Nightstalkers Unit Crest.
   92-00465, Boeing E model kit number M3713, was a MH-47E helicopter. The U.S. Army acceptance date was 19 August 1994. As of 7 March 1996, 92-00465 had accumulated at least
          489.0 E model hours and 2,647.0 total aircraft hours. 92-00465 was a conversion from the original C model Chinook 76-22677. On 20 March 1992, 92-00465 was inducted into the E model program, converted, and initially scheduled for assignment to the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) - "Nightstalkers", located at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. On 7 March 1996, 92-00465 was lost due to an accident. Shortly after the crew filed for and received an instrument flight rules clearance in instrument meteorological conditions, 92-00465 crashed out of control from approximately 4,000 feet mean sea level (MSL) (3,400 feet above ground level (AGL)). The aircraft was totally destroyed in the impact and post crash fire. All five crew members sustained fatal injuries. As of 7 March 1996, this aircraft was 18.9 years old. As of 7 March 1996, the last known location of 92-00465 was Kentucky. Aircraft status: Crashed.



92-00465 crash site in Kentucky.
Five killed in military helicopter crash


          8 March 1996, posted at: 0855 EST.


             OLMSTEAD, Kentucky (CHN) -- Military officials were trying to pinpoint a cause Friday morning for a helicopter crash that killed all five crew members board.


             The MH-47 Chinook went down around 11 p.m. EST Thursday near the Tennessee state line, according to Lt. Col. Ken McGraw, public affairs officer for the Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The helicopter, from the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment at Fort Campbell, just west of the crash site, was on a routine training flight.


             The Army, which is investigating the crash, has not released the names of the crew members, pending notification of their families. The crash occurred near Olmstead in the south-central portion of Kentucky.



Newspaper account of the crash of 92-00465.



          Deceased Soldiers' Identities Withheld



             Logan County, Ky. - Investigators spent Friday morning poring over the wreckage of an MH-47E Chinook helicopter from Fort Campbell that crashed into a wheat field among the farms of Olmstead in southern Logan County late Thursday night.

             Five soldiers were killed in the crash, but their names are being withheld pending notification of families. The helicopter was assigned to the 160th Special Operations Regiment (Airborne), a tenant unit at Fort Campbell. The soldiers were participating in a routine training mission.

             "It may take a few days to sift through the wreckage and to remove the deceased personnel," said Maj. Joe Howell, Fort Campbell public affairs officer. "The investigation typically takes two to three weeks."

             There was nothing recognizable as a helicopter in the charred area cordoned with yellow tape. The tandem-rotor Chinook, a 99 foot long, 18 foot tall chopper, known for its distinctive U shape.

             According to some reports, a coroner at the scene said a good portion of the aircraft was buried 10 feet deep in the field. Howell said the Safety Center team found a depression at the point of impact but did think it was 10 feet deep.

   Lynn Dawson, chief of the Olmstead Volunteer Fire...


Newspaper account of the crash of 92-00465.



          Crew Members Names Released


          CW5 Walter M. Fox

          CW3 Pierre R. Desroches

          CW3 William R. Monty Jr.

          SSG Tracy A. Tidwell

          SSG Bradley C. Beem



          Water Entry Caused MH-47 Accident

          February 1998



             Investigation into the 1996 crash of a US Army MH-47E operated by the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment at Fort Campbell, Kentucky, found the likely cause to be loss of electrical power due to the presence of water in the helicopters primary power distribution panels (PDPs). The helicopter was returning from a night vision goggle (NVG) flight when it requested IFR clearance to perform an instrument approach. Approach Control directed a 15 degree right turn to the crew; the radar controller noted that the helicopter tightened its turn radius and passed its assigned heading. Controllers then lost contact with the MH-47E, which was found crashed shortly thereafter.

             Investigators determined that heavy precipitation, helicopter washing, or extended overwater operations can result in water leaking into the cockpit area and entering the power distribution panels. This causes certain circuit breakers, known as gang bars (3 circuit breakers connected together), to short -- resulting in either partial or complete loss of electrical power to primary flight instruments.

             Since the accident, changes have been made to protect PDPs from water intrusion by installing a plastic cover over the PDP gang bars.



Cockpit Water Intrusion
and the
Power Distribution Panels



             Shown below is a CH-47D model Chinook helicopter "Number One Power Distribution Panel" (PDP). It is similar to the E model panel. At the bottom of the panel is the Alternating Current (AC) Gang Bar circuit breaker, shown here with the plastic water/dust protection boot installed. There are two gang bars - one on the pilots side and one on the copilots side of the cockpit. A gang bar is a circuit breaker assembly with more than one breaker simultaneously operated when the control lever is moved. In this case, three circuit breakers control the flow of the three phase current generated by the main AC generators. AC current provides critical power to the many cockpit gauges and instruments used by the pilot to fly the helicopter. Should water enter the circuit breaker, or the PDP, the system could short out and kick the generators off-line. A total loss of electrical power to vital cockpit instrumentation would make flying the helicopter very difficult at night or in poor weather conditions.


D Model Chinook Number One Power Distribution Panel, circa August 2002.

             View of the Number One PDP, looking down from the copilots point of view (left seat) as if seated in the cockpit. The Number Two PDP is similar, but located on the right side of the cockpit.



          This aircraft was piloted by:


          Your Name Here.



          This aircraft was crewed by:


          Your Name Here.



          Related Information

          ASAM CH-47-97-ASAM-07

          ASAM CH-47-99-ASAM-03

          January 1998 Flight Fax (PDF)

          December 1998 Flight Fax (PDF)

          E Model Information

          The E Model in Afghanistan



          The CH-47 - 40 years old and still circling the world.


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