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Monthly award winners.

Pilot Safety Award of Distinction

During an Air Combat Maneuvers (ACM) engagement, Lt. Jason Settle experienced an afterburner blowout on the left engine of his F-15C. He immediately pulled the left throttle out of afterburner and "knocked off" the fight while maintaining aircraft control. A battle damage check by his wingman revealed a fuel leak from beneath the left engine. Settle began an immediate return to base while initiating the fuel leak checklist. After some troubleshooting, the leak remained. Checklist policy specifies engine shutdown as a last resort effort to retain fuel. About 70 miles from the Atlantic coast, he shut down the left engine. This successfully contained the fuel leak and allowed Settle to return to Langley single-engine and shut down immediately after landing. Investigation of the left engine revealed a ruptured afterburner fuel line deep inside the engine bay. Lt. Settle's decisive actions, strict checklist discipline, and exceptional flying skills are what bought him and his aircraft enough time and fuel to retur n to home base safely and keep this potentially disastrous problem under control.

Flightline Safety Award of Distinction

SrA. Kelly L. Crouse and A1C. Andrew P. Casanova 523rd Fighter Squadron, 27th Fighter Wing, Cannon AFB. N.M.

Airmen Kelly Crouse and Andrew Casanova were assigned the task of performing a functional check of the afterburner flame holder on an F-16. During an afterburner run, Casanova noticed fuel dripping from the back of the engine. He immediately directed the engine run technician, Crouse, to initiate emergency engine shutdown procedures and the engine was shut down uneventfully Crouse removed several panels and inspected for a fuel leak but found nothing. The team performed a second engine run with the panel off During the second run, Casanova noticed a flame originating from the top of the engine and again directed emergency shutdown procedures. Both airmen removed the engine and performed an in-depth inspection. They discovered a broken fuel line in an extremely hard-to-find location. The F-16 engine can produce fuel flow in excess of 60,000 pounds per hour. Had Crouse and Casanova not acted as efficiently and effectively as they did, a catastrophic fire or explosion could have resulted. Their actions averted p ossible death or injury and the loss of combat aircraft. The teamwork, communications skills, quick thinking, and attention to detail exemplified by these young airmen during such an uncommon situation was extraordinary.

Ground Safety Award of Distinction

Working as the 4th Comptroller Squadron Additional Duty Safety Representative, TSgt. Jodi Fussell was handpicked by the commander to revive the squadron safety program. Her leadership resulted in the unit's unprecedented zero Class C mishaps and an immaculate safety track record. During a recent wing safety assessment her unit safety book and bulletin board were lauded as "exceptional." She is routinely praised by wing safety for establishing the best safety program on Seymour Johnson AFB - "A benchmark for the wing to follow." Making full use of her resources, including the Internet, she developed a "Tip of the Week" and "Thought of the Month" program. These programs ensured 100 percent contact with all assigned squadron personnel. In an effort to cover more area she also developed a weekly on-line briefing to stress hazard identification on and off duty.

Aircrew Safety Award of Distinction

Capts. Chris R. Arnold and Christopher A. Schwartz 1st Lt. Marc A. Genaille, TSgt. Dale A. Dauphinais SSgts. Rusty L. Cope, Karl L. Pryor. Lance R. Isenhour AlC. Michael R. Capps, 347th Rescue Wing, Moody AFB, Ga.

A rescue HC-1301P refueler, based in the Middle East, was found to have severe corrosion in the tail section and a serious fuel leak problem which limited normal fuel loading. Engineers granted permission for a one-time ferry to a depot in Portugal for repair. The above crew volunteered for the mission and extensively pre-briefed emergency procedures and crew actions for in-flight emergencies. The flight waiver limited the aircraft to 30 degrees of bank or less, less than 2,000 pounds of cargo, 10 inches of pressurization, and 30 vertical velocity indicator on landing. After departing Ramstein AB, Germany, for Portugal on the final leg, the crew experienced failure of the radar over France. They elected to continue flight in visual meteorological conditions since there was no hazardous weather forecasted en route. Near halfway through the flight, noxious fumes of burning wires began to emanate from beneath the navigator's desk. The pilot directed all crewmembers to don oxygen masks while the flight engineer attempted to locate the source of the smell. The crew prepared to divert to the nearest suitable runway surface, which was ahead in Spain and on the crew's original intended course. As the pilots headed for the runway, they again confirmed all crewmembers were on oxygen, requested and began a descent from 21,000 feet, and directed the engineer to begin depressurization to fully ventilate the aircraft. All indications of burning electrical systems were alleviated, and the aircraft commander then elected to continue the short distance to the final destination. Due to excellent pre-flight preparation and crew coordination, the crew's immediate and appropriate actions prevented a catastrophic in-flight fire and loss of the aircraft.

Crew Chief Safety Award of Distinction

On Oct. 11, 2001, SrA. Nicole Sandres was the dedicated crew chief and refuel supervisor of an F-15E Strike Eagle. While preparing to refuel the aircraft, she removed the single point refuel cap. Unknown to her the automatic nozzle shut-off plunger was stuck in the open position. As the cap was removed, large amounts of fuel began to spill from the aircraft. Trying to install the cap while being completely saturated in fuel, it took two attempts before she was able to get the cap in place and reset the plunger. By her actions, Sandres prevented a near catastrophic fuel leak during the peak time of aircraft taxiing in the area in front of and behind the aircraft, also avoiding the potential for a fire and damage or destruction to one or more F-15E aircraft valued at $44 million. Due to her quick actions in stopping the fuel spill, SrA. Sandres was also able to avoid letting the fuel enter a nearby storm drain and possibly causing an environmental hazard.

