Helicopter UH-1H 68-15237


Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-15237
The Army purchased this helicopter 1268
Total flight hours at this point: 00002161
Date: 10/18/1971
Incident number: 711018011ACD Accident case number: 711018011 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 176 AHC
The station for this helicopter was Chu Lai in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 3 . . Injured = 1 . . Passengers = 1
costing 445245
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 1LT BARTON ROBERT JAMESON KIA
P W1 LN PATE
CE SP4 SHELTON WESLEY STEWART KIA
G SP4 BRESLIN PATRICK JOHN KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
UNK, LCO, G


Accident Summary:

 ON THE EVENING OF 17 OCTOBER 1971, AIRCRAFT UH-1H, ^SN: 68-15237^ WAS BEING FLOWN ON THE NIGHT PERIMETER MISSION FOR THE CHU LAI DEFENSE COMMANDE. THE MISSION ENTAILED FLYING AT 300 FEET MSL OR BELOW, CHECKING THE PERIMETER WITH LANDING AND SEARCH LIGHT. ^LT BARTON^ TOOK OFF AT 2230 HOURS, ALTHOUGH HE HAD ATTEMPTED TO REMAIN ON 5 MINUTE STANDBY BECAUSE HE FELT THE WEATHER WAS TOO BAD TO FLY. ARRIVING ON STATION IT WAS FOUND THAT THE WEATHER WAS NOT AS BAD AS WAS BELIEVED, AND THE MISSION WAS CONTINUED. PRIOR TO MIDNIGHT THE AIRCRAFT WAS LANDED AND REFUELED. AFTER ARRIVING BACK ON STATION, IT WAS FOUND THAT THE WEATHER WAS DETERIORATING AND IT WAS DECIDED, AFTER A RADIO TRANMISSION WITH THE DIVISION TACTICAL OPERATIONS CENTER, TO RETURN TO THE AIRFIELD AND REMAIN ON 5 MINUTE STANDBY AFTER ONE MORE PATTERN AROUND THE PERIMETER. ON THE NORTHERN PERIMETER, WHICH IS BORDERED BY THE OCEAN, IT IS NECESSARY TO FLY OVER THE WATER. THEN THE AIRCRAFT REACHED THIS POINT ON THE PERIMETER, IT WAS REPORTED BY ^W1 PATE^ THAT A LOUD THUMP WAS HEARD. THE AIRCRAFT COMMANDER STATED, "DON'T WORRY, WE ONLY HIT A BIRD. I HIT ONE LAST NIGHT." ^W1 PATE^ LEANED TO HIS RIGHT AND LOWERED HIS HEAD TO LOOK AT THE ENGINE INSTRUMENTS TO SEE IF THERE WERE ANY ABNORMAL INSTRUMENT READINGS. DURING THE TIME HE HAD HIS HEAD LOWERED, THE AIRCRAFT STRUCK THE WATER. W1 PATE REMEMBERED THE AIRSPEED INDICATOR READING 80 KNOTS JUST PRIOR TO THE ACCIDENT. THE CRASH WAS HEARD BY A BUNKER GUARD ON DUTY APPROXIMATELY 300 METERS FROM THE SIDE. HE REPORTED THE MISHAP TO THIS SUPERIORS, WHO IN TURN REPORTED IT TO DIVISION AND A SEARCH AND RESCUE WAS PUT INTO MOTION. TWO MEDIVAC AIRCRAFT WERE DISPATCHED ALONG WITH A FLARE SHIP. THE WEATHER WAS EXTREMELY HAZARDOUS AND THE WRECKAGE WAS NEVER LOCATED. THE SOLE SURVIVOR WAS NOT RESCUED UNTIL APPROXIMATELY 6 HOURS LATER, SOME 4000 METERS SOUTH OF THE CRASH SITE.\\

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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