ADF-SERIALS
Australian & New Zealand Military Aircraft Serials & History

ARMY A17 & RAN N17 Bell 206B-1/OH-58A & CAC CA-32 Kiowa

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Army Bell 206B-1 A17-009 QLD C1972  - Photo obtained from Army Avn EngO Fred Barlow by Wal Nelowkin

     

Bell Kiowa Gallery

     
 

The Bell Kiowa has been operated by the ADF in the Army, Navy and with the Aircraft Research and Development Unit.

Bell OH-58A 70-15236 to 70-15243

Australia's first military  Bell OH-58A Kiowas were leased from the U.S. Army from July 1971 to February 1972 for use by No 161 Flight in Vietnam and retained their US Army serials, 70-15236 to 70-15243.

The Kiowa was subsequently selected over the French SA.341 Gazelle in 1971 as the Australian Army's standard light observation helicopter (LOH). The model chosen was the 206B-1 version, a military variant of the 206A Jet Ranger with an uprated engine and lengthened rotor blades and incorporated higher skids for operating in unprepared areas. 75 were originally ordered as part of a plan for the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) to build a total of 191 Kiowas for the military and civil markets. Originally the program had been for 200 aircraft, but the military requirement had been reduced by nine to 75 in total and by 1974 only 56 airframes.

Bell 206B A17-001 to A17-012 (including N17-006)

The first 12 206s were built by Bell at Fort Worth, Texas, USA and serialled A17-001 to A17-012. The first, A17-001, was officially handed over to the Army at Brisbane Airport on 22 November 1971. In May 1972, No 171 Air Cavalry Flight became the first unit equipped with the Kiowas and deployed to Holsworthy, NSW.

CAC CA-32 A17-013 to A17-056 (including N13-013,N13-025 & N17-049)

A17-013 to A17-056, were built by CAC as the CA-32. The first was rolled out in April 1973, and was delivered to the RAN serialled N17-013. The last Army Kiowa was received from CAC in 1977.

 
     
  Army OH-58A Kiowas - US Army Serials  
     
 

Eight 0H-58A Kiowas were leased from USA for for service with 161 Recce Flight at Nui Dat in Vietnam. These aircraft retained their US Serial Numbers and only served for 9 months with Australian Forces. On 28 July, just four days after receiving the first aircraft, the inaugural operational sortie by an ‘Australian’ OH-58A was flown by Mick Reynolds in direct support of 4 RAR. The last operational flight in Vietnam for 161 (Indep) Recce Flt was flown by Tub Matheson on 29 February 1972 in 70-15237. On 02 March 1972 the last four ‘Australian’ OH-58A’s (236, 237, 239 & 242) were flown to Saigon and handed back to the 166th Air Movements Section of the US Army.

 
     
 
U.S.Serial C/N Aircraft History
70-15236 40787 Leased from USA for service with 161 Recce Flight at Nui Dat Vietnam July 1971 to February 1972.
02 March 1972 One of the last four ‘Australian’ OH-58A’s (236, 237, 239 & 242) flown to Saigon and handed back to the 166th Air Movements Section of the US Army.
No Further details

Highlight for Album: Kiowa 70-15236

70-15237 40788 Leased from USA for service with 161 Recce Flight at Nui Dat Vietnam July 1971 to February 1972.
Flew the last operational flight in Vietnam for 161 (Indep) Recce Flt was flown by Tub Matheson on 29 February 1972.
02 March 1972 One of the last four ‘Australian’ OH-58A’s (236, 237, 239 & 242) flown to Saigon and handed back to the 166th Air Movements Section of the US Army.
No Further details

Highlight for Album: Kiowa 70-15237

70-15238 40789 Leased from USA for service with 161 Recce Flight at Nui Dat Vietnam July 1971 to February 1972.
Returned to US Army February 1972,
Written off in US Army service Mar 29, 1988
No Further details

