The “Archie” Awards pay tribute to air traffic controllers and the life-saving role they provide for general aviation pilots who screw up. Two times that was me. There are some who deride the FAA as those who pick nits. (We’re Not Happy Until You’re Not Happy).
My friend at the Chicago area FSDO would want you to know that can touch an FAA employee with a ten foot pole. Just don’t hit them with it. This years awards are out and they’re well deserved.
Here’s a few that deserve our respect and admiration. There are many others.
John Overman (Great Lakes Region) for providing outstanding assistance on April 25, 2009, to a Lifeguard Helicopter that was transporting an accident victim to a hospital. Overman’s detailed information about severe thunderstorms and coordination with EMS personnel on the ground enabled the helicopter crew to land in a nearby parking lot and transfer the patient successfully.
Dale Taylor (Great Lakes Region) for providing outstanding assistance on Feb. 20, 2009, to the pilot of a single-engine aircraft who suffered an engine failure on a night flight in poor visibility. Taylor provided vectors and other critical information that allowed the pilot to make a safe landing with no injury.
Robert Hill Sr. (Southern Region) for providing outstanding assistance on Nov. 11, 2009, to a pilot on a flight in instrument conditions who experienced an instrument malfunction in low visibility, heavy rain, and high wind conditions. Hill provided no-gyro vectors to an alternate airport and talked the pilot down to a safe landing.
Don Nikolich and David Pridgen (Southern Region) for providing outstanding assistance on Nov. 29, 2009, to a noninstrument-rated pilot who entered night instrument meteorological conditions. Nikolich and Pridgen, through exceptional coordination and team work, were able to guide the pilot to a safe landing despite widespread areas of low ceiling and multiple attempts to land at several airports.
Larry Gardiner (Southwest Region) for providing outstanding assistance on Aug. 12, 2009, to an aircraft that was not under his control. Controller Gardiner preemptively transmitted a traffic warning, in the blind, which resulted in one of the aircraft taking evasive action and avoiding an almost certain midair collision.