Helicopter OH-58A 69-16102


Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-58A tail number 69-16102
The Army purchased this helicopter 0570
Total flight hours at this point: 00002182
Date: 10/28/1972
Incident number: 721028031ACD Accident case number: 721028031 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 18 CAC
The station for this helicopter was Can-Tho in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 1 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 1
costing 174961
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 STEVER JAMES MITCHELL INJ

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


Accident Summary:

 ON THE EVENING OF 2( OCTOBER 1972, ^CW2 JAMES STEVER, 545-54-8851, 18TH COMMAND AVIATION COMPANY^ WAS NOTIFIED THAT HE WOULD BE FLYING A PROVINCE SUPPORT MISSION FOR BAC LIEU PROVINCE THE FOLLOWING DAY. HIS AIRCRAFT FOR THIS MISSION WOULD BE AN OH-58, ^S/N 69-16102^. THE DEPARTURE TIME FROM CAN THO ARMY AIRFIELD WOULD BE 0730. AT APPROXIMATELY 0630 ON 28 OCT 72, ^CW2 STEVER^ REPORTED TO ^18TH CAC^ OPERATIONS WHERE HE FILED A DA FORM 1080 (LOCAL FLIGHT CLEARANCE). HE THEN PROCEEDED TO THE FLIGHT LINE AND CONDUCTED THE PREFLIGHT INSPECTION. FINDING NO DISCREPANCIES, HE PREPARED FOR TAKEOFF. AT 0730 ^CW2 STEVER^ DEPARTED CAN THO AAF AND FROM THAT TIME UNTIL APPROXIMATELY 0910 HE CONDUCTED NORMAL PROVINCE SUPPORT IN BAC LIEU PROVINCE. THIS MISSION INCLUDED LANDING AT THE HELIPAD AT PHUOC LONG TO PUCK UP ^SFC DEMITRUS R. DEVANE^ AND TWO MEMBERS OF AN ARVN PAY TEAM. HE DEPARTED PHUOC LONG AND PROCEEDED TO A FIELD LOCATION WITH THE TEAM. WITH THIS PORTION OF HIS MISSION COMPLETE, HE RETURNED TO PHUOC LONG WHERE HE MADE A NORMAL APPROACH, LANDING AT APPROXIMATELY 0910. UPON RETURNING TO PHUOC LONG, ^SFC DEVANE^ DEPARTED THE AIRCRAFT AND BEGAN PUTTING SOME BACK HAUL IN THE CARGO COMPARTMENT. AS HE WAS DOING THIS ^CW2 STEVER^ REDUCED THE ENGINE TO FLIGHT IDLE, GOT OUT OF THE AIRCRAFT, AND MADE A VISUAL CHECK OF THE AIRCRAFT AND CARGO. ^CW2 STEVER^ THEN RETURNED TO THE RIGHT SEAT AND STRAPPED IN. AS HE WAS DOING THIS, ^CPT RICHARD D. RICE 030-32-0127^ WHO WAS STANDING NEARBY, CAME OVER TO THE AIRCRAFT AND CLOSED THE ARMOR PLATING LOCATED ON THE PILOT'S SEAT AND RETURNED TO A POSITION APPROXIMATELY 20 FEET DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF THE AIRCRAFT. ^CW2 STEVER^ THEN INCREASED TO OPERATING RPM AND LIFTED TO APPROXIMATELY A TWO FOOT HOVER SIMULTANEOUSLY TURNING THE NOSE SLIGHTLY TO THE LEFT WHICH PLACED THE AIRCRAFT PERPENDICULAR TO THE CANAL, WHICH WAS TO HIS IMMEDIATE REAR. HIS OBSTACLES AT THIS TIME WERE: A. 8-11 O-CLOCK POSITION - APPROXIMATELY 2500 PERSONNEL GATHERED FOR A LOCAL