The eleventh annual Archie League Medal of Safety Awards, given at a ceremony in Las Vegas on March 4, honored fourteen controllers in nine regions who assisted aircraft to avoid or address emergencies. This year’s stories include diverting airliners on converging courses and helping a VFR pilot descend through IMC to an airport. The Archie awards program is named after the first air traffic controller and awards actions individually or as a team.
Three controllers at Green Bay, Wisconsin’s Austin Straubel International Airport were awarded for assisting a Beech Baron pilot last February. The pilot, on an IFR flight plan and carrying passengers, declared an emergency, reporting the aircraft was icing up and he’d lost a gyro. Mike Ostrander, Justin Krenke and Adam Helm relayed obstructions to the pilot while diverting him to a rural airport. They stayed with the pilot for about 40 minutes.“It was a long time, and we were just scrambling around trying to figure out where this guy could get on the ground,” Ostrander told the Green Bay Press-Gazette.They also made calls for emergency personnel. The Baron had to make a second attempt to land due to snowplows on the runway, then made a hard landing with the occupants suffering minor injuries.