Helicopter AH-1G 67-15752


Information on U.S. Army helicopter AH-1G tail number 67-15752
The Army purchased this helicopter 0968
Total flight hours at this point: 00001873
Date: 10/22/1971 MIA-POW file reference number: 1774
Incident number: 711022031ACD Accident case number: 711022031 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: A/2/17 CAV 101 ABN
The station for this helicopter was Phu Bai in South Vietnam
UTM grid coordinates: YD033383
Number killed in accident = 2 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 0
costing 650833
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: Defense Intelligence Agency Reference Notes. Defense Intelligence Agency Helicopter Loss database. Army Aviation Safety Center database. Also: 1774 ()
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
AC CPT GARRETT MAURICE EDWIN JR BNR
P 1LT COWAN DANNY ALLEN KIA


REFNO Synopsis:
SYNOPSIS: On October 22, 1971, Capt. Maurice E. Garrett, Jr., pilot and 1Lt. Danny A. Cowan, co-pilot/gunner, were aboard an AH1G helicopter (serial #67-15752) as part of a "Hunter-Killer" team consisting of two AH1G helicopters, one OH6A and one UH1H. The team departed Quang Tri and proceeded west on an armed visual reconnaissance mission. Capt. Garrett instructed the flight to hold on the eastern side of a ridge line while he continued westward into a valley to check weather that appeared marginal for team operations. About one minute after entering the valley, Garrett reported the weather to be about 200 feet overcast, and continued his weather assessment flight. About 5 minutes from the time he was last seen, Garrett reported that he was in the cloud and would return to Quang Tri on instruments. He gave instructions for the rest of the flight to stay clear of his intended flight path. Shortly afterwards, the aircraft apparently struck trees and continued for a short distance before crashing. The aircraft impacted and exploded with such force that the only large identifiable aircraft part that was found was a vertical fin with part of the serial number. Some parts of the cockpit section could be identified, but all were badly burned, smashed and scattered by the explosion. 1Lt. Cowan's remains were found after a ground search was conducted of the area. As no trace of Capt. Garrett was found, it was determined that he was killed in the crash, and his body completely destroyed upon impact and explosion.


Accident Summary:

On the morning of 22 October 1971, aircraft 67-15752 was part of a hunter-killer team consisting of two AH-1G's, one UH-1H, and one OH-6A. The mission was visual reconnaissance in the northwest part of military region one. The team departed Phu Bai, Republic of Vietnam, at approximately 0715 hours, and proceeded to Quang Tri to refuel. Shortly before 0800 hours, the team departed Quang Tri enroute to Fire Base Holcomb. Upon reaching the first ridgeline west of Quang Tri, the weather was determined to be marginal. The team leader CPT Garrett instructed the team to hold on the 230 degree bearing from the Quang Tri non-directional beacon at 1,500 feet, and he proceeded into the Ba Long Valley for further investigation of the weather. He entered the Ba Long Valley between hill 660 and Fire Base Holcomb, and visual contact was lost at 0812 hours between himself and the rest of the team. At approximately 0813 hours he gave a pilot report of 200 feet and 1,700 feet overcast. At 0815 hours he reported Calu was under rain showers and unworkable. At 0816 hours he informed the team that he was returning. At 0818 hours he told the team to continue holding over the flatlands at 1,500 feet, and that he was IFR and was tracking inbound to the Quang Tri beacon on a 065 degree heading at 2,800 feet. That was the last transmission received from the aircraft. The aircraft subsequently crashed and burned and was missing until 1145 hours on 25 October 1971. The aircraft was found in a ravine that was vegated by single and double canopy jungle. The wreckage was scattered over an area approximately 300 meters long by 50 meters wide. A team of infantry was inserted into the crash site on 25 October 1971 to search for the crew. Upon insertion, the team found the aircraft completely demolished; the largest part of the aircraft remaining intact was the vertical stabilizer. The rest of the aircraft was torn into pieces no larger than eight by ten inches scattered over an area approximately 300 meters long by 50 meters wide. The body found by the infantry team was badly mangled with other unidentifiable pieces of flesh scattered throughout the area in a state of decomposition. The body recovered by the team subsequently proved to be that of 1LT Danny A. Cowan, the pilot-gunner. To date, the body of CPT Maurice E. Garrett, the Aircraft Commander, has not been found. The accident occurred at grid coordinates YD033383, approximately thirty-five kilometers southwest of Quang Tri Combat Base.

This record was last updated on 05/25/1998


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Date posted on this site: 09/23/2017


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