Sikorsky S-61R c/n 61-597, ff? del USCG as HH-3F 1432 unk crashed while performing a medical evacuation from a Japanese fishing vessel in North Atlantic, 18Feb79. Forced to land in heavy seas, waves overturned the helicopter, and only one of the five crewmembers survived.
I was at CGAS Cape Cod when the 1432 was lost.This was the Second launch by this crew that night.As far as the Board could tell with the surving crewmans help,the aircraft suffered catastropic engine failure due to Ice Ingestion into the Engine and a slow decline of power unnoticed during the slow approch to the Freighter. The Pilot landed correctly into the waves but a huge wave flipped the Aircraft on its back. Canadian Exchange Officer Capt Berge was killed in this incident
The pilot, James Stiles was a friend of mine at CGAS Kodiak. He and I went flying together many times. He was a great guy. He won (his second) Distinguished Flying Cross (Posthumously) for his heroic actions that night which gave his crew a chance to live. Most people do not realize just how dangerous working in the USCG is. They have to go out, but they dont have to come back. That happens too often.