Highlight for Album: Kiowa 70-15238

70-15239 40790 Leased from USA for service with 161 Recce Flight at Nui Dat Vietnam July 1971 to February 1972.
02 March 1972 One of the last four ‘Australian’ OH-58A’s (236, 237, 239 & 242) flown to Saigon and handed back to the 166th Air Movements Section of the US Army.
No Further details
70-15240

later

89-00109

40791 Leased from USA for service with 161 Recce Flight at Nui Dat Vietnam July 1971 to February 1972.
Returned to US Army February 1972,

Later Modified to OH-58D with US Army and re-serialled 89-00109,
Crashed Mar 16, 1992 in US Army service.
No Further details
70-15241 40792 Leased from USA for service with 161 Recce Flight at Nui Dat Vietnam July 1971 to February 1972.
On 15 November, Lt Grant Steel (RNZIR), while conducting a visual reconnaissance in 70-15241, North of Long Son Island, located an occupied enemy camp and he was engaged by at least three enemy automatic weapons. Although his aircraft was extensively damaged he was able land the aircraft in a safe area, thus saving his passenger and himself from injury. The aircraft had been hit by at least 12 rounds of small arms fire.
It was recovered back to Vung Tau where because of the extensive damage it was returned to the US Army for subsequent repair or disposal.
Later Modified to OH-58C with US Army.
No Further details

Highlight for Album: Kiowa 70-15241

70-15242 40793 Leased from USA for service with 161 Recce Flight at Nui Dat Vietnam July 1971 to February 1972.
02 March 1972 One of the last four ‘Australian’ OH-58A’s (236, 237, 239 & 242) flown to Saigon and handed back to the 166th Air Movements Section of the US Army.
To US civil register as N807CP May 1996.
18/05/1999, 14/05/2002, 17/05/2005, 20/05/2008-30/09/2011 Registered N807CP to Baltimore County Police Department, Towson, MD, USA,
Current?
70-15243 40794 Leased from USA for service with 161 Recce Flight at Nui Dat Vietnam July 1971 to February 1972.
Returned to US Army February 1972,
20/08/1996 N243KP Registration assigned,
8/05/1999, 14/05/2002 - 17/05/2002 Registered N243KP to Baltimore County Police Department, Towson, MD, USA,
22/11/2002, 15/11/2005, 18/11/2008 Registered N243KP to King County Sheriffs Office, Seattle, WA, USA,
01/02/2013 registered to Northwest Helicopters LLC, Olympia, WA, USA.
Current
 
     
  Army Kiowas - A17 Serials  
     
 

The Kiowa was briefly named the "Kalkadoon" in Army service after the tribe of Aborigines from the Cloncurry/Mount Isa region of Queensland but the name did not stick.

In Army service, the Kiowa has served with No 171 (Command and Liaison) Squadron at Oakey, Queensland, until replaced by ex-RAAF UH-1H Iroquois in 1989. Currently, both Nos 161 and 162 (Reconnaissance) Squadrons at Holsworthy, NSW, and Townsville, Queensland, fly the Kiowa, and the School of Army Aviation at Oakey is responsible for Kiowa training.

 
     
 
ADF.Serial Bell C/N CAC C/N Aircraft History
A17-001 44501 N/A Delivered 22/11/71 and handed over to the Army at Brisbane Airport,
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-001

A17-002 44502 N/A Delivered 1971.
Written off in Category 5 accident on 23/03/00.
The helicopter struck wires near Townsville. The two occupants walked away with minor injuries.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-002

A17-003 44503 N/A Delivered 1971.
Avalon Airshow 2001.
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-003

A17-004 44504 N/A Delivered 19/11/71.
Richmond Airshow 1988.
Loaned to RAN, one source says RAN code 891 another says code 895 (Tjalling Boelman), then returned to Army.
Was at ARDU.
In service with 161 Recce Sqn Darwin 01/12/05.
Flying Display Avalon 2007.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-004

A17-005 44505 N/A Delivered 1971.
Loaned to RAN,
Returned to Army

In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-005

A17-006 44506 N/A Delivered 1971.
1988 Transferred to RAN as N17-006.
Returned to Army '2000.
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-006/N17-006

