Helicopter UH-1H 68-16583

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-16583
The Army purchased this helicopter 1269
Total flight hours at this point: 00001625
Date: 12/02/1971
Incident number: 711202071ACD Accident case number: 711202071 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 114 AHC
South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 4 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 0
costing 515745
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 WO1 FOLEY THOMAS HAROLD KIA
AC WO1 HIEBERT JOHN MICHAEL KIA
CE SP4 KEETER MARVIN ROSS KIA
G SP4 WARREN WILLIAM THOMAS JR KIA

Accident Summary:

 ON 2 DEC 71, THE ^114TH AHC^ WAS IN DIRECT COMBAT SUPPORT OF THE ^16TH REGT, 9TH ARVN DIV^. THE ASSAULT PACKAGE CONSISTED OF 4 UH-1H, 2 AH-1G AND 1 UH-1H (COMMAND & CONTROL AIRCRAFT). THE PACKAGE HAD FLOWN APPROXIMATELY 4 HOURS OF COMBAT ASSAULTS THAT MORNING, ENCOUNTERING NO ENEMY FIRE. AFTER LUNCH AND MAINTENANCE BREAK, THE FLIGHT TOOK OFF AT APPROXIMATELY 1220 HRS WITH A FULL LOAD OF FUEL AND TROOPS, AND MADE AN INSERTION. NO ENEMY RESISTANCE WAS ENCOUNTERED. WHILE ENROUTE BACK TO THE PZ, COORDINATES (WR 0799) THE FLIGHT WAS CRUISING 90KNOTS PER HOUR, 1500 FEET AGL ON A NORTHERLY HEADING, USING A STAGGERED TRAIN (LEFT) FORMATION (1-1 1/2 ROTOR DISC SEPERATION) WITH AIRCRAFT ^69-15777^ AND ^68-16583^ IN THE NUMBER 1 AND 2 POSITIONS RESPECTIVELY. THE CREW OF ^69-15777^ WAS ^CPT GILPIN^ (AC), ^1LT MACKENZIE^ (P), ^SP4 CORDLE^ (CE) AND ^PFC RODRIQUEZ^ (G), WHILE ^WO1 FOLEY^ (P), ^WO1 HEIBERT^ (CP), ^SP4 KEETER^ (CE) AND ^SP4 WARREN^ (G) WERE ABOARD AIRCRAFT ^68-16583^. THE LEAD AIRCRAFT, WITH ^1LT MACKENZIE^ AT THE CONTROLS, BEGAN A INTENTIONAL SLIGHT LEFT TURN. SECONDS LATER THE #2 AIRCRAFT, PILOT UNKNOWN, STRUCK THE TAIL BOOM OF THE #1 AIRCRAFT WITH ITS' ADVANCING BLADE SEVERING THE TAIL BOOM AT STATION 435. THE ENTIRE VERTICAL FIN, TAIL ROTOR DRIVE SHAFT, 90 DEGREE GEAR BOX, TAIL ROTOR, AND FIBERGLASS TAIL BOOM SKID COVER FALLING AWAY INSTANTLY. THE MAIN ROTOR AND THE MASK OF ^68-16583^ SEPARATED FROM THE AIRCRAFT AND THE FUSELAGE WENT INVERTED. (WITNESSES WERE UNABLE TO AGREE ON THE MECHANICS OF HOW THE AIRCRAFT WENT INVERTED). A SMALL CLOUD OF UNKNOWN SUBSTANCE