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NATCA Honors Its Seventh Annual Archie League Medal of Safety Award Winners - (3/23/2011)

CONTACT:  Doug Church, 301-346-8245

LAS VEGAS – An Atlanta Center air traffic controller who saved the life of a pilot by providing a path to the runway in Rome, Ga., despite low ceilings and fog, low fuel and two missed approaches; a controller in Burlington, Vt., who had to apply older procedures he had not practiced in years to help a distressed and disoriented pilot who was unable to make the approach; and a team of two Houston Center controllers who worked to locate a downed aircraft in the Gulf of Mexico and send help that rescued four passengers.

These three outstanding flight assists, and six others from around the country – joined by the Boeing 787 FAA test pilot who performed a safe emergency landing in Texas last fall – will be honored tonight at the National Air Traffic Controllers Association’s seventh annual Archie League Medal of Safety Awards banquet (watch live starting at 8 p.m. PDT at natca.org), part of NATCA’s annual Communicating for Safety conference. Named for the first air traffic controller, the NATCA Archie League awards honor the very best examples of skill, dedication and professionalism that NATCA members displayed in 2010 in the pursuit of a safe outcome in difficult or emergency situations.

"These are extraordinary safety professionals who took complete control of very difficult situations and ensured safety through skill, determination and versatility,” NATCA President Paul Rinaldi said. “This is the professionalism that defines NATCA and the safety critical jobs our members perform every day. We are so proud of the men and women being honored tonight and the entire workforce salutes them.”

The award winners were chosen by a panel comprised of Bruce Landsberg, president of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) Air Safety Institute, Capt. Jeff Skiles, vice president of the Coalition of Airline Pilots Associations and the first officer of US Airways Flight 1549, the "Miracle on the Hudson," and Dale Wright, NATCA's Director of Safety and Technology.

Tonight’s honorees are:

    ALASKAN REGION: David Whisnant, Anchorage TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control)

    CENTRAL REGION: David Cornell, Cedar Rapids, Iowa

    EASTERN REGION: Mike Chambers, Clint Clifton, Huntington, W.Va.

    GREAT LAKES REGION: Gregory Dukeman, Cleveland Center

    NEW ENGLAND REGION: Chuck LaBombard, Burlington, Vt.

    NORTHWEST MOUNTAIN REGION: Dean Miller, Denver Center

    SOUTHERN REGION: Derek Bittman, Atlanta Center

    SOUTHWEST REGION: Sagar Patel, Robert Nelson, Houston Center

    WESTERN PACIFIC REGION: Quentin Baca, Southern California TRACON

    REGION X (Non-controller bargaining units): Mark Anderson, Chicago Aircraft Certification Office


FULL STORIES OF THE WINNERS AND THEIR EVENTS: http://www.natca.org/ULWSiteResources/natcaweb/Resources/file/Conferences/2011ArchieLeaguebooklet.pdf


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