A17-007 44507 N/A Delivered 1971.
Used for Kiowa Camo Trials by 171 command and liaison Sqn 1979-80.
Painted in the Dualtex pattern with matt finish.
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-007

A17-008 44508 N/A Delivered 1971.
Was in service with Australian Army.
This aircraft crashed at Greenbank Rifle Range early 1991 and was written off.
The Squadrons of 1st Aviation Regiment were on their annual camp at Greenbank when the aircraft arrived.
The aircraft crashed during landing in what is termed 'Dynamic Rollover'.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-008

A17-009 44509 N/A Delivered 1972.
Crashed at Holsworthy Airfield after wingover on 09/07/74. (Pilot – Gary Ticehurst).
Written off 9/9/75.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-009

A17-010 44510 N/A Delivered 25/01/72.
Was in service with 161 Recce Sqn 1986.
At Holsworthy in 1986 for the 21st Anniversary of the formation and deployment of 161 Recce Flt to Vietnam (See Photo).
In service with 161 Recce Sqn Darwin 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-010

A17-011 44511 N/A Delivered 1972.
Richmond Airshow 1988.
In service with 161 Recce Sqn Darwin 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-011

A17-012 44512 N/A Delivered 27/01/72.
Richmond Airshow 1988.
In service with 161 Recce Sqn Darwin 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-012

A17-013 44513 CA32-13 Delivered 20/03/73.
Richmond Airshow 1988.
To RAN as N17-013.
Returned to Army '2000.
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.

Acquired by RAN Historic Flight, 11/2013
To be restored to airworthiness,
Registration allocated VH-NVO

Highlight for Album: Kiowa N17-013

A17-014 44514 CA32-14 First Flight 27/04/73.
Delivered 1973.
In service with 161 Recce Sqn Darwin 01/12/05.
Flying Display Avalon 2007.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-014

A17-015 44515 CA32-15 First Flight 18/05/73.
Delivered 11/06/73.
Avalon Airshow 2001.
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-015

A17-016 44516 CA32-16 First Flight 02/06/73.
Delivered 1973.
Avalon 2005.
Was in service with Australian Army.
In long term storage 01/12/05 at Oakey.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-016/N16-016

A17-017 44517 CA32-17 First Flight 09/06/73.
Delivered 14/06/73.
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-017

A17-018 44518 CA32-18 First Flight 21/09/73.
Delivered 1973.
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-018

A17-019 44519 CA32-19 First Flight 12/10/72.
Delivered 1973.
Crashed 12/10/87, Lakeland Downs after a wire strike.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-019

A17-020 44520 CA32-20 Delivered 1973.
Used for Kiowa Camo Trials by 171 command and liaison Sqn 1979-80.
Painted in dark olive drab flat paint scheme.
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.
Currently on loan to the MAAF at Oakey and is on display, though officially remains on Army Charge.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-020

A17-021 44521 CA32-21 Delivered 1974.
Crashed 1995, after loss of LTE during landing at Gibb River, WA.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-021

A17-022 44522 CA32-22 Delivered 1974.
Crashed 26/06/74 Oakey QLD whilst practicing minimum radius turns. (Pilot – Smith).
Combined with parts from A17-30 and used for ground instruction.
A17-023 44523 CA32-23 Delivered 20/05/74.
Served with 162 Sqn.
Crashed at Clermont QLD 06/06/02, Cat 5 Damage.
A17-024 44524 CA32-24 Delivered 31/05/74.
On Display Harvey Bay Airshow '2000.
In service with 161 Recce Sqn Darwin 01/12/05.
A17-025 44525 CA32-25 Delivered 1974.
To the Navy as N17-025.
Crashed, see N17-025.
A17-026 44526 CA32-26 Delivered 1974.
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-026

