Helicopter AH-1G 67-15801


Information on U.S. Army helicopter AH-1G tail number 67-15801
The Army purchased this helicopter 1168
Total flight hours at this point: 00002264
Date: 09/03/1972
Incident number: 720903011ACD Accident case number: 720903011 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 60 AVN
The station for this helicopter was Ninh Hoa in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 2 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 1
costing 650833
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 CPT HANNING DONALD JERRY KIA
P CPT OLIVER FRANK GEORGE II KIA

Passengers and/or other participants:
O4 PC COCHRAN, LCO, G


Accident Summary:

 A. AT APPROXIMATELY ^2100 HOURS, 2 SEPTEMBER 1972^, THE ^60TH AVIATION COMPANY^ WAS ALERTED BY THE ^247TH MEDICAL DETACHMENT^ (HELICOPTER AMBULANCE) THAT THE ^247TH^ MIGHT SCRAMBLE TWO MEDEVAC SHIPS LATER THAT NIGHT AND WOULD REQUIRE GUNSHIP SUPPORT BECAUSE A JUNGLE PENETRATOR WOULD BE EMPLOYED. EARLIER IN THE DAY A U.S. HELICOPTER WITH 11 PERSONNEL ON BOARD AHD CRASH LANDED IN THE ^DAIAT^ AREA. FIVE PERSONNEL WERE REPORTED IN CRITICAL CONDITION. AS SOON AS ^KING^ (AIR FORCE SEARCH AND RESCUE AIRCRAFT) COULD PIN POINT A LOCATION, MEDEVAC SHIPS WOULD EFFECT AN EXTRACTION. AT APPROXIMATELY ^2300 HOURS, KING^ REPORTED THEY HAD LOCATED THE DOWNED AIRCRAFT AND NOTIFIED THE ^247TH^ THAT THE MISSION WAS A GO. THE ^247TH^ IN TURN NOTIFIED THE ^60TH AVIATION COMPANY^. THE COMPANY COMMANDER AND OPERATIONS OFFICER OF THE ^60TH AVIATION COMPANY^ HAD DISCUSSED WHETHER TO SUPPORT THE MISSION. THE UNIT HAD NOT BEEN CONDUCTING NIGHT MISSIONS AS A ROUTINE MATTER. IN VIEW OF THE FACT THAT THE MISSION WAS TO EXTRACT U.S. PERSONNEL BELIEVED TO BE IN CRITICAL CONDITION, THEY ELECTED TO SUPPORT THE MISSION IF THE MEDEVAC AIRCRAFT ACCEPTED THE MISSION. THE COMMANDING OFFICER AND OPERATIONS OFFICER ELECTED TO FLY A COMMAND AND CONTROL AIRCRAFT (UH-1H) BECAUSE OF THE NATURE OF THE MISSION. THE GUNSHIP CREWS WERE PICKED BY ^CPT HANNING^, THE ARMED HELICOPTER PLATOON LEADER. AT ^1135 HOURS^ THE ^60TH AVIATION COMPANY^ NOTIFIED THEIR NEXT HIGHER HEADQUARTERS THAT THEY WERE LAUNCHING 3 AIRCRAFT IN SUPPORT OF THE MISSION. AT ^1145 HOURS^ THE ^GHOSTRIDER (60TH AVN CO)^ AIRCRAFT DEPARTED ^NINH HOA^ ENROUTE TO ^DAIAT^. UPON ARRIVAL IN THE ^DAIAT^ AREA, IT WAS FOUND THAT ^KING^ DID NOT HAVE AN EXACT FIX ON THE DOWNED AIRCRAFT AND THE ^GHOSTRIDER^ AIRCRAFT ELECTED TO SET DOWN AT ^CAM LY AIRFIELD (VNAF)^ AND REFUEL. THE TWO MEDEVAC SHIPS REFUELED ALSO. REFUELING PROBLEMS WITH THE ^VNAF^ RESULTED IN APPROXIMATELY 1 HOUR GROUND TIME BEFORE THE GUNSHIPS WERE ABLE TO DEPART. DURING THIS TIME A THIN CLOUD LAYER BEGAN MOVING OVER THE AIRFIELD FROM THE SOUTHWEST. ONE OF THE MEDEVAC AIRCRAFT TOOK OFF FROM ^CAM LY^ AND REPORTED THE CLOUD LAYER WAS NOT TOO BAD. AT THIS TIME THE MISSION TO EXTRACT THE INJURED PERSONNEL WAS ABANDONED. ONE OF THE MEDEVAC SHIPS DEPARTED THE AREA AT THIS TIME. THE ^GHOSTRIDER^ C&C SHIP TOOK OFF AT THIS TIME AND REPORTED THE CLOUD LAYER A LITTLE THICKER, BUT HAVING NO DIFFICULTY IN COMING THROUGH IT. AT THIS TIME ^GHOSTRIDER 6 (MAJ COCHRAN)^ DECIDED TO TAKE HIS AIRCRAFT BACK TO HOME BASE. HE ASKED ^GUNRUNNER 36 (CPT HANNING)^ AND ^CPT OLIVER)^ IF THEY THOUGHT THE TWO GUNSHIPS COULD MAKE IT THROUGH THE CLOUD LAYER OKAY. ^CPT HANNING^ REPORTED HE THOUGHT THEY COULD AND WOULD BE TAKING OFF SHORTLY. THE AIRFIELD WAS NOT CONSIDERED SECURE AND THEY DID NOT FEEL SAFE TO STAY AT THE AIRFIELD ALL NIGHT IF THEY COULD GET OUT. ^GUNRUNNER 36^ TOOK OFF ON RUNWAY 28 FROM ^CAM LY^, MADE A LEFT BREAK, LEFT DOWN WIND AND FLEW TO THE CENTER OF THE CITY AT APPROXIMATELY 200-300 FEET AGL. WHILE ^GUNRUNNER 36^ WAS ON DOWN WIND, ^GUNRUNNER 37^ (CW2 ^PERCL^ AND 1LT ^STEWART^) TOOK OFF FROM ^CAM LY^ AND FOLLOWED BEHIND ^GUNRUNNER 36^. BOTH AIRCRAFT TURNED TO A HEADING OF 360 DEGREES WHEN THEY WERE OVER THE CENTER OF THE CITY. BOTH AIRCRAFT WERE FLYING APPROXIMATELY 60 KNOTS WITH APPROXIMATELY 200 FPM RATE OF CLIMB. ^GUNRUNNER 37^ OBSERVED ^36^ DISAPPEAR INTO THE CLOUD LAYER, THEN ^37^ WENT INTO THE CLOUD. ^GUNRUNNER 37^ EXPERIENCED VERTIGO RESULTING IN SEVERAL UNUSUAL ATTITUDES SUCH AS LOW AIRSPEED (APPROACHING 0 KNOTS) AND LOW N2 RPM !6000 RPM) AND HEADING CHANGES. WHEN ^GUNRUNNER 37^ BROKE THROUGH THE CLOUD LAYER, ^GUNRUNNER 36^ COULD NOT BE FOUND. AT THIS TIME SEVERAL PEOPLE OBSERVED A FLASH UNDER THE CLOUD LAYER. AFTER ATTEMPTS TO CONTACT ^GUNRUNNER 36^ FAILED, ^MAJ COCHRAN^ AND HIS REMAINING GUNSHIP DEPARTED THE AREA ENROUTE TO HOME BASE. THE REMAINING MEDEVAC SHIP LEFT AT THIS TIME ALSO. SEARCH AND RESCUE WOULD BE INITIATED AT FIRST LIGHT THE NEXT MORNING. THE DOWNED GUNSHIP WAS FOUND AT APPROXIMATELY ^1100 HOURS, 3 SEPTEMBER 1972^.\\

This record was last updated on 09/20/1998


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