WAS SEEN IN THE VICINITY OF THE TRANSMISSION WITH UNIDENTIFIED PARTS FALLING FROM THE AIRCRAFT. IT WAS AT THIS POINT A FIRE STARTED ON ^68-16583^AS IT FELL TO THE EARTH. ALL FOUR CREW MEMBERS WERE ON BOARD WHEN ^68-16583^ IMPACTED INVERTED. THE TIME FROM MID-AIR CONTACT TO EARTH IMPACT WAS JUST SECONDS, AIRCRAFT ^68-16583^ WAS COMPLETELY ENGULFED BY FIRE AS SOON AS IT STRUCK THE EARTH. AIRCRAFT ^68-15777^, HAVING BEEN STRUCK BY THE MAIN ROTOR OF ^68-16583^, PITCHED UP, ROLLED LEFT, AND YAWED LEFT. THE AC, ^CPT GILPIN^, GOT ON THE CONTROLS WITH ^1LT MACKENZIE^ (P) AND CORRECTED THE ATTITUDE, LOWERED THE COLLECTIVE AND BEGAN A SLOW LEFT TURN. EXTREME FEEDBACK ON THE CONTROLS, NECESSITATED THE PILOTS WORKING TOGETHER TO CONTROL THE AIRCRAFT. THE FORCES ENCOUNTERED WERE SIMILAR TO THOSE OF A HYDRAULICS OFF CONDITION. SOMETIME BETWEEN INITIAL CONTACT WITH THE #2 AIRCRAFT, AND THE LAST 500 FEET OF DESCENT THE GUNNER, ^SP4 RODRIQUEZ^, UNKNOWN TO THE PILOTS, UNBLUCKLED HIS SEAT BELT AND MOVED FROM HIS DUTY STATION AT STATION 156 ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE AIRCRAFT, TO THE RIGHT JUMP SEAT AT STATION 85 BECAUSE HE THOUGHT THE TRANSMISSION WOULD TEAR OUT. THE MOVEMENT OF THE GUNNER, 151 LBS, MADE THE NOSE LOW ATTITUDE CAUSED BY THE LOSS OF PART OF THE TAIL BOOM EVEN WORSE. AT APPROXIMATELY 100 FT, THE LOW RPM AUDIO SOUNDED AND THE PILOTS NOTICED THE NEEDLES J,000 RPM. ^1LT MACKENZIE^ ROLLED OFF THE THROTTLE AND BOTH PILOTS ATTEMPTED TO SLOW THEIR FORWARD AIRSPEED USING CYCLIC. THE DECELERATION WAS SUCCESSFUL, BUT EVEN WORKING TOGETHER THE PILOTS WERE NOT ABLE TO PULL ENOUGH COLLECTIVE TO SUFFICIENTLY SLOW THEIR VERTICAL SPEED. AIRCRAFT ^69-15777^ TERMINATED WITH LITTLE OR NO FORWARD AIRSPEED, HIT HARD, BOUNCED, ROLLED AND LANDED ITS' RIGHT SIDE IN APPROXIMATELY 1-1 1/2 FEET OF WATER AND MUD. ^CPT GILPIN^ WAS THE ONLY CREW MEMBER CONSIOUS, AND HE WENT BACK INTO THE CARGO COMPARTMENT AND ASSISTED THE GUNNER AND CREW CHIEF UP TO THE LEFT CARGO EXIT. ^1LT MACKENZIE^ WAS REMOVED THROUGH THE FRONT WINDSHIELD BY CREW MEMBERS OF THE #4 AIRCRAFT, WHICH ACCORDING TO UNIT SOP HAD LANDED TO RESCUE THE CREWS. ATTEMPTS WERE THEN MADE TO SHUT DOWN THE STILL RUNNING ENGINE OF ^69-15777^.\\

