On 24 Oct 1970 two CH-3 helicopters from the 21st Special Ops Sqdn at Nakhon Phanom RTAFB departed for a location near the Mu Ghia Pass on the Lao/NVN border to pick up a Laotian Army patrol. On arrival, the primary pick-up aircraft, CH-3C tail number 66-13287, set down on the hilltop landing zone while 11 troops came aboard. As the aircraft lifted off, it turned and fell into trees 200 meters below the LZ. When the second helo picked up the 8 remaining troops the aircrew was told the entire crew of the first helicopter was dead, but 20 minutes later radio contact was made with the survivors. Two US aircrew, Major Ronald R. Kunz and SSgt Wallace Spivey, Jr, and the surviving Laotian soldiers were picked up. The wreckage was checked by an insertion team on 25 Oct 1970 but only partial remains of the pilot, Captain Craig B. Schiele, could be recovered. Although the flight engineer's remains were not recovered it seemed clear that Master Sergeant Thomas E. Heideman of Chicago, Illinois had died in the crash. And so matters stood for years.