Salutes & Awards

September 15, 2013

Stay focused, don’t punch out

Capt. Brandon Liabenow, 355th Fighter Squadron pilot, receives a letter of appreciation from Col. Kevin Blanchard, 355th Fighter Wing commander. Liabeknow is being recognized for his quick thinking, systems knowledge, and physical endurance directly resulted in the prevention of injury, or loss of life, and the preservation of a $12 million combat asset.

 

Military aircraft go through vigorous inspections, daily, to ensure air crew safety, but what happens when an aircraft experiences malfunctions during flight? One D-M Airmen was faced with this situation.

Captain Brandon Liabenow, 354th Fighter Squadron pilot, was recently recognized for his actions during a mission to bring an A-10 Warthog to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group.

“We were doing a tail swap,” said Liabenow. “So we took four good A-10’s to Osan Air Force Base, Korea and we were bringing four A-10’s back to the boneyard for retirement.”

The troubles began when Liabenow was over the Pacific Ocean, roughly halfway through his flight. While flying from Hickam Air Force Base, Hawaii, to D-M, Liabenow began to experience technical difficulties and was only receiving hot air through the air vents in the cockpit.

After several minutes the heat intensified and became unbearable. Liabenow then tried to control the temperature through manual adjustments to no avail. He then realized that he had to turn off the main air supply in order to stop the flow of hot air.

“It got to the point where all the metal objects in the cockpit were too hot to touch,” Liabenow said. “Even with my gloves on I could feel the heat radiating through the stick as I was flying.”

By turning off the main air supply Liabenow was depressurizing the cockpit along with his external fuel tanks. A quick calculation revealed that he would not be able to reach his divert base without external fuel if they lost tanker support.

“Once I turned off the main air supply I wasn’t able to access the external fuel tanks, and without the tanker I wouldn’t have been able to make it to Vandenberg Air Force Base, California,” said Liabenow.

He then coordinated a decent to 15,000 feet and diverted to Vandenberg.

After completing the “Cockpit Over Temperature” checklist, which had Liabenow turn the main air supply back on, he was able to determine that he could handle about 15 minutes of heat before having to shut it off again. This would prove to be important should he need to use the external fuel tanks.

Liabenow was able to successfully reach his divert base and recover the aircraft by turning the main air supply off and on. Once grounded, it was discovered that the bleed air valve was jammed and was forcing hot engine air directly into the cockpit.

“Liabenow’s quick thinking, systems knowledge, and physical endurance directly resulted in the prevention of injury, or loss of life, and the preservation of a $12 million combat asset,” Said Capt. Dale Stark, 354th Fighter Squadron flight safety. “Superior airmanship!”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
IronMan_pict

Special Operations develops ‘Iron Man’ Suit

MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. – Tony Stark’s Iron Man suit is cool. But it’s not real. The Tactical Assault Light Operators Suit is cool, too. But it is real and may soon be protecting America’s special operations forces...
 
 

Financial responsibility — vital to readiness

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — In the “Band of Brothers” miniseries, there is a line in the movie where the soldiers are told to make sure they sign up for life insurance to ensure their next-of-kin gets $10,000 upon the soldier’s death. While none of us are about to make a combat jump in 1944 to...
 
 

Lessons learned in protecting social media accounts

WASHINGTON (AFNS) — On a Saturday afternoon in late November, I was informed about a political remark that appeared on my Director of Public Affairs Twitter feed. A staff member called to ask if I was aware of the re-tweet. At the time, I was on leave, out of the state, tending to my daughter...
 

 

Adapt, overcome, succeed

LUKE AIR FORCE BASE, Ariz. — Change is inevitable, especially in today’s Air Force. If you’ve been serving for more than a few years, it’s likely you’ve experienced everything from new physical fitness requirements to the implementation of force management programs. Enlisted performance reports and feedback forms have been altered and changes to the promotion system are...
 
 

Living in the New Normal

The Military Child Education Coalition, or MCEC, will be hosting Living in the New Normal Institute, Feb. 4-5. LINN-I is a free two-day institute outlining specific community resources, deployment information and practical strategies for encouraging resilience in all children. Some learning outcomes to expect from the training are differentiating affective aspects of children dealing with...
 
 
Training_pict4

Air Force, Army conduct joint service training

U.S. Air Force and Arizona Army National Guard units conducted joint training at a southern Arizona military training range Jan. 20. A-10C Thunderbolt IIs from the 354th Fighter Squadron, based out of D-M, and a UH-60A Black Ha...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin