Helicopter UH-1H 68-16530

Information on U.S. Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-16530
The Army purchased this helicopter 1269
Total flight hours at this point: 00000367
Date: 04/19/70
Incident number: 700419151ACD Accident case number: 700419151 Total loss or fatality Accident
Unit: 135 AHC
The station for this helicopter was Bear Cat in South Vietnam
Number killed in accident = 1 . . Injured = 1 . . Passengers = 0
costing 310145
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 STILLIONS RONALD BRUCE KIA
IP O2 MUELLER RM

Accident Summary:

AIRCRAFT 68-16530 DEPARTED THE 135TH RAMP AREA AT APPROXIMATELY 1335 19 APRIL 1970, WITH THE CREW LISTED ABOVE. THE MISSION WAS TRAINING IN THAT 1LT MUELLER WAS ADMINISTERING A 90 DAY STANDARDIZATION CHECK RIDE AND AC RIDE TO WO1 STILLIONS. THE FLIGHT PROGRESSED NORMALLY UNTIL AT APPROXIMATELY 1435 HOURS WHEN A HYDRAULICS OFF LANDING WAS TO BE PERFORMED. THE AREA FOR THE CHECK RIDE WAS THE FAC STRIP INSIDE THE BEARCAT COMPOUND (SEE MAP, TAB 10). ON FINAL APPROACH FOR THE STRIP AT APPROXIMATELY 100-200 FEET ALTITUDE AND 60 KNOTS, 1LT MUELLER INFORMED WO1 STILLIONS THAT HE WAS GOING TO CUT OFF THE HYDRAULICS. SHORTLY AFTER TURNING OFF THE HYDRALICS SWITCH AND RESETTING THE MASTER CAUTION THE RIGHT FUEL BOOST PUMP LIGHT CAME ON AT WHICH TIME THE IP RESET THE MASTER CAUTION, CHECKED THE CIRCUIT BREAKERS AND LOOKED BACK TO FIND THE ROTOR AT APPROXIMATELY 270 RPM. THE IP TOOK CONTROL OF THE AIRCRAFT AND BEFORE HE COULD ACCOMPLISH A DECELERATION MADE CONTACT (SEE PHOTO #1) WITH THE SMALL TREES AND THEN THE GROUND. THE AIRCRAFT HIT RELATIVELY LEVEL, BOUNCED AND THE LEFT FRONT SKID HUNG ON A TREE STUMP, (SEE PHOTO #2) CAUSING THE AIRCRAFT TO ROTATE 215 IN A COUNTER-CLOCKWISE DIRECTION BEFORE CONTACTING THE GROUND FOR THE SECOND AND FINAL TIME. THE AIRCRAFT BURST INTO FLAMES ON GROUND CONTACT HOWEVER THE IP, IN THE RIGHT SEAT WAS ABLE TO ESCAPE WITH MINOR BURNS AND INJURIES. THE PILOTS SEAT (LEFT SEAT) BROKE LOOSE FROM THE RAILS (SEE PHOTO #3 & 6) WHEN THE AIRCRAFT HIT THE SECOND TIME AND THE PILOT WAS THROWN REARWARD INTO THE FUEL. THERE IS SOME CONFUSION AS TO HOW OR WHO PULLED THE PILOT FROM THE WRECKAGE HOWEVER HE WAS OUT OF THE BURNING WRECKAGE BEFORE IT WAS ENTIRELY CONSUMED, BY FLAMES. HIS BURNS WERE EXTENSIVE AND RESULTED IN DEATH OF WO1 STILLIONS. THE IP AND P ALONG WITH ONE OF THE PASSERS-BY WERE EVACUATED TO THE 93RD EVACUATION HOSPITAL SHORTLY AFTER THE ACCIDENT BY AN AIRCRAFT THAT WAS IN THE VICINITY OF THE CRASH SITE. NO MAY DAY CALL WAS GIVEN BECAUSE OF THE SHORT TIME SPAN OF THE EMERGENCY AND ENSUEING CRASH.\\

This record was last updated on 05/25/98


The following is crew member information for this incident:


Name: WO1 Ronald Bruce Stillions
Status: Killed In Action from an incident on 04/19/70 while performing the duty of Pilot.
Died 2 days later on 04/21/70.
Age at death: 22.3
Date of Birth: 01/13/48
Home City: Bloomington, IN
Service: AV branch of the reserve component of the U.S. Army.
Unit: 135 AHC
Major organization: 1st Aviation Brigade
Flight class: 69-41/69-39
Service: AV branch of the U.S. Army.
The Wall location: 11W-032
Short Summary: Died from burns received in crash 19 Feb 70 during AC & 90 day check ride with IP 1LT R.M. Mueller who survived.
Aircraft: UH-1H tail number 68-16530
SSN: 312548137
Country: South Vietnam
MOS: 100B = Utility/Observation Helicopter Pilot
Primary cause: A/C Accident
Major attributing cause: aircraft connected not at sea
Compliment cause: fire or burns
Vehicle involved: helicopter
Position in vehicle: pilot
Started Tour: 01/20/70
"Official" listing: helicopter air casualty - pilot
Location: Bien Hoa Province III Corps.
Reason: aircraft lost or crashed
Casualty type: Non-hostile - died illness or injuries
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: warrant officer
This record was last updated on 07/29/94


The following is Goldbook information on US Army helicopter UH-1H tail number 68-16530
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   1    1 WE4HAA 142 TC DS        VIETNAM                     RVN
7001   2    3 WE4HAA 142 TC DS        VIETNAM                     RVN
7002 132  135 WC08AA 135 AVN CO       VIETNAM                     RVN
7003 156  291 WC08AA 135 AVN CO       VIETNAM                     RVN
7004  76  367 WCLMAA 56 TRANS CO DS   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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