Five air traffic controllers have been awarded “Flight Assist Commendations” by the Air Safety Institute of the Aircraft Owners and Pilot Association (AOPA) for service they rendered to pilots who were facing troubles aloft in 2012.
Two Chicago Center controllers guided the pilot of a general aviation plane with icing conditions, a lost localizer and low fuel to a safe landing. A team of three Seattle Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) controllers directed the pilot of a plane that had run out of fuel at 3,200 feet to the nearest airport. A Denver Center controller saved the life of a pilot and his wife by instructing the pilot’s wife to an emergency landing route after the pilot became incapacitated from lack of oxygen during the plane’s ascent.
These three remarkable flights assists, and seven others from around the country were honored at the National Air Traffic Controllers Association’s (NATCA) eighth annual Archie League Medal of Safety Awards banquet, part of NATCA’s annual safety conference.