Helicopter Accidents

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James Connally AFB, TX
16 May 1959

Waco Tribune-Herald (Waco, TX) Sun, May 17, 1959, page 1

H-43A at James Connally AFB, TX., crewed by Lt. James Greenway and SSgt. Jimmy Haddox crash on the runway during an airshow at the base. It hit the runway losing both rotors, its wheels and other smaller pieces. It bounced, slipped on its side and started its long skid along the runway and caught fire. No other details are known at this time.

Report Of Accident

l. At l458 CST, 16 May 1959, H-4A, serial number 58-1831 became airborne as the number two ship of a two-ship aerial demonstration helicopter team for the purpose of performing a demonstration helicopter maneuvers for Armed Forces Day spectators at James Connally AFB, Texas. Both aircraft contained a pilot and a crew chief.

2. Several hovering-type maneuvers were performed as a team by both aircraft. The pilot of #58-1831 then broke away from his leader in order to perform a single ship high speed pass, climbing 180 degree turn and a maximum performance approach to a hover. The aircraft proceeded south towards the southern perimeter of the airbase and altitude was increased to 1200 feet MSL (730 feet above the terrain). As the airfield boundary was reached the aircraft was turned 180 degrees and aligned with runway 35L. At this point the pilot was flying straight and level at approximately 40 knots indicated airspeed. The pilot then lowered the nose of the aircraft to approximately 45 degrees nose low attitude and power was reduced to 2150 RPM (needles joined) and 20″ Hg in order to attain 90-95 knots indicated airspeed prior to passing in front of the demonstration area.

3. During the dive towards the end of runway 35L the pilot noted that the nose of the aircraft was not lined up straight down the runway. The pilot added some right rudder in order to align the aircraft with the runway. The aircraft did not respond as rapidly as the pilot thought it should so full right rudder was applied. As full rudder was applied the pilot moved the cyclic control stick partly towards the aft position. The aircraft still was not in the attitude desired by the pilot so full aft and right cyclic was utilized and at this point the aircraft struck the runway, bounced back into the air, came back down and rolled over on its left side and skidded to a stop. During the skid on its side the aircraft caught fire. As the aircraft came to a stop the crew evacuated with no injury. The aircraft was destroyed by impact and the ensuring fire. The crash occurred at 1515 CST.

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