Archie League Awards Honor Controllers
The National Air Traffic Controllers Association recently held its annual Archie League Medal of Safety Awards, honoring controllers who have kept their cool in dangerous and challenging circumstances. There were controllers from each of the FAA's nine regions honored, including those on duty when Asiana Flight 214 crashed short of the runway at San Francisco International Airport last July 6. But most of the incidents didn't make headlines, simply because the drama in the air ended with a safe landing. Typical of those incidents was the dangerous situation that unfolded over western Washington on a stormy February night last year.
Phillip Bush took off in a Piper Seneca from Spokane on Feb. 22 for Boeing Field and after bouncing through mountain waves he started his descent and encountered icing. Seattle TRACON controller Jared Mike noticed the twin was having trouble maintaining altitude and called Heard. He then vectored Bush through mountain valleys to keep him away from terrain that was higher than his icing aircraft could maintain until the pilot was out of cloud and in temperatures warm enough to start shedding the ice.