Loach and Cobra crews lived together, and schedulers generally paired the teams with the partners they requested, though given the high turnover rate, that wasnt always possible. The enemy was moving toward us when a [command and control] ship picked us up. South Vietnam Your email address will not be published. Jim Kanes Vietnam tour abruptly ended one day in February 1971. The Cayuse had a single articulated four-bladed main rotor, a metal two-bladed tail rotor, and a V-shaped tail. While Enroute this helicopter was at Level Flight at 0020 feet and 050 knots. Reportedly, Hughes had consulted at the last moment with Real, who recommended a bid of $53,550. Small Arms/Automatic Weapons; Gun launched non-explosive ballistic projectiles less than 20 mm in size. The United States deployed all types of helicopter, ranging from massive troop transport choppers, to smaller multipurpose and attack helicopters, and even helicopter drones. During 1960, the United States Army issued Technical Specification 153 for a Light Observation Helicopter (LOH) capable of fulfilling various roles on the battlefield, including personnel transport, escort, casualty evacuation, observation, and attack missions. Vietnam following a morning mission with the 11th Special Forces (SF) at Long Than North, South Vietnam. The light observation helicopter OH-6 Cayuse, or Loach (based on the LOH acronym), was a Vietnam-era helicopter designed with speed and maneuverability in mind. Worthy, the OH-6 Loach and two other air scout helicopter pilots, all decorated, were in Topeka on Saturday night for an event at Forbes Field Airport designed to increase interest and. They underwent two weeks of qualification training and an additional two weeks of mission training. Jim was unconscious when I helped pull him out of the burning aircraft.. On a few occasions, the OH-23 was also used for medical evacuation purposes, but this was rarely the case. That was about it.. It could accomplish missions that bigger, slower and louder helicopters couldnt do. article/image or apply full credit information. Despite a strong outcry from crews in Vietnam, the Bell OH-58A Kiowa, powered by the same Allison T-63 engine as the OH-6, was being distributed to Army units. We thought they were ARVNs [Army of the Republic of Vietnam] until they started running. The Gyrodyne QH-50 was mostly designed to be used on ships that werent large enough to carry a full-sized helicopter. From the rear cockpit, the pilot fired rockets from launchers fixed to the stub wings on either side; the copilot in the front operated a chin turret that held a minigun and grenade launcher. Army headquarters developed doctrine by building on what worked in the field, rather than the other way around, and each unit in-country did things slightly differently. The high-low hunter-killer combination gave way to uniform-altitude missions, with all helicopters flying nap of the earth. 2 .50 cal MG pods The North Vietnamese deployed hundreds of the missiles, and from then on, both hunter and killer tried to stay well hidden. His three tours to Vietnam included death-defying scouting missions piloting his Hughes OH-6 light observation helicopter (or Loach) as well as gunship runs inside his AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter.. Cozzalio was also involved in nine aircraft mishaps; he was shot down six times and suffered three hard landings. You can have all the guns, vests, and radios you want, but you need street smarts or youre going to be dead within an hour.. The Huey descended gingerly into a clearing smaller than its main rotor diameter, the aircrafts rotor blades chopping tree limbs as it descended. The small "egg-shaped" design and simplified rotorhead incorporated four rotor blades of constant chord, made of bonded light alloy. While the already-produced OH-6 Cayuses were being deployed to Vietnam in 1967, production costs were beginning to rise. It was mostly used to transport troops and cargo during the Vietnam war. They were employed in hunter-killer tactics, wherein they flew low over the jungle as bait to draw enemy fire. USNTPS plans to retain the aircraft indefinitely and continue to improve the safety, reliability, and usefulness of the aircraft in the test pilot training role. The Bell UH-1B/C was modified from the UH-1A Cobra to include a set of machine guns for attacking ground targets. Cobra Gunship, Huey and Loach OH-6 Members of C Troop, 1st Squadron, 9th Cavalry dedicated an