We need Great War stories about its history. I know that 502 is one of the aircraft which I flew as co-pilot, and I believe Dennis Beattie was A/C. However, I was not involved with his incident. I have listed below some information from the historical records for this aircraft, where we find Dennis Beattie, Frank Tigano, and David Trujillo are documented aircraft commanders for 67-19502. The Army purchased this helicopter in November 1968 and it was assigned to A/101 AHB in March 1970 through April 13, 1971. I would like to contact any of these guys or the crewchief for more information. When I receive the aircraft, I might be able to find more information from records transferred with it. At this point, I don't know who crewed the aircraft for Beattie or Tigano. We have the crew listed for Trujillo's incident. Still working on the documents to transfer aircraft to our Sheriff's Office. It's not ours until it's delivered and I need to cross this bridge first. My plans have not changed; I will work at restoring it to original condition. All combinations of serial numbers have been assigned to other FAA aircraft, so looking for suggestion for FAA registration number. We do have the option to contact owners of aircraft and negotiate with them to give up their number.
Just another big job.
Bob Carr, Comanchero Maintenance Officer, 70/71
I remember flying a bunch on "five-oh-deuce", as it was affectionately known in those days, both as a peter pilot and first pilot. As a copilot, I was often assigned to fly with Frank Tigano; as a new guy first pilot, I think I remember getting it assigned to me fairly frequently, as many with seniority and more savvy had already told Ops that they didn't want to fly it, the engine being comparatively weak, and maintenance refusing to replace a working engine without better cause.
I think that you have to get in touch with Scott Optenberg on this one, I'm almost certain that he was her crew chief in the early '71 time frame, and may even be the ship involved in the famous in-flight "piss incident". Perhaps DNA testing of chin bubble swabs could provide confirmation!
5-oh-deuce is certainly one of our fine old combat veterans, and I'd love to run my fingers over those old bullet hole patches, I sure hope the acquisition goes through.
Bob Morris, Comanchero 30, 70/71
I was part of the CCN flight the day Williams got his leg sliced by the rotor blade. We had just landed off the side of his aircraft and the pilots were about to shut down when I heard a hell of a racket, looked around just in time to see Williams get hit. I ran over and dragged him out from under the blades (not smart, almost had 2 casualties), a couple of other people helped get him in my aircraft, within five minute we where at the evac hospital at the other end of the active and he was being wheeled inside. I can't remember who my pilots were, but it was one hell of a high-speed taxi. After that bit of excitement, I can't remember if we did anything else that day. Maybe someone else can fill in the blanks.
I did contrary to regs, (sorry Major) inherit his 38 special and a M-79 that had both the barrel and the stock sawed off making it a 40mm pistol, and of course me being both young and ignorant, I was foolish enough to use it. Like the shows say "Do not attempt to do this yourself".
Tom Halligan, CE A/101, 1/71 - 12/71
Reply to AC502, it was certainly a first platoon aircraft, It was Tigano's ship most of the time, I (David Trujillo) was in first platoon and was assigned a first platoon aircraft, I am trying to remember the number of my ship, I thought I would never forget, 557 I think, it was the real shiny ship that had been sent down as a old VIP bird, and my crew chief (anyone remember that 1st platoon shiny vip ship) always had it all shined up, Both CO's flew with me a lot because Cpt. Fed would assign me to fly with them because the rest of you refused. I also flew allot with Cpt Fed and later as AC with Crews, Robbie, Easy Charlie, Lots of you guys, and to many leutentents and maintenance cpts. A lot of the time I was flying as AC of Superslick, Superslick rotated between 049, 497, (second platoon AC????) depending on what they needed for the daytime and maintenance cycles, On CCN I flew whatever AC was available, on the day of the CCN incident we had 8 Comanchero ships, and the CCN guy called us and asked us to park as close together as possible, The description says that a loose part came off the blade and cut Williams, but in fact nothing came off it was one of the rotor blades that cut him 3 inches deep on his butt. He was lucky to not get cut in half. ---- Tigano ran out of fuel in 502 and landed perfectly, should have gotten a broken wing, instead his AC orders were taken away for a month for running out of fuel. During that time lots of guys flew 502
David Trujillo, Comanchero 32, 6/70-6-71
Superslick, Nighthawk, 497/049
AC 502 was one of the birds that I recall frequently assigned to fly CCN missions. The Crew Chiefs and Doorgunner that I can recall at this moment as being on the CCN missions with me were Ron Kuhn, Clarence Garcia, Doug Mabry, Walter Dempsey, J J Makool, and I believe that (first name can't recall) Steele (Mabry used to call him "little buddy") was a frequent CCN flyer (not 100% sure on Steele). I also believe that (first name - can't remember) John (?) Collier flew CCN (not 100% sure, but Evans was his full-time Doorgunner; man.... that was a great and crazy team - Collier and Evans, those guys chopped their M60 barrels off at the gas cylinder plug, and when you fired it a foot of flame shot out....a real psychological trip). A quick note on Collier, I recall he was recognized for saving his bird on a flare mission because the flare wire got wrapped around the skid and Collier had to kick it off while the damn thing was lit or starting to get lit.... wonder if anyone remembers that? Gil Jones was my Doorgunner on several CCN missions (mid 70) and then later got his own AC to crew...these are some of the CEs I can immediately recall being on the 2 CCN support cycles (summer of 70 and the winter-spring of 71). I would bet a beer that 502 was crewed by either Garcia or Kuhn.
Gilbert Alvarado, Doorgunner/Crew Chief, UH-IH 68-16252, 70-71
Injured crew chief in rotor mesh mishap saw what was about to happen and turned his back and bent over. He received shrapnel type wounds to his buttocks and back of his legs. Because of these wounds he was unable to sit and was restricted to either standing or prone positions. Neither of these being compatible to productive duty with the Comancheros, he went home early. For every cloud there is a silver lining.
Peter Federovich, Comanchero 16 & 3, 5/70-4/71
During my review, I discovered that David Trujillo, Frank Tigano and Dennis Beattie should be given credit for being the A/C for 67-19502. I would not want this bit of history to slip by for it is the only Huey we have and available to restore as a "flying" Comanchero bird.
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