Release #06.038
July 27, 2006

Pennsylvania Pilot Honored with ALPA Superior Airmanship Award

WASHINGTON, DC --- Henry Jones, a US Airways captain and Ambler, Pa. resident, is receiving a Superior Airmanship Award from the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) for his outstanding effort in avoiding a near collision involving US Airways Flight 1170, a Boeing 737-300 providing service from Boston Logan International Airport to Philadelphia on June 9, 2005.

The award will be presented July 27 during the Association’s annual Air Safety Forum and Awards Banquet. US Airways First Officer James Dannahower will also be honored with a Superior Airmanship Award for the event.

“The actions of the pilots of US Airways Flight 1170 underscore the importance of a trained, experienced flight crew ready to act decisively at a moment’s notice. Capt. Jones’ swift actions helped to avert a potential collision and ensure the safety of the passengers and crew,” said ALPA President Duane E. Woerth.

As flight 1170 departed Runway 9, the first officer noticed an Aer Lingus Airbus A330 taking off on Runway 15R, which crosses Runway 9. He reacted instantly, pushing forward against the control yoke to prevent Capt. Jones from rotating the B737 while pointing out the hazard to the captain. Capt. Jones followed his training and wisely followed his first officer’s advice by delaying the rotation and then continuing the takeoff, expertly adjusting his takeoff technique to compensate for the delay. The B737, with 103 passengers and 6 crew members rolled under the A330 which carried 260 passengers and 12 crew members, missing it by an estimated 170 feet.

Subsequent investigation into this very serious incident revealed that one air traffic controller in the Logan tower had cleared US Airways Flight 1170 for takeoff on Runway 9, while a different controller had cleared Aer Lingus Flight 132 for takeoff on Runway 15R. As both flight crews began their takeoffs, the airport terminal blocked any line of sight between them.

Captain Jones began his career with US Airways in 1984 flying B727 aircraft.

Captain Jones is married to Malinda Jones and they live in Ambler, Pa., with their 3 children.

Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing 62,000 pilots at 40 airlines in the United States and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at

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ALPA Contact: Jeff Orschel, (703) 481-4459