OH-6 Loach Scout helicopter flown by their unit during the Vietnam War As of 2021, these records still stand. It was deemed, based on Hughes' estimates, his units would be most cost effective in the long run. We were so close to the elephant grass that wed blow the grass apart to see if anyone was hiding in there, observer Bob Moses says. The Cobra is a single-engine attack helicopter produced by Bell Helicopter as a primary attack helicopter in the Vietnam War for aerial assaults or as air cavalry. Disclaimer Photographs [5] Accordingly, the bidding for the LOH contract came down to Fairchild-Hiller and Hughes. [22] Its straightforward design made it easier to maintain than most other helicopters, while its relatively compact 26-foot main rotor made it easier to use tight landing zones. The Piasecki H-21 Workhorse was the fourth line of tandem rotor helicopters developed by Piasecki Helicopters. The OH-6 helicopters served in huge numbers and were used for light observation and utility roles. Its effectiveness in battle allowed it to quickly replace the Bell H-13 Siouxs being operated in the country. The US military primarily used the OH-6 for observational and reconnaissance purposes. On top of this, Fairchild Hiller lodged a formal complaint over Hughes Tool Companys deceitful tactics to earn the original contract. Systems damaged were: COMM SYS, STRUCTURE, INSTRUMENTS, PERSONNEL During the Vietnam War Era, different types of helicopters were crucial for providing support for ground forces, scouting locations, and deploying or retrieving soldiers. The Chickasaw was a multi-purpose helicopter designed for both the US Army and Air Force. The Korean War proved the necessity for such rotorcraft, particularly in regard to search and rescue operations. [17] On 26 March 1966, Jack Schwiebold set the closed circuit distance record in a YOH-6A at Edwards Air Force Base, California, flying without landing for 1,739.96mi (2,800.20km). 60th Assault Helicopter Company: Mar 72 Jun 72, Information on U.S. Army helicopter OH-6A tail number 67-16304 The four-passenger teardrop shaped "Flying egg" (six-passenger with rear seats folded-down) was a small, light, sturdy, maneuverable helicopter, with very low drag. It was used to look for and find the VC/NVA troops in Vietnam. The Raven was used as a scouting helicopter during the early phases of the war, before it was eventually replaced by the Cayuse in early 1986. They went down in the jungle, and both [members of the crew] survived. Queer John was famous not just for crashing, but for keeping the crew safe while it did so. AH/MH-6J: US Army Special Operations variant derived from the MD-530MG. Overtop of the fuselage was the OH-6s single engine, attached to a four-blade main rotor assembly. Home | Systems damaged were: FUEL SYS But the Vietnam War was unlike any previous American conflict; there were few real definable frontlines, and combatants needed to know what was happening all around them, all the time. The Cayuse was Hughes' longest-running helicopter program and, during the Vietnam War, as many as 100 OH-6As were built a month. [7] The Hiller design, designated OH-5A,[7] had featured a boosted control system, while the Hughes design did not, a difference that accounted for some of the price increase. These choppers were modified for combat rescue missions and had self-sealing fuel tanks, rescue hoist, and in-flight refueling abilities. I spent more time with them., Kids Start Forgetting Early Childhood Around Age 7, Archaeologists Discover Wooden Spikes Described by Julius Caesar, Artificial Sweetener Tied to Risk of Heart Attack and Stroke, Study Finds, 5,000-Year-Old Tavern With Food Still Inside Discovered in Iraq, The Surprisingly Scientific Roots of Monkey Bars. Flight Hours in Vietnam: 1,400. Ribbons are clickable to their respective aerial campaigns / operations / aviation periods. I went up in a Loach with an M60 machine gun to get used to firing the weapon. The aircraft was diverted prior to accomplishing any mission objectives. OH-6A Cayuse ('Loach') The OH-6A "Cayuse" is a small tactical helicopter flown by units of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment [SOAR]. I followed footsteps. OH-58 "Kiowa" light observation / scout platform. In response, a task force was developed originally designated Task Force 158 for the next attempt to rescue the hostages, Operation Honey Badger. Despite its strong offensive abilities, the SH-2 Seasprite was mostly used for