Salutes & Awards

April 27, 2012

Controller receives aircraft save award

Tags:
by Airman 1st Class Grace Lee
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
Pg-3-Airman-receives-safe-award

It was 10:30 p.m. Sept. 1, 2011, and four jets were preparing to land at Luke Air Force Base, when the first jet experienced mechanical problems and abruptly stopped in the middle of the runway.

The split-second decision making of Senior Airman Shawn Hanger, 56th Operations Support Squadron Air Field Operations Flight air traffic controller, prevented a potential collision and resulted in him being awarded the Gordon A. Blake Aircraft Save Award.

“When the first aircraft landed, I noticed he abruptly stopped,” Hanger said. “I didn’t hesitate to radio the pilot and ask him if he had a problem.”

Hanger explained that normally a pilot would radio the tower to report problems, but Hanger saw what was about to happen before anyone else.

The second aircraft had already landed behind the first aircraft, but it only took Hanger 1.7 seconds to react and tell the third and fourth aircraft to stay in the air. He then queried the pilot of the second aircraft to see if he could safely pass the disabled aircraft.

“The actions of Airman Hanger were critical during this potentially disastrous scenario,” said Maj. Spencer Godwin, 56th Operations Support Squadron chief of training. “Due to darkness and lack of visual cues and depth perception, it is unlikely anyone else would have seen the problem before it was too late and all the jets would have landed.”

Airman Hanger attributes his quick reactions to extensive training and good supervision.

“I had a good trainer and he always encouraged me to learn to do things on my own,” Hanger said. “Honestly, when it happened my instincts kicked in, and I felt like I was just doing my job.”

For an air traffic controller at Luke, doing the job means directing more than 350 aircraft every day. However, the pilots and Airman Hangar’s leadership recognized that his actions were truly above and beyond the abilities of most junior controllers.

As a result, he was submitted and selected to receive the aircraft save award, which recognizes actions of airfield operations personnel that result in the safe recovery of an imperiled airborne aircraft or help given to an endangered aircraft on the ground. AFI 36-2807 specifies that the performance must clearly extend beyond normal duty requirements, be professional and cast no reasonable doubt that, without this action, probable damage would have resulted.

“I know there are a lot of controllers who work hard every day just like I do, and it feels good to get acknowledged,” Hanger said. “I didn’t expect to win an award, but it’s definitely a bonus. I was completely surprised when they announced it at the wing commander’s call.”




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


 
 

 
DT_JTC0216

Supreme allied commander comes home

Gen. Philip Breedlove, left, NATO supreme allied commander, Europe, visited Luke Air Force Base Sept. 12. Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, right, 56th Fighter Wing commander, briefed the general on Luke’s evolving mission to train F-3...
 
 
Senior Airman Grace Lee

Command post chief averts potential disaster

Senior Airman Grace Lee Capt. George Normandin, 56th Fighter Wing Command Post chief, received the Aviation Safety Well Done Award Sept. 2, presented by Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th FW commander. Normandin took control of an F-...
 
 

You are what you eat

“You are what you eat.” This is a generic statement or a notion. It implies that if you eat healthy, you will be healthy. But how true is this in the world today? What we eat, drink, wear, drive and buy is often an attempt to construct a social identity. It lets others know who...
 

 

Knowledge equals power

The phrase “knowledge is power” is said to originate from Sir Francis Bacon in 1597. Personally, I remember learning the phrase from the old television show “School House Rock” theme song. The key idea behind the phrase is the more knowledge you accumulate, the more “power” you will have. Here is a simple breakdown: knowledge...
 
 
Senior Airman
MARCY COPELAND

EOD Airman changed for good by life experiences

Senior AirmanMARCY COPELAND Tech. Sgt. David Gerig’s, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron Explosive Ordnance Disposal team chief, first assignment after technical school was Kadena Air Base, Japan. The challenges in life are often w...
 
 

News Briefs September 19, 2014

CFC kick-off The 56th Fighter Wing Combined Federal Campaign kick-off charity fair is 9 a.m. Monday in Bldg. 1130 auditorium. Learn about the 2014 campaign ‘Serving Our Country. Supporting Our Community.’ and visit with local charities. For more information, call Maj. Jennifer Preyer-Bonton at 623-856-7144. Hispanic Heritage Month National Hispanic Heritage Month began Monday and...
 




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