A17-027 44527 CA32-27 First Flight 18/09/74.
Delivered 1974.
Flown with 161 Recce Sqn and 171 Operational Support Sqn.
This aircraft was the first Kiowa to fly its 10,000th hour on 06/04/03, while on operations in Timor Leste with 162 Recce Sqn as a part of UNMISET.
It was piloted by Maj Brendan Dwyer OC of 162 Recce Sqn and Capt Brian Cunneen, who flew the first mission in East Timor in 1999.
This aircraft has served several times in Timor and was to be the last Kiowa out of Timor at the end of June 2003.
In long term storage 01/12/05 at Oakey.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-027

A17-028 44528 CA32-28 Delivered 01/02/75.
In service with 161 Recce Sqn Darwin 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-028

A17-029 44529 CA32-29 Delivered 1975.
In service with 161 Recce Sqn Darwin 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-029

A17-030 44530 CA32-30 Delivered 1975.
Crashed 16/06/76 after Wire-strike at High Range, QLD. (Pilot – Andy Hastie).
Combined with parts from A17-22 and used for ground instruction.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-030

A17-031 44531 CA32-31 Delivered 1975.
Was in long term storage 01/12/05 at Oakey.
Currently on display at the Army Aviation Museum at Oakey QLD.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-031

A17-032 44532 CA32-32 Delivered 1975
1998 Loaned to RAN. Retained Army camouflage but fitted with Navy titles and low skids
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-032

A17-033 44533 CA32-33 Delivered 1975.
In long term storage 01/12/05 at Oakey.
A17-034 44534 CA32-34 Delivered 11/06/75.
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-034

A17-035 44535 CA32-35 Delivered 1975.
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-035

A17-036 44536 CA32-36 Delivered 18/07/75. In service with 161 Recce Sqn Darwin 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-036

A17-037 44537 CA32-37 Delivered 1975.
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-037

A17-038 44538 CA32-38 Delivered 17/12/75.
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-038

A17-039 44539 CA32-39 Delivered 19/12/75.
In long term storage 01/12/05 at Oakey.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-039

A17-040 44540 CA32-40 Delivered 1976.
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-040

A17-041 44541 CA32-41 Delivered 1976.
Crashed 19/08/80 Holsworthy NSW.
A17-042 44542 CA32-42 Delivered 1976.
Used for Kiowa Camo Trials by 171 command and liaison Sqn 1979-80.
Painted in Iroquois scheme of black/light green/tan, which was the winning scheme.
Crashed 24/02/80 near Bourke NSW.  ‘Lost Directional Control’.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-042

A17-043 44543 CA32-43 Delivered 1976. Richmond Airshow 1988.
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.
A17-044 44544 CA32-44 Delivered 1976.
Written off in accident early 90's, now training aid with RAEME Aircraft Maintenance School - Oakey.

Highlight for Album:  Kiowa A17-044

A17-045 44545 CA32-45 Delivered 18/10/76.
In service with 161 Recce Sqn Darwin 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-045

A17-046 44546 CA32-46 Delivered 19/11/76.
Used for Kiowa Camo Trials by 171 command and liaison Sqn 1979-80.
Oakey Airshow 1986.
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-046

A17-047 44547 CA32-47 Delivered 22/12/76.
Used for Kiowa Camo Trials by 171 command and liaison Sqn 1979-80.
Painted in light green with matt finish.
Damaged 04/02/80 Weipa.
In service with 161 Recce Sqn Darwin 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-047

A17-048 44548 CA32-48 Delivered 1976.
Crashed 23/09/81, Weipa QLD.
Parts were locked up in the 162 Recce Sqn transport yard in 1981.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-048

A17-049 44549 CA-32-49 Delivered 08/03/77.
To RAN as N17-049.
Returned to Army '2000.
Had a heavy landing 08/2003 but is considered repairable.
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa N17-049

A17-050 44550 Ca32-50 Delivered 23/09/75.
Was on Loan to Museum of Army Aviation, Oakey QLD.
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.
A17-051 44551 CA32-51 Delivered 09/10/75.
In service with Army Helicopter School Oakey 01/12/05.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-051

