6717354

Helicopter 67-17354

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 67-17354
The Army purchased this helicopter 0368
Total flight hours at this point: 00001179
Date: 03/21/69
Incident number: 690321281ACD Accident case number: 690321281 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 335 AHC
The station for this helicopter was Bear Cat in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 4 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 1
costing 530345
Loss to Inventory

Crew Members:
P WO1 BAETZEL, ROBERT ALLEN KIA
P 1LT GIBSON, HARRY HUTCHISON KIA
CE SGT MILLS, TED DOUGLAS KIA
G SP4 KRAUSSER, ALBERT OTTO KIA

Passengers:
 O2 DJ HANNING, FCO, G;


Accident Summary:

(ABRIDGED) ^MAJOR RILEY^ DISPATCHED EIGHT (8) UH-1H TROOP SHIPS AT ^2130 HOURS ^ FOR ^BEARCAT^ WITH CREWS SCHEDULED FOR MISSION OF ^21 MARCH 1969^. THE EIGHT SHIPS DEPARTED ^BEARCAT^ IN TWO FLIGHTS ONE OF SIX AND ONE OF 2 SHIPS AT ^2130^. THE FLIGHTS LANDED AT ^BLACKHORSE^, BY ^2230^, ^20 MARCH 69^, ALL EIGHT AIRCRAFT WERE SHUT DOWN IN "L" REVETMENTS. BETWEEN ^0445^ AND ^0505^ HOURS ON ^21 MARCH 69^, THE CREWS WERE AWAKENED. AT ^0518^ HOURS ALPHA LEAD CALLED ^BLACKHORSE^ TOWER FOR INSTRUCTIONS FOR A FLIGHT OF EIGHT. ALPHA LEAD RECEIVED INSTRUCTIONS, ACKNOWLEDGED THEM, AND MOVED OUT TO HIS POSITION ON RUNWAY 11. CHALK # 2 AND #3 OF ALPHA FLIGHT MOVED OUT IN ORDER AND TOOK UP THEIR POSITIONS. AIRCRAFT ^#380^ BELONGING TO BRAVO FLIGHT FROM THE POSITION ASSIGNMENTS OF ^20 MARCH 69^ MOVED OUT IN FRONT OF BRAVO LEAD TO ASSUME THE POSITION OF CHALK #4 ALPHA FLIGHT. THIS MOVE WAS CHALLENGED BY BRAVO LEAD, BUT AIRCRAFT #^380^ REMAINED CHALK #4 ALPHA FLIGHT. BRAVO LEAD THEN ASSUMED THE FIFTH POSITION, AND ALPHA LEAD, ON TOWER FREQUENCY, WAS UNAWARE THAT HE NOW HAD A FLIGHT OF FOUR. AT ^0522^ HOURS, ^BLACKHORSE^ TOWER CLEARED ALPHA LEAD AND A FLIGHT OF EIGHT FOR TAKE OFF TO THE EAST OF RUNWAY 11. ALPHA LEAD INITIATED HIS TAKE OFF AND CLIMB OUT, FOLLOWED BY CHALKS # 2, #3, AND #4 OF ALPHA FLIGHT STILL UNAWARE THAT HE HAD FOUR SHIPS. AT APPROXIMATELY 200 FEET AGL, ALPHA LEAD EXPERIENCED A THIN WISP OF CLOUD OR HAZE AND NOTICED LOW HANGING CLOUDS TO THE NORTHEAST, OR TO HIS LEFT. AT THIS TIME HE EXECUTED AN ABRUPT RIGHT TURN USING APPROXIMATELY 25 DEGREES OF BANK AND TRANSMITTED TO THE FLIGHT TO "COME UP A LOOSE, LOOSE V OF 8". ALPHA CHALKS #2, #3,  BEGAN TO TURN AND MOVE OUT OF THEIR FORMATION POSITIONS. CHALK #3 COULD PARTIALLY SEE A HAZY RUNNING LIGHT ON ALPHA LEAD; BUT AS HE SLIPPED LEFT, TO THE EAST, TO GAIN HIS POSITION IN THE "V", HE ALSO EXPERIENCED IFR WEATHER CONDITIONS INTERMITTENTLY AND DID NOT BREAK CLEAR COMPLETELY UNTIL HE REACHED 2000 FEET INDICATED. CHALK ALPHA #4, MOVED TO PICK UP HIS POSITION CENTERED BEHIND LEAD TO FORM A DIAMOND. HE DID NOT BEGIN A CLIMB AND ATTEMPTED TO DESCEND BELOW THE LEVEL OF THE CLOUDS UNTIL HIS PILOT & CREW MEMBERS YELLED "TREES", AND AT A POSITION BELIEVED TO BE NOT MORE THAN TEN FEET ABOVE THE TREE TOPS BEGAN A NORMAL CLIMB, REMAINING IN AND OUT UNTIL 2000 FEET ALTITUDE INDICATED. SIMULTANEOUSLY, BRAVO FLIGHT TOOK OFF WITH A SEPARATION ON ALPHA LEAD OF APPROXIMATELY 30 SECONDS. THE SEQUENCE OF RADIO CALLS, AFTER BRAVO LEAD TURNED RIGHT IS AS FOLLOWS: BRAVO LEAD: " FLIGHT STAY LOOSE, LOOSE TRAIL CARRY IT OUT FOR SEPARATION TO THE EAST." BRAVO CHALK#2: CHALK #2, I'M IN TROUBLE, WATCH ME." UNIDENTIFIED: "DOING A ONE-EIGHTY" ALPHA LEAD: " CONTINUE TURNING TO A WESTERLY HEADING." BRAVO LEAD: "CHALK #3 ARE YOU IN TROUBLE?" ALPHA CHALK #3:23,25: I'M NOT IN TROUBLE." ALPHA LEAD: "I'M AWARE OF THAT, STAY OFF THE AIR." WHILE THESE TRANSMISSIONS WERE TAKING PLACE, ALPHA FLIGHT WAS IN AND OUT OF CLOUDS FROM 1000 TO 2000 FEET INDICATED ALTITUDE IN A RIGHT TURN TO CROSSWIND AND DOWNWIND LEGS. BRAVO FLIGHT WAS IN TRAIL FORMATION CARRYING OUT TO THE EAST FOR SEPARATION. BRAVO LEAD INITIATED AND MAINTAINED A CLIMB OF 1000 FEET PER MINUTE, 40 POUNDS OF TORQUE, 60 KNOTS (KIAS). BRAVO CHALK #2 A/C ^354^; AND CHALK #3 AND TRAIL CONTINUED ON THIS GROUND TRACK IN A 3 SHIP STAGGRED RIGHT FORMATION. A/C ^354^ WAS CLIMBING SLOWLY AT A RATE LESS THAN 300 RPM AND CHALK 3 A/C ^928^ WAS FOLLOWING HIM. WHEN ^354^ TRANSMITTED, "I'M IN TROUBLE WATCH ME," HE WAS MOST PROBABLY ENCOUNTERING, UNEXPECTEDLY, THE SAME IFR CONDITIONS ALL FIVE PREVIOUS SHIPS HAD ENTERED, BUT FAILED TO IDENTIFY OR WARN ABOUT OVER THE AIR. APPROXIMATELY 1 MINUTE 30 SECONDS AFTER LIFT OFF, A/C ^354^ WHILE ATTEMPTING TO CLIMB OUT SLOWLY AND TURN RIGHT, TO A WESTERLY HEADING AS INSTRUCTED BY ALPHA LEAD, FLEW DIRECTLY INTO THE SIDE OF A 1260 FOOT HILL.


