Aircrew Safety Award of Distinction.
On June 1, 2001, the quick thinking and responses of Maj. Ed Redman
and Capt. Dan Manuel distinguished their handling of a potentially
catastrophic emergency in their T-38 Talon aircraft. During initial
takeoff, Redman who was in the front seat, performed a normal engine
run-up and brake release. As the aircraft rolled approximately 1,500
feet down the runway for departure, immediately before liftoff, Redman
saw a flash as two birds flew by the left side of the aircraft. As soon
as the birds had passed, he heard a popping sound followed by the buzz
of a compressor stall. The aircraft yawed to the left. Manuel who was in
the back seat, verified engine #1 was rolling back and losing power
rapidly With no hesitation, the crew commenced a high-speed abort,
pulled the throttles to idle and began aero braking. Assessing their
position on the runway, the crew determined they had 8,000 feet
remaining. They commenced wheel braking with 4,000 feet remaining at a
speed of 115 knots. The crew suspected the amount of braking it took to
stop the aircraft would lead to hot brakes. They declared an emergency
and positioned the aircraft into the wind to aid in the cool down of the
brakes. During post flight inspection, maintenance crews discovered all
visible engine blades received severe damage from the ingested birds.
The damage might have led to total catastrophic engine failure. The
instantaneous reaction and superior airmanship of Maj. Redman and Capt.
Manuel during this critical phase of flight was directly responsible in
the safe recovery of two irreplaceable crewmembers and a valuable