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.


 
 

 

Fly, fight & win! Luke plays unique role in AF mission

The mission of the Air Force is to fly, fight and win. The Air Force’s “motto,” as it was originally called, was adopted October 2010. Capt. Gregroy Bollrud of Hurlburt Field Florida, wrote, “It succinctly captures what our Air Force has been renowned for ever since its creation in 1947. Also, the specific choice of...
 
 

Wingman for life

“I look after my wingman. He looks after me. We work together. We fight together.” — Col. Gabby Gabriski, WWII ace Having a wingman has been an essential part of combat flying since the beginning. A wingman is able to watch your “6,” provide support and can offer a different perspective on a situation. These...
 

 
141119-F-HT977-165

Chiefs announced

Senior master sergeants selected for promotion to chief master sergeant at Luke Air Force Base posed in front of the static F-16 Fighting Falcon in front of the wing headquarters building. They are, from left, Kelbey Norton, 56...
 
 

Enlisted promotion system changes continue

WASHINGTON — This January, changes to the Weighted Airman Promotion System will continue with adjustments to the scoring model for promotions to technical sergeant and below, all designed to help ensure job performance is the most important factor when evaluating and identifying Airmen for promotion. The current WAPS enlisted performance report calculation model for technical...
 
 

News Briefs November 21, 2014

Kachina Gate closure The Kachina Gate will be closed to inbound traffic Dec. 8 through 19 for gas valve repair. Outbound traffic will not be affected. For more information, call 623-856-7051. Kids cooking class Kids Kamp Cooking Class is 4 to 6 p.m. for ages 8 to 12 and 7 to 9 p.m. for ages...
 




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