Information on U.S. Marine Corps helicopter CH-46D tail number 154013
Incident number: 71122765.KIA
This helicopter was LOSS TO INVENTORY
Systems damaged were: STRUCTURE
Casualties = 03 DOI . .
Original source(s) and document(s) from which the incident was created or updated: War Story as related by a witness. Also: HMM-165 CmdChron for Dec 71, POPASMOKE ()
Summary: Lost at sea while conducting a sector search of the Russian ships around the fleet. Wreckage suggested mechanical failure.
Loss to Inventory
AC 1LT ALDRICH ROBERT HENRY KIA
CP 1LT SCURLOCK ALLEN GORDON KIA
CE LCP DAVIS GREGORY CHALMERS KIA
We were running sector searches from the ship to watch the activity of the several Russian ships that were with us. It was mid day, perfectly clear and they had just checked in by radio approximately 25 miles out from the ship. That was the last we heard from them. We did recover enough of the plane for the Boeing-Vertol reps that were flown out to us to suspect a mechanical failure. They found a failure in the planetary gear system that that they suspected was the cause. We returned to Cubi Point for a more in-depth inspection of all of the 46's. We flew them all off and found that we had several more that were about to fail from the same thing. The Commanding Officer, LtCol Paul Moreau, flew one ashore that was just about to fail. This resulted in grounding all the 46's in the Navy/Marine Corps for an inspection. A "fix" was produced by Boeing and after incorporation, the a/c were put back in service. BUT, not before we lost Bob Aldrich the HAC and Al Spurlock the H2P. The Crew Chief was Greg Davis. Submitted by Gary Zimmermann, HMM-165 From: http://www.popasmoke.com/kia/incidents.php?incident_id=13
Davis' body was recovered, but the two pilots were not. They were in CH-46D 154013 on 12/27/1971; the HMM-165 CmdChron for Dec 71 (TT 1201083072.pdf pp5,7, attached) addresses the incident but does not give the names of the crewmen. From Ken Davis
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Date posted on this site: 05/16/2021
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