Quarterly Award Winners

Flight Safety Award of the Quarter

M Sgt. Vincent Reed's superior daily management of one of the largest and most diverse flight safety programs is directly responsible for the unit's meticulous tracking of potential hazard trends during 23 inflight emergencies. His identification of a re-occurring Left Bleed Air Caution indication on an F-15E stationed at Nellis AFB, Nev., showcases the effectiveness of his program. As the investigating officer on four mishap events, his close integration with both aircrews and maintenance personnel enhanced the quality and effectiveness of the wing's mishap investigative program. Reed was instrumental in assisting maintenance personnel to correctly isolate whether aircrew actions or aircraft equipment anomalies were contributing factors during separate flight control incidents. His personal initiative, thorough flight safety investigative efforts, and dedication to positive causal identification saved F-16 and F-15 maintenance personnel approximately 10 hours of additional troubleshooting efforts. These effo rts led to the wing's record low of only one Class E mishap for the 3rd Quarter of FY01. Sgt. Reed's dedication to the 53rd Wing mission during 25 test plan safety reviews sets the foundation for the wing's zero test-related mishap rate!

Ground Safety Award of the Quarter

M Sgt. Fred Bonner's Ground Safety Inspection and Program Management Assessments have all been rated "Outstanding." Bonner's keen ability to use a common-sense approach to reach effective conclusions has led to countless outstanding results. One example is his meticulously updated and maintained unit safety management book, used as the wing standard for others to emulate. He individually verified and documented that every squadron member had been properly safety trained, resulting in zero reportable mishaps on and off duty. This directly resulted in zero off-station reportable mishaps despite over 100 leaves and temporary duties. He takes day-to-day safety seriously, as demonstrated by his regular occupational and environmental safety, fire prevention, and health self-inspections. He created a fire and emergency evacuation plan to ensure all squadron members know the proper procedures in case of an emergency. His plan is now a critical part of the hurricane evacuation program for the squadron. Bonner establis hed flight-working groups to brainstorm potential safety problems along with viable resolutions. He immediately organized a squadron leadership meeting to prioritize the problems, and then forwarded the completed list to the wing safety office for wing-wide dissemination and use. Items identified by the flights are being used to design personal risk management cards for squadron members to carry on their key chains or in their wallets. The purpose of the card is to remind and encourage everyone to make personal risk management second nature for them and their families, both at work and home. Sgt. Bonner is very committed to developing a quality safety culture. He has created an outstanding workplace ethic that promotes individual commitment and personal involvement.

Weapons Safety

Award of the Quarter

T Sgt. John Swindell's total dedication to safety is unmistakably the driving force behind the 86th Fighter Weapons Squadron's 12 consecutive quarters without a single reportable or non-reportable mishap. His proactive and persistent safety mindset uncovered safety-training shortfalls with civilian contractors assisting in Air-to-Ground Weapons System Evaluation Program (A/G WSEP) flightline operations. The training oversights, which included aircraft safety and danger areas, radiation hazards, and flightline drivers training, could have had catastrophic results without his intervention. While on temporary duty to Hill AFB, Utah for A/C WSEP 01-06, Swindell identified and corrected several discrepancies in the Deployed Unit Facility's life support area. He located, procured, and posted appropriate explosives symbols and warning placards to ensure firefighting personnel were aware of hazardous materials in a possible state of emergency. As a maintenance liaison, he was directly responsible for the safe and suc cessful deployment of over 160 personnel from the 442nd Test and Evaluation Squadron, Nellis AFB, Nev., performing core avionics upgrades to F-15 and F-16 aircraft. Under his watchful eye, deployed personnel turned numerous man-hours into 30 mishap-free sorties and safely transported several thousand pounds of support equipment. Sgt. Swindell's professionalism and meticulous application of Operational Risk Management principles made him the obvious choice to guide the Air Launched Missile Analysis Group (ALMAG) team through an Air-to-Ground Missile-130 (AGM-130) investigation. This intense and thorough inquiry revealed moisture penetration in the missile propellant assembly causing missile flight control anomalies. The ALMAG's findings resulted in a 100 percent inspection of all remaining AGM-130 missiles in the AF inventory.

ACC Safety is Proud of All Our Award Nominees

SSgt. Mark A. Baughman

Tropospheric Satellite Support Radio Crew Chief

31st Combat Communications Squadron

Tinker AFB, Okla.

A1C. Jason R. Dunn

Repair and Reclamation

A1C. Class Jason Davis


A1C. Daniel M. Broughton


4th Equipment Maintenance Squadron

Seymour Johnson AFB, N.C.

A1C. Hugh J. McFadden

Airborne Operations Technician

12th Airborne Command Control Squadron

Robins AFB, Ga.

Mr. Joseph Bell

Occupational Safety and Health Specialist

347th Rescue Wing

Moody AFB, Ga.
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No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
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Title Annotation:military pilots awarded for safety
Publication:Combat Edge
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2002
Previous Article:MH-53J.
Next Article:Need for planning.

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