rescuing downed friendly aircrews instead of direct combat. When the Loach debuted in 1966, it broke records for speed, endurance, and rate of climb, all important attributes for a scout helicopter. So I engaged the enemy, but didnt make it out of that one. A total of five prototypes were built, all of which were powered by a single Allison T63-A-5A turboshaft engine, capable of producing 252shp (188kW). Optional and variable (attack and special forces versions only). This chopper is mostly known for having been used to spot enemy artillery. During the course of the competition, the Bell submission, the YOH-4, was eliminated as being underpowered (it was powered by the 250shp (186kW) T63-A-5). This simple design made maintenance easy, while the choppers 26-foot rotor made it much easier to maneuver in tight landing zones. Towards the end of the conflict, the replacement of the OH-6 by the Bell OH-58 Kiowa was imminent across nearly all US Army units. The Army purchased this helicopter 0968 The Loach could be terrifying since it was often used with the AH-1 Cobra in hunter-killer missions, where the Loach would go out and find the enemy positions and the Cobra would go in for the kill with rocket, grenade, and minigun fire. It would often be crewed by a pilot and an observer; up to five passengers or up to 1,000lb of cargo could be carried internally. In order to reduce their acoustic signature, the helicopters (N351X and N352X) received a four-blade 'scissors' style tail rotor (later incorporated into the Hughes-designed AH-64 Apache), a fifth rotor blade and reshaped rotor tips, a modified exhaust system, and various other performance boosting modifications. [10][self-published source][11], Due to price escalations for both the OH-6 and spare components, the U.S. Army opted to reopen bids for the programme in 1967. Date: 02/08/1969 Military operators included the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF), Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force (JMSDF), and the Japanese Coast Guard. On 1 October 1986, to help meet the increasing demands for support, the 1-245th Aviation Battalion from the Oklahoma National Guard, which had 25 AH-6 and 23 UH-1 helicopters, was placed under the operational control of the 160th. Observation Helicopters Hughes OH-6 Cayuse (Loach) The Hughes OH-6 Cayuse is a light helicopter with a single engine and a four-bladed main rotor. Following the lead, we got peppered with rounds. The Loach had a bad vibration, but he made it about half a mile before he had to land. Some crews argued that the Kiowa was nowhere near as nimble as the OH-6, however, the transition proceeded while scouting doctrine was changed to emphasis operations from greater distances. Onboard UH1 Huey helicopter (SN 66-163-56) was Aircraft Commander, WO William H. Seaborn Jr., myself as . I could see a cigarette butt still burning. The Hughes OH-6 "Cayuse" (popularly recognized as the "Loach") was a revolutionary light helicopter mount primarily in service with the United States Army and saw combat service during the Vietnam War (1955-1975). The Gyrodyne company built the Gyrodyne QH-50 DASH (Drone Anti-Submarine Helicopter) to combat submarines from a distance. purchase. These rotorcraft were operated by several different organisations, the majority of which were based in Japan. Hughes Model OH-6A "Cayuse" or "LOACH". Setting 23 world records for speed, distance, and altitude, the Hughes Tool Company OH-6 entered service in September of 1966. s/n 67-16304 They were famous for being shot down or crashing in combat. NVA troops shot down a Cobra, killing the crew. As a separate part of the project, armed OH-6As were being developed at Fort Rucker, Alabama. OH-6A/Cayuse: Developed initially by the Hughes Aircraft company (later McDonnell Douglas Helicopter Company) in the mid-1960s for the US Army. As well, its tough frame made it safer than other helicopters during crashes, as its aluminum skin absorbed the energy and the structure protected the crew. This was a Recon mission for Unarmed Recon Loach crews regularly walked away from crashes that would doom others. (He later transferred to the Air Force and flew F-4 Phantoms, and eventually became an airline captain.) It was barely used in the Vietnam War because it was replaced by the more advanced Sikorsky H-34 Choctaw. One, nicknamed Queer John, hit the dirt at least seven times. This story is a selection from the September issue of Air & Space magazine, Donald