Helicopter UH-1H 68-15568

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-15568
The Army purchased this helicopter 0469
Total flight hours at this point: 00002032
Date: 04/04/71
Incident number: 710404021ACD Accident case number: 710404021 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 135 AHC
The station for this helicopter was Dong Tam in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 13 . . Injured = 0 . . Passengers = 10
costing 395145
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:
AC 1LT LAPLANTE NOEL CHARLES KIA
P WO1 KNIGHT TERRY VASCAL KIA
CE SP4 REYNOLDS HARVEY MICHAEL KIA
G SGT STEPPEE LARRY ELMER KIA

Passengers:
, CET, G; , PAX, A; , PAX, A; , PAX, A; , PAX, A; , PAX, A; , PAX, A; , PAX, A; , PAX, A; , PAX, A;


Accident Summary:

AIRCRAFT ^68-15568^ WAS ENGAGED IN A COMBAT OPERATION OF THE ^135TH ASSAULT HELICOPTER COMPANY^ AND FLYING IN THE TRAIL SHIP POSITION IN A FLIGHT OF FOUR UH-1H AIRCRAFT. THE FLIGHT HAD COMPLETED TWO LIFTS AND HAD PICKED UP THEIR TROOPS FOR THE THIRD LIFT. THE FLIGHT WAS IN THE PROCESS OF JOINING IN A DIAMOND FORMATION WHEN THE TRAIL SHIP WAS HEARD TO SAY "LEAD, YOU'RE SCATTERED." THIS WAS THE LAST TRANSMISSION HEARD FROM THE TRAIL AIRCRAFT. THE AIRCRAFT WAS FIRST NOTICED AS MISSING WHEN THE COMMAND AND CONTROL AIRCRAFT QUESTIONED THE LEAD AIRCRAFT CONCERNING THE NUMBER OF AIRCRAFT INHIS FLIGHT. AT THIS POINT CHALK 3 OF THE FLIGHT BROKE OFF TO LOOK FOR THE TRAIL AIRCRAFT AND THE REMAINING TWO AIRCRAFT IN THE FLIGHT STAYED TOGETHER TO ASSIST IN THE SEARCH. THE COMMAND AND CONTROL AIRCRAFT ALSO ASSISTED AND WAS THE FIRST SHIP TO DISCOVER THE ACCIDENT SITE. NO MEMBER OF THE FLIGHT WITNESSED THE AIRCRAFT DEPART THE FLIGHT OR CRASH. THE AIRCRAFT IMPACTED IN A NOSE LOW ATTITUDE WITH THE LEFT FRONT SIDE OF THE AIRCRAFT STRIKING FIRST. THERE WERE NO INDICATIONS OF SKIDDING. THE TAIL BOOM OF THE AIRCRAFT SEPARATED FROM THE MAIN FUSELAGE BEFORE STRIKING THE GROUND ANDWAS FOUND APPROXIMATELY 100 METERS FROM THE MAIN FUSELAGE. THETAIL ROTOR WAS STILL ATTACHED TO THE TAIL BOOM BY THE TAIL ROTOR DRIVE CHAIN. THE MAIN ROTOR BLADES AND HUB ASSEMBLY WAS LOCATED APPROXIMATELY 50 METERS TO THE RIGHT FRONT OF THE MAIN FUSELAGE AND ALSO SEPARATED FROM THE AIRCRAFT IN FLIGHT. THE ENGINE WAS FOUND APPROXIMATELY 100 METERS TO THE FRONT OF THE AIRCRAFT AND HAD ALSO SEPARATED FROM THE AIRCRAFT IN FLIGHT.\\

This record was last updated on 09/20/98


The following is crew member information for this incident:


Name: WO1 Terry Vascal Knight
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 04/04/71 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Age at death: 20.7
Date of Birth: 07/23/50
Home City: Houston, TX
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 135 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 70-27/70-25
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 04W-106
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 68-15568
SSN: 457829615
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 100B = Utility/Observation Helicopter Pilot
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: unknown or not reported
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: pilot
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 10/13/70
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
The initial status of this person was: no previous report
Length of service: *
Location: Vinh Binh Province IV Corps.
Military grid coordinates of event: XR163900
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
married male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Church of Christ
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 07/29/95



Name: 1LT Noel Charles LaPlante
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 04/04/71 while performing the duty of Aircraft Commander.
Age at death: 24.3
Date of Birth: 12/25/46
Home City: Toledo, OH
Service: IN branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 135 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 70-22
Service: IN branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 04W-106
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 68-15568
SSN: 302427715
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 1981 = 19 Rotary Wing Aviator (Unit Commander)
Compliment cause: unknown or not reported
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: aircraft commander
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 09/08/70
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
The initial status of this person was: no previous report
Length of service: *
Location: Vinh Binh Province IV Corps.
Military grid coordinates of event: XR163900
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: officer
This record was last updated on 07/29/95



Name: SP4 Harvey Michael Reynolds
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 04/04/71 while performing the duty of Crew Chief.
Age at death: 19.6
Date of Birth: 08/13/51
Home City: Cincinnati, OH
Service: regular component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 135 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 04W-106
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 68-15568
SSN: 299485111
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 67N2F = UH-1 Helicopter Repairer
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: unknown or not reported
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: crew chief
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 06/05/70
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
The initial status of this person was: no previous report
Length of service: *
Location: Vinh Binh Province IV Corps.
Military grid coordinates of event: XR163900
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: SGT Larry Elmer Steppee (posthumously promoted)
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 04/04/71 while performing the duty of Gunner.
Age at death: 21.3
Date of Birth: 12/15/49
Home City: Cumberland City, TN
Service: component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 135 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Service: U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 04W-107
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 68-15568
SSN: 408823659
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 76W20 = Petroleum Supply Specialist
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: unknown or not reported
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: door gunner
Vehicle ownership: government
Started Tour: 06/03/70
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - other aircrew
The initial status of this person was: no previous report
Length of service: *
Location: Vinh Binh Province IV Corps.
Military grid coordinates of event: XR163900
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died of other causes
single male U.S. citizen
Race: Caucasian
Relgion: Pentecostal
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 68-15568
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 0469.
Please provide any additional information on this helicopter to the VHPA.

DATE  FLT HRS    UIC      UNIT          AREA          POST          COUNTRY
6904   0    0 W0Y6AA OS TO CONUS      ITR CONUS                   AVCOMITR
6905   0    0 3300   HHD 44 ENG GP    THAILAND                    PACIFIC
6906  97   97 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6907 107  204 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6908 124  328 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6909 112  440 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6910 104  544 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6911 128  672 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
6912  90  762 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7001 109  871 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7002  44  915 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7003  92 1007 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7004 107 1114 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7005 140 1254 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7006 140 1394 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7007  74 1468 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7008  62 1530 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7009 106 1636 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7010  35 1671 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7011  73 1744 WC7ZAA 155 ASLT HEL CO  VIETNAM                     RVN
7012  41 1785 WC08AA 135 AVN CO       VIETNAM                     RVN
7101  28 1813 WC08AA 135 AHC          VIETNAM                     RVN
7102 108 1921 WC08AA 135 AHC          VIETNAM                     RVN
7103 111 2032 WC08AA 135 AHC          VIETNAM                     RVN



Please send additions or corrections to:

VHPA Head Quarters or Gary Roush or Mike Law


Printed from databases on: 08/27/00

Copyright 1998, 1999 and 2000 Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association


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