ON HIS OWN. AT 1915 HOURS DUSTOFF 904 RECONTACTED CHAPEL 32 AND SAID THAT, ALTHOUGH HE COULD NOT GET A VECTOR, HIS CREWCHIEF COULD SEE THE COAST LINE AND HE WAS FOLLOWING IT UNTIL HE COULD PICK UP ILLUMINATION. THIS WAS THE LAST RADIO CONTACT WITH DUSTOFF 904, TIME WAS APPROXIMATELY 1915 HOURS. AT ABOUT 1919 HOURS, VIETNAMESE PERSONNEL REPORTED TO THE DISTRICT SENIOR ADVISOR AT PHU LOC, ^MAJOR GEORGE MILLER', THAT ASPIRANT NGUYEN VAN THEM HAD OBSERVED A HELICOPTER CRASH INTO THE CAU HAI BAY VICINITY ZD 031034. THIS INFORMATION WAS RELAYED BY THE DSA OHU LOC TO PERSONNEL AT FSB TOMAHAWK. RADIO COORDINATION BETWEEN FSB TOMAHAWK AND THE TRO, 'AIR AMBULANCE PLATOON, 326 MEDICAL BATTALION^ SUPPORTED THE BELIEF THAT THE SIGHTED HELICOPTER WAS DUSTOFF 904. A RESCUE OPERATION WAS INITIATED BY PERSONNEL OF FSB TOMAHAWK, PHU LOC DISTRICT HEADQUARTERS, AND COASTAL GROUP 13 (VIETNAMESE NAVY) AS WELL AS AVIATION ELEMENTS OF EAGLE DUSTOFF, U.S. AIR FORCE, AND OTHER UNITS IN THE AREA. THE WRECKAGE WAS LOCATED AT 2230 HOURS AT COORDINATES ZD 015045 BY ELEMENTS OF COASTAL GROUP 13. A SEARCH OF THE AREA, BOTH CRASH SITE AND SHORELINE, BY GROUND TROOPS AND VIETNAMESE NAVY JUNKS REVEALED NO SURVIVORS. AIRCRAFT ELEMENTS DURING THE SEARCH REPORTED NO SURVIVORS LOCATED AND REPORTED TAKING AUTOMATIC WEAPONS FIRE ON AT LEAST FOUR SEPARATE OCCASIONS ALONG THE SHORELINE IN THE VICINITY OF THE CRASH SITE.\\


War Story:
Joe Feeney was my medic. I was on RNR to Sidney when this accident took place. The officer investigating the crash showed me a photograph of what he believed was the cause of the crash: a can of wax logged between one of the control rods and the forward bulkhead. I was not uncommon for the crew chiefs to wax their choppers and it appears that David forgot to remove the can of wax before he buttoned up the rotor cowling. Unfortunately with isnít something the pilots would normal look at during a preflight.

From: William Stackpole, SP4 Eagle Dustoff, 326th Medical BAT, 1971-1972

This record was last updated on 02/28/2016


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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