Porter [27], During the early 1970s, Soviet-supplied SA-7 Grail shoulder-launched anti-aircraft missiles emerged amongst North Vietnamese troops; one hit could down a Loach, potentially dealing fatal damage before its crew were aware that they were under fire. 605th transportation Company (Direct Support): Nov . Missions began every day at dawn, when crews were briefed on where to fly and what to look for. One of the most dangerous helicopter assignments was a tiny scout helicopter known as the Loach. Officially designated the OH-6 Cayuse, these things were made of thin plexiglass and metal but were expected to fly low over the jungles and grass, looking for enemy forces hiding in the foliage. Loach and Cobra were in constant radio communication, and because of the intensity of hunter-killer missions, it wasnt long before pairs in each type knew each other well enough to anticipate the others moves. On March 3, 2023, at a White House ceremony, retired Army Colonel Paris Davis received the Medal of Honor. The killer role persists. For this, a small rotorcraft capable of landing in restrictive locations and easily transportable via US Air Force transport aircraft was necessary. Contact | Find Us on Facebook, Safety Standards Acknowledgement and Consent (SSAC). [27] During June 1972, they were deployed to a secret base in southern Laos (PS-44), where one of the helicopters was heavily damaged during a training mission late in the summer. The Model 369 was submitted by Hughes, and competed against the two finalists, Fairchild-Hiller and Bell, for a production contract. 2 TOW missile pods (2 each) Your Privacy Rights The US Army subsequently reopened the LOH program to engineering companies, offering a new contract for 2,700 additional airframes. It was the same for Jim. I could tell how old a footprint was by how it looked. Following the Second World War, significant advancements were made in the field of rotary-wing flight. In the event of a crash the tailboom and engine separate from the egg-like . The OH-6 Cayuse, by this point known as the Loach helicopter, made its way to Vietnam in December 1967. The OH-6A would find targets by flying low, trolling for fire, and lead in a Cobra, or Snake, to attack. The Huskie was used by the US Air Force, US Navy, and US Marine Corps. Loach crews were equipped with small arms and returned fire as they fled. The Loach helicopter was pitted against what was then known as the Bell Model 206. Underneath, a fixed twin-skid undercarriage was supported at two separate points. The OH-6A Cayuse was quite effective when teamed with the AH-1G Cobra attack helicopter as part of what were known as Pink Teams. It is 1/6th scale and very large, has to be at least 3 feet from rotor tip to rotor tip. 2 M75 40-mm grenade launchers Vietnam OH-6A "Cayuse" Helicopter The OH-6A made its first flight in 1963. The OH-6 was developed in response to the United States Army issuing Technical Specification 153 in 1960 to replace its Bell H-13 Sioux fleet. Nate Shaffer has restored a Hughes OH-6A Cayuse helicopter. The 1-245th AVN BN enlisted were sent to the Mississippi Army National Guard's Army Aviation Support Facility (AASF) at Gulfport, Mississippi, for two weeks of qualification training in the aircraft. Today, the Little Birds in use by special operations are MH-6Ms derived from a similar but more powerful helicopter. Tough Mission LOACH Chopper Vietnam - YouTube 0:00 / 5:15 Intro Tough Mission LOACH Chopper Vietnam Chopperguy 15.4K subscribers Subscribe 1.1K 53K views 1 year ago We fly with Low Level. [3], On 27 February 1963, the first Model 369 prototype performed its maiden flight. Ive seen them, whites of the eyes, and theyve seen me, whites of the eyes. Loach come from the LOH which means Light Observation Helicopter. Rattler One-Seven puts you in the helicopter seat, to see the war in Vietnam through the eyes of an inexperienced pilot as he transforms himself into a seasoned combat veteran. Kane was dispatched to the crash site in another Cobra with copilot Jim Casher. In 1966 it entered military service with the US Army. The LOH program opened the floor to several companies to come up with their own designs. Accordingly, this tactic had resulted in substantial losses being incurred on the contract with the U.S. Army; the company had allegedly anticipated that an extended production cycle would eventually make the rotorcraft financially viable.
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