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.


 
 

 

Thunderbolt of the Week

Staff Sgt. Trevor Berghage 56th Medical Support Squadron Medical Information Systems Supervisor Hometown: State College, Pennsylvania Years in service: Six Family: Mom, Barbara; dad, Robert; sister, Jessica; brothers, Tory and Alex; wife, Kat; and daughters, Tam and Shannon Inspirations: My father for showing me the satisfaction of a job well done, my mother for showing...
 
 

Thunderbolt of the Week

Senior Airman Deandre Holmes 607th Air Control Squadron Ground radar systems journeyman Hometown: Sacramento, California Years in service: Four Family: Wife, Lauren Holmes Education: Pursuing a Community College of the Air Force degree in electronic systems technology Previous assignments: Tinker Air Force Base, Oklahoma Inspirations: Master Sgt. Francis Willis IV, Allen Kay and father, Brian...
 
 
Airman 1st Class Pedro Mota

Luke civilian earns Air Force Marquez Award

Airman 1st Class Pedro Mota Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, presents David Moore, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Aircraft Armament Systems technician, with the 2013 Air Force Lieutenant General Leo Mar...
 

 

Thunderbolt of the Week

Military Expert 1 Ng Jun Jiang 425th Fighter Squadron Air Force Engineer/Engine Specialist Hometown: Singapore Years in service: Three Family: Mother, Lilian Goh Boh choo; father, NG Beng Ho; brother, Ng Jun Kai; and sister, Ng Xin Hui Education: Temasek Polytechnic, Singapore, in mechatronics engineering Inspirations: I’m inspired to make my mother proud by acting...
 
 

Wing announces quarterly awards

The following individuals received 56th Fighter Wing quarterly awards Thursday: Airman: Senior Airman Joshua Heninger, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron NCO: Staff Sgt. Kristen Reid, 56th Medical Support Squadron Senior NCO: Senior Master Sgt. Matthew Pulsipher, 56th Comptroller Squadron Company grade officer: 1st Lt. Megan Hoskins, 54th Operations Support Squadron Field grade officer: Maj. S...
 
 
Airman 1st Class 
CORY GOSSETT

MRA graduates 11,000 strong

Airman 1st ClassCORY GOSSETT Detachment 12, 372nd Training Squadron mission-ready Airmen perform a preflight check July 21 on an F-16 Fighting Falcon at Luke Air Force Base. The MRA program teaches Airmen F-16 launching, recove...
 




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