A17-052 44552 CA32-52 In service with 161 Recce Sqn Darwin 01/12/05.
A17-053 44553 CA32-53 Crashed 28/10/85, near Oakey QLD.
Impacted ground during a turn.
A17-054 44554 CA32-54 Delivered 02/09/75.
Served in East Timor with the UN 2003.
In long term storage 01/12/05 at Oakey.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-054

A17-055 44555 CA32-55 Delivered 29/03/76.
Avalon Airshow 2003.
In service with 161 Recce Sqn 2003.
In service with 161 Recce Sqn Darwin 01/12/05.
Static Display Avalon 2007.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-055

A17-056 44556 CA32-56 Delivered 08/03/77.
Loaned to RAN, code 899.
Returned to Army.
Crashed 01/09/87 Crashed in Tasmania, due to dynamic roll-over whilst attempting to land.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa-A17-056

 
     

Kiowa over HMAS Sydney

     
  Navy Kiowas - N17 Serials  
     
 

From 1974 to 2000, the RAN has operated six of the ADF Kiowa fleet (initially to replace the Westland Scout) but only ever at a maximum strength of three airframes at any given time. The RAN received N17-013, N17-025 and N17-049 direct from CAC. After the loss of N17-025 in 1977, A17-005 was borrowed from the Army. After its return, the RAN briefly flew A17-056 and in 1988, acquired A17-006. Some sources also quote A17-004 as having been loaned to the RAN but we are yet to confirm that. A17-032 was loaned in 1998

 
     
 
RAN.Serial Bell C/N CAC C/N RAN Code Aircraft History
N/A 44504 N/A 891?
895?
See A17-004 above

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-004

N/A 44505 N/A 891?
895?
See A17-005 above

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-005

N17-006 44506 N/A 896 Delivered 05/10/88.
Was in service 723 Sqn RAN code 896.
Ditched 14/04/86 into Admiralty Gulf WA at 1:50pm 1/2 a mile from the ship after an engine failure while attached to HMAS Moresby and recovered.
Returned to Army '2000.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-006/N17-006

N17-013 44513 CA32-13 892 Delivered 17/06/74.
Avalon Airshow 1999.
Was in service 723 Sqn RAN code 892.
Returned to Army '2000.

Acquired by RAN Historic Flight, 11/2013
To be restored to airworthiness,
Registration allocated VH-NVO

Highlight for Album: Kiowa N17-013

N17-025 44525 CA32-25 891 Delivered 06/74. Coded 891.
Crashed 30/07/77 Sunday Island off the West Australia coast whilst operating with HC723 Sqn, RAN.
The helicopter was recovering a hydrographer from a cliff face when the hydrographer jumped aboard the helo he unbalanced it and it fell 50m down the cliff face. It was embarked on HMAS Moresby carrying out cartographic work on the West Coast when the accident happened.
The crew of Leut(P) Jackson and LSACM Mason survived unhurt.
N/A 44532 CA32-32   1998 Loaned to RAN.
Retained Army camouflage but fitted with Navy titles and low skids


Highlight for Album: Kiowa A17-032
N17-049 44549 CA32-49 890 Delivered 09/03/77.
In service 723 Sqn RAN, code 890.
Returned to Army '2000.

Highlight for Album: Kiowa N17-049

N/A 44556 CA32-56 899 See A17-056 above

Highlight for Album: Kiowa-A17-056

 
 

The Author of this page is Darren Crick (Updated by Brendan Cowan and Martin Edwards).

Source: Australian Aviation Magazine. Book: Target Charlie, 161 Recce Flight Website, Book: Royal Australian Navy - Pictorial Review, The Army Newspaper, Australia's Museum of Flight, www.joebaugher.com ,

Emails: Jim Bartok, Dean Norman, Alan Macdonald, Glenn Beare, Peter Hancock, Graeme Edwards, Martin Kaye, Len Avery, Bob Coppinger, Graham Mison, Bob Geale, Martin Edwards, Brendan Cowan, Josh Masterson.

Updated 05 May 2014

 

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