CPT Erroll Van Eaton at the controls of 66-00118 as the first CH-47A Chinookis delivered to the 92nd Aviation Company, 1972.



             66-00118, Boeing build number B-250, was a CH-47A helicopter. The U.S. Army acceptance date was 17 October 1966. The administrative strike date was 22 November 1974. 66-00118 accumulated 2,156.0 aircraft hours.

   At some point, 66-00118 was assigned to the 92nd Assault Support Helicopter Company (ASHC), located at Paine Field, near Everett, in the State of Washington, and remained there until it was lost due to an accident.

   66-00118 was the first Chinook delivered to the 92nd Transportation Company in December of 1972 by Captain Erroll Van Eaton. Captain Van Eaton would later would become a Brigader General in the Washington Army Guard. He died tragically in an accident northeast of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, riding as a passenger aboard a Russian MIL-8 "Hip" contract helicopter during an attempted night medical rescue in bad weather.

   On or about 22 November 1974, 66-00118 was destroyed in a ground accident while aft rotor blade tracking was in progress.

   A non-rated civilian maintenance supervisor was at the controls when a gust of wind lifted the aft end of the helicopter off the ground. In an attempt to recover from the nose-down attitude, the "pilot" lost control of the helicopter. The forward rotors contacted the tarmac setting off a catastrophic chain of events.

   The sync shafts between the combining transmission and forward transmission failed causing loss of synchronization between the two rotor systems.

   With the engines still operating, the engines and the aft pylon separated from the main fuselage and began a vertical climb.

   The fuselage, which was rolling forward, now torqued to the right and completed a 180° turn.

   Flames erupted as the disintegrating forward rotors cut through the fuel cells.

   A second civilian maintenance technician, who was initially standing in the companion way, began running aft and was thrown clear of the wreckage. He was nearly killed as the aft pylon began its descent.

   Shrapnel from the rotor blades damaged several other Chinooks parked nearby, including one about to undergo engine start.

   Another Chinook parked nearby was engulfed in flames as the burning fuselage of 66-00118 came to rest under it's aft rotor system. The Boeing Fire Department extinguished the flames before the second Chinook was completely consumed by fire.

   Blade weights were slung 1/2 mile away piercing holes in parked civilian aircraft.

   Both maintenance personnel escaped with minor injuries. No one else was hurt.

   The last known location of 66-00118 was in Washington State.

   Aircraft status: Crashed.



What is left of Chinook helicopter 66-00118 after the accident.

          The remains of 66-00118 after the accident.



What is left of Chinook helicopter 66-00118 after the accident.

          The remains of 66-00118 after the accident.



          This aircraft was piloted by:


          Captain Erroll Van Eaton, Pilot in Command, 1972.


          CW3 Mike Jones, Pilot in Command, 1973 - 1974.


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          This aircraft was crewed by:


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


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