The following is crew member information for this incident:


Name: WO1 Robert Allen Baetzel
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 03/21/69 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 22.1
Date of Birth: 02/28/47
Home City: Chicago Heights, IL
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 335 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 68-15/68-25
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 29W-095
Short Summary: Crashed into the side of a hill after flying into a fog bank during an early morning formation takeoff from Blackhorse.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17354
Service number: W3161830
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 062B
Primary cause: A/C Accident WX
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: pilot
Started Tour: 10/29/68
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
Length of service: 01
Location: Hau Nghia Province III Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Lutheran (Missouri Synod)
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 07/28/94


Name: 1LT Harry Hutchison Gibson
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 03/21/69 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 22.1
Date of Birth: 02/22/47
Home City: Lumberton, NC
Service: TC branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 335 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Service: TC branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 29W-098
Short Summary: Crashed into the side of a hill after flying into a fog bank during an early morning formation takeoff from Blackhorse.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17354
Service number: O5258318
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 1981 = 19 Rotary Wing Aviator (Unit Commander)
Primary cause: A/C Accident WX
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: aircraft commander
Started Tour: 11/14/68
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
Length of service: 02
Location: Hau Nghia Province III Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Methodist (Evangelical United Brethren)
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: officer
This record was last updated on 07/24/94


Name: SGT Ted Douglas Mills (posthumously promoted)
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 03/21/69 while performing the duty of Crew Chief.
Age at death: 19.7
Date of Birth: 06/21/49
Home City: Culver City, CA
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 335 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 29W-103
Short Summary: Crashed into the side of a hill after flying into a fog bank during an early morning formation takeoff from Blackhorse.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17354
Service number: 18861958
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 67N20 = UH-1 Helicopter Repairer
Primary cause: A/C Accident WX
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: crew chief
Started Tour: 11/12/68
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
Location: Hau Nghia Province III Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Protestant - no denominational preference
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 07/24/94


Name: SP4 Albert Otto Krausser
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 03/21/69 while performing the duty of Gunner.
Age at death: 21.5
Date of Birth: 09/28/47
Home City: Takoma Park, MD
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 335 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 29W-101
Short Summary: Crashed into the side of a hill after flying into a fog bank during an early morning formation takeoff from Blackhorse.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 67-17354
Service number: 11569996
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 67A1F = Aircraft Maintenance Apprentice
Primary cause: A/C Accident WX
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: door gunner
Started Tour: 12/04/67
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
Length of service: 02
Location: Hau Nghia Province III Corps.
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: enlisted personnel
This record was last updated on 07/28/94


The following is Goldbook information on US Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 67-17354
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 0368.
Please provide any additional information on this helicopter to the VHPA.

DATE  FLT HRS    UIC      UNIT          AREA          POST          COUNTRY
6803   0    0 W0Y6AA OS TO CONUS      ITR CONUS                   AVCOMITR
6804  85   85 WC3EAA 48 ASLT HEL CO   VIETNAM                     RVN     
6805 150  235 WC3EAA 48 ASLT HEL CO   VIETNAM                     RVN     
6806 132  367 WGPQAA 335 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN     
6807 110  477 WGPQAA 335 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN     
6808 110  587 WGPQAA 335 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN     
6809 136  723 3264   HHD 44 ENG GP    THAILAND                    PACIFIC 
6810  99  822 WGPQAA 335 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN     
6811  94  916 WGPQAA 335 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN     
6812  62  978 WGPQAA 335 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN     
6901 110 1088 WGPQAA 335 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN     
6902  91 1179 WGPQAA 335 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN

Please send additions or corrections to:

Gary Roush
43 Overbrook Road
Painted Post, NY 14870


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