This record was last updated on 05/25/1998


The following is crew member information for this incident:


Name: SP4 Marvin Ross Keeter (posthumously promoted)
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 12/02/1971 while performing the duty of Crew Chief.
Age at death: 21.5
Date of Birth: 06/20/1950
Home City: Fayetteville, AR
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 114 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 02W-082
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 68-16583
SSN: 549767756
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 71B20 = Clerk-Typist
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: unknown
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: crew chief
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 06/22/1971
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
The initial status of this person was: no previous report
Length of service: *
Location: Kien Giang Province IV Corps.
Military grid coordinates of event: WR053853
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Baptist - other groups
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/24/1994



Name: SP4 William Thomas Warren, Jr. (posthumously promoted)
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 12/02/1971 while performing the duty of Gunner.
Age at death: 22.6
Date of Birth: 04/13/1949
Home City: Louisville, KY
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 114 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 02W-083
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 68-16583
SSN: 402681820
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 67N20 = UH-1 Helicopter Repairer
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: unknown
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: door gunner
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 07/08/1971
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
The initial status of this person was: no previous report
Length of service: *
Location: Kien Giang Province IV Corps.
Military grid coordinates of event: WR053853
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Nazarene
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/28/1994



Name: WO1 John Michael Hiebert
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 12/02/1971 while performing the duty of Aircraft Commander.
Age at death: 23.9
Date of Birth: 01/24/1948
Home City: Hesston, KS
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 114 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 71-21/71-19
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 02W-082
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 68-16583
SSN: 535486491
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 100B = Utility/Observation Helicopter Pilot
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: unknown
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: co-pilot
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 09/07/1971
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
The initial status of this person was: no previous report
Length of service: *
Location: Kien Giang Province IV Corps.
Military grid coordinates of event: WR053853
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Presbyterian
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: warrant officer
This record was last updated on 07/29/1995



Name: WO1 Thomas Harold Foley
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 12/02/1971 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 20.8
Date of Birth: 02/01/1951
Home City: Milwaukee, WI
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 114 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 71-9
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 02W-082
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 68-16583
SSN: 387561882
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 100B = Utility/Observation Helicopter Pilot
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: unknown
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: pilot
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 06/18/1971
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
The initial status of this person was: no previous report
Length of service: *
Location: Kien Giang Province IV Corps.
Military grid coordinates of event: WR053853
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Roman Catholic
The following information is secondary, but may help in explaining this incident.
Category of casualty as defined by the Army: non-battle dead Category of personnel: active duty Army Military class: warrant officer
This record was last updated on 07/29/1995


The following is Goldbook information on US Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-16583
It is provided here as an ESTIMATE of the history of this helicopter and is not intended to be the final authority.
This helicopter was purchased by the US Army in 1269.
Please provide any additional information on this helicopter to the VHPA.

DATE  FLT HRS    UIC      UNIT          AREA          POST          COUNTRY
6912   0    0 W0Y6AA OS TO CONUS      ITR CONUS                   AVCOMITR
7001   0    0 W0Y6AA OS TO CONUS      ITR CONUS                   AVCOMITR
7002  56   56 WGPRAA 336 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN     
7003  94  150 WGPRAA 336 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN     
7004 164  314 WGPRAA 336 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN     
7005 148  462 WGPRAA 336 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN     
7006 111  573 WGPRAA 336 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN     
7007  85  658 WGPRAA 336 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN     
7008  99  757 WGPRAA 336 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN     
7009 108  865 WGPRAA 336 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN     
7010  58  923 WGPRAA 336 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN     
7011  75  998 WC08AA 135 AVN CO       VIETNAM                     RVN     
7012   0  998 WCLUAA 611 TRANS CO DS  VIETNAM                     RVN     
7101   0  998 WCLUAA 611 TC DS        VIETNAM                     RVN     
7102   2 1000 WCLUAA 611 TC DS        VIETNAM                     RVN     
7103  45 1045 WAAMC0 3 17 AC SQ C TP  VIETNAM                     RVN     
7104  84 1129 WAAMC0 3 17 AC SQ C TP  VIETNAM                     RVN     
7105  94 1223 WAAMC0 3 17 AC SQ C TP  VIETNAM                     RVN     
7106  69 1292 WAAMC0 3 17 AC SQ C TP  VIETNAM                     RVN     
7107  72 1364 WAAMC0 3 17 CAV C TRP   VIETNAM                     RVN     
7108  99 1463 WAAMC0 3 17 CAV C TRP   VIETNAM                     RVN     
7109  15 1478 WAAMC0 3 17 CAV C TRP   VIETNAM                     RVN     
7110  86 1564 WAAMC0 3 17 CAV C TRP   VIETNAM                     RVN     
7111  61 1625 WAAMC0 3 17 CAV C TRP   VIETNAM                     RVN     


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