RALLY. B. 11-1 O-CLOCK POSITION - ARTILLERY POSITIONS. C. 12-4 O'CLOCK POSITION - NUMEROUS ANTENNAS AND WIRE FENCES. D. 4-8 O'CLOCK POSITION - HIGH GRASS DIRECTLY ADJACENT TO AND ON THE BANK OF THE CANAL. E. ACROSS THE CANAL TO HIS REAR - NUMEROUS HIGH TELEVISION ANTENNAS. THE PILOT HOVERED REARWARD AT WHAT APPEARED TO BE A SLOW WALK AND THE TAIL SKID ENTERED THE HIGH GRASS TO HIS REAR AND MADE CONTACT WITH SOME CONCERTINA WIRE WHICH WAS CONCEALED IN THE HIGH GRASS. THE PILOT CONTINUED HIS REARWARD HOVER AND THE CONCERTINA WIRE BECAME FIRMLY ATTACHED TO A POINT WHERE THE TAIL SKID AND VERTICAL FIN MEET. ADDITIONAL POWER AND CYCLIC WAS APPLIED IN AN ATTEMPT TO MAKE A TURN USING THE TAIL AS A FOCAL POINT. BECAUSE THIS CONTROL MOVEMENT WOULD CAUSE A NOSE HIGH ATTITUDE THE PILOT WAS UNAWARE THAT THE TAIL SKID WAS ENTANGLED IN THE CONCERTINA WIRE, WITH THE WIRE STILL HOLDING THE TAIL DOWN THE NOSE OF THE AIRCRAFT PITCHED UP IN A SHARP FAST ACTION. BEFORE THE PILOT COULD REACT TO THE SITUATION, THE AIRCRAFT HAD ASSUMED SUCH AN ATTITUDE THAT THE CORRECTIVE ACTION APPLIED (FORWARD CYCLIC AND REDUCTION OF POWER) WAS INEFFECTIVE AND THE AIRCRAFT CONTINUED TO PITCH OVER ON ITS BACK INTO THE CANAL, COMING TO REST INVERTED WITH SKIDS AND UNDER PORTION OF THE FUSELAGE VISIBLE. ^CPT RICE^ WHO WAS STILL ON THE PAD, SHOUTED FOR ^SFC DEVANE^ TO GET HELP AND PROCEEDED TO GO INTO THE WATER IN AN ATTEMPT TO RECOVER THE PILOT. AS ^CPT RICE^ INTERED THE WATER A BOSTON WHALER, BEING USED AS A HAND FERRY LOCATED ON THE OPPOSITE BANK OF THE CANAL, WAS LEFT ADRIFT TO AID IN THE RESCUE. UPON REACHING THE AIRCRAFT ^CPT RICE^ DOVE FOR THE PILOT ON THE PILOT SIDE OF THE AIRCRAFT AND THOUGHT HE FELT HIM ( THE PILOT) IN THE COCKPIT. HOWEVER, HAVING INSUFFICIENT AIR, HE HAD TO SURFACE, ON HIS SECOND ATTEMPT THE COCKPIT APPEARED VACANT. UPON SURFACING ^CPT RICE^ THEN SAW THE PILOT'S HELMET ON THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE AIRCRAFT AND PROCEEDED TOWARD IT. FINDING IT EMPTY, HE THEN HEARD A VIETNAMESE INTERPRETER YELL THAT THE PILOT WAS FLOATING NEARBY. ^CPT RICE^ PROCEEDED TOWARD THE PILOT, REACHING HIM AT APPROXIMATELY THE SAME TIME AS THE BOSTON WHALER. THEY THEN PROCEEDED WITH DIFFICULTY TO LOAD THE PILOT ON THE BOSTON WHALER, WHICH PROCEEDED TO THE DOCK ON THE WESTERN BANK OF THE CANAL WHERE ^SFC DEVANE^ WAS WAITING WITH A STRETCHER. THEY PUT ^CW2 STEVER^ ON THE STRETCHER AND TOOK HIM TO THE TEAM HOUSE WHERE FIRST AID WAS ADMINISTERED AND CONFIRMATION WAS RECEIVED THAT A MEDEVAC WAS INBOUND. FURTHER EVAUATION PROCEEDED WITHOUT DIFFICULTY.\\ 

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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