Release #06.040
July 27, 2006

Naples, FL Pilot Honored with ALPA Superior Airmanship Award

WASHINGTON, DC --- Matt Klingsporn, a Midwest Airlines Captain and a Naples, FL resident, is receiving a Superior Airmanship Award from the Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) for his outstanding effort in safely responding to a critical system failure on his aircraft.

Midwest Airlines Flight 8134, an MD-80 bound for Toronto, experienced a jammed horizontal stabilizer while on takeoff at Newark’s Liberty International Airport. The pilots’ quick action allowed them to safely stop the airplane on the runway, with no injury or damage.

The award will be presented on July 27 during ALPA’s 2006 Air Safety Forum. First Officer, James Findley, will also honored with a Superior Airmanship Award at the event.

“The actions of the Midwest Airlines Flight 8134 pilots underscore the importance of a trained, experienced flight crew ready to act decisively at a moment’s notice. Capt. Klingsporn’s actions in this situation ensured the safety of passengers and crew and avoided a far more serious outcome,” said ALPA President Duane E. Woerth.

Rolling down the runway, with 37 members of the New Jersey Devils hockey team aboard, Capt. Klingsporn attempted to raise the nose of the airplane as it reached takeoff speed. The plane would not lift off. Capt. Klingsporn immediately made the decision to reject the takeoff. A maintenance engineer later found that a small screw jammed the horizontal stabilizer. There was no way the plane could have taken flight.

Capt. Klingsporn’s decisive action to “reject” the takeoff and F/O Findley’s handling of rejected takeoff procedures were flawless.

Capt. Klingsporn began his career with Midwest Airlines in 1994 flying DC-9 aircraft. He is married to Gordana Klingsporn and they live in Naples, FL.

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