Helicopter Accidents

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Westover AFB, MA
8 Dec 1961

S/N 59-1579
Det. 44, EARC

Report of AF Aircraft Accident
Courtesy of Johan Ragay

On 8 December 1961, 1st Lt. William J. Deming (P), 1st Lt. David D. Glick (CP) and TSgt. Calvin L. Edy were attempting a takeoff for a thirty-minute functional check flight of H-43B, s/n 59-1579, to check the topping off of the N-1 governor.

As Lt. Deming applied power for lift off, he was immediately  aware of a tilting of the helicopter to the right. He immediately  applied left cyclic stick in correction but stated that the time between first noting the tilting and first contact of a rotor blade with the taxiway surfaced apparently did not allow the correction to take effect. The co-pilot stated that his first observation was the tilting, followed by noting left cyclic stick application in a large amount. The helicopter continued to tilt over onto its right side, the rotor blades splintering themselves to small bits of wood and fabric on the asphalt taxiway and turf at the taxiway shoulder.

The pilot cut power and both pilots cut switches rapidly to preclude fire. They both observed sparking from the battery case in front of them. Crash/rescue equipment was immediately  on the scene, controlling incipient fire from spilled fuel and the ignition source at the battery, which had broken loose from its mounts and was shorting against the aircraft structure. Both pilots evacuated the aircraft from the copilot’s door, while the flight mechanic evacuated through the left clamshell door by opening it upward.

This helicopter was repaired and returned to service.

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