H53 Helicopter Crashes At Toro Peak Near Palm Springs

On May 16, 1968 a military H53 helicopter from HMH-462 at Santa Ana (thanks to Sid for the info) crashed while practicing landings and takeoffs from the high altitude helipad atop Toro Peak. The wreck site is located in the brush below and to the east of the helipad. There are reports that one or two other helicopters crashed on the mountain, but we were unable to locate any evidence of the other wrecks.

The aft section of the helicopter is intact and is laying upside down about 300 feet below the ridge. There are several radios on the ground below the tail section and other debris scattered over a large area of the mountainside. The main rotor transmission is laying just below the top of the mountain and there are numerous rotor blade pieces strewn all over the mountainside.

The model and military serial number of this aircraft are depicted in this photo.

Return to top of page
Return to top