Release #07.041
August 8, 2007

Pilots Honored for Contributions to Maintaining a Safe & Secure Airline Industry
ALPA Presents Awards at Its 53rd Annual Air Safety & Security Week

WASHINGTON—The Air Line Pilots Association Int’l (ALPA) today bestowed honors on a number of pilots for their contributions to the safety and security of the airline industry. Two cockpit crews, who exhibited superior airmanship when confronted with potentially disastrous developments in the air, also received recognition. The awards were presented by ALPA President Capt. John Prater at the Association’s 53rd Annual Air Safety & Security Week and Awards Banquet in Washington, D.C.

A Superior Airmanship Award went to a United Airlines crew, Capt. Scott Stoops and First Officer Brad Loper, for their outstanding effort in avoiding a near runway collision involving United Flight 1015, a Boeing737-300, providing service from Chicago O’Hare International Airport to Denver International Airport on July 23, 2006. As flight 1015 departed Runway 27 at Chicago, Stoops noticed an Atlas Air Cargo 747 approaching on Runway 14, which crosses Runway 27. Realizing the Atlas 747 was going to cross their runway, Stoops made the decision, with the full support of Loper, to take off early in order to clear the 747. Every seat of the B737 was full; with 143 passengers and 6 crew members, Stoops missed colliding with the Atlas 747 by fewer than 100 feet during the forced flyover.

The second Superior Airmanship Award went to an Air Canada Jazz (ACJ) crew, Capt. Michael Nelson and First Officer Paul Cafouros, for their outstanding efforts in landing ACJ Flight 8205, a CRJ 200 regional jet providing service from Vancouver International Airport to Prince George Airport on Nov. 21, 2006. As flight 8205 attempted to land at the Prince George Airport on a snowy November afternoon, the visibility dropped to 3/8 of a mile—below the legal minimum—forcing the crew to declare a missed approach. Flying a missed approach, in a snowstorm, in a mountainous area is demanding enough, but another challenge arose.

The aircraft’s flaps would not retract to a more streamlined position for the climb away from the airport, forcing the pilots to divert to the Fort St. John Airport with little fuel to spare. During the landing, the fuel gauges showed only about 550 pounds of fuel remaining in the tanks—perhaps 7 or 8 minutes worth at the high thrust setting they had been forced to use because of the immobile flaps.

Capt. Robert Perkins, an Air Canada Jazz pilot, received the Air Safety Award, ALPA’s highest safety honor. This is bestowed each year on a pilot who has made significant contributions to safety through dedicated service in the Association’s air safety structure. Capt. Perkins plays an integral leadership role as Airport and Ground Environment Group Vice Chairman of both ALPA and the International Federation of Air Line Pilots Associations (IFALPA), proving his dedication to advancing air safety issues throughout the aviation world by promoting an environment which nurtures collaborative industry activities.

Capt. Ron K. Silberman, a Northwest Airlines (NWA) pilot, received the first ALPA Aviation Security Award, the Association’s highest security honor, for his superb leadership in the design and implementation of an enhanced cargo flight deck access hatch. This type of secondary barrier is one of the most inexpensive measures that airlines can take to provide full-time protection against the threat of hijackers. ALPA’s Executive Council established the Aviation Security Award in June 2006 to annually recognize outstanding contributions made by members in the field of aviation security.

A Presidential Citation Award, the Association’s honor for outstanding work in aviation safety and security, went to Alaska Airlines Capt. Robert Powers for his dedication and efforts to create a number of security programs, including a model for the Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) Program. At Alaska Airlines, Capt. Powers served as the Security Committee chairman, taking personal action to create a number of programs that teamed with government initiatives and his airline to benefit all pilots.

Retired Northwest Airlines pilot David “Fireball” Hayes also received a Presidential Citation Award for his dedication to improving safety through his collaboration on ALPA’s behalf with aircraft manufacturers on the development of several types of aircraft for over a decade. Hayes worked to implement valuable real aircraft data to develop wake vortex certification requirements, improved aircraft evacuation standards, greatly improved in-flight icing certification standards, and globally harmonized ALPA’s Required Navigation Performance and Flight Guidance Systems efforts.

ALPA presented a Presidential Citation Award to US Airways Capt. Clarence “Clyde” Romero for his commitment to protecting aircraft against the dangers of shoulder-fired missiles, called Man Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS). Small, light, and obtainable in the global arms markets, thousands of MANPADS are available in various versions from surplus or stolen military stocks. Thanks to pilot representatives like Capt. Romero, however, ALPA was one of the first organizations to announce and actively promote its concern about this emerging threat to government and law enforcement agencies.

ALPA posthumously recognized United Airlines Capt. Harry Orlady with a Presidential Citation Award for his lifelong passion to, in his words, “make the system better for the people who use it.” Capt. Orlady pioneered the area of aeromedical research and aviation human factors and founded ALPA’s Aeromedical Committee, which conducts and coordinates medical research to enhance the physical and psychological well-being of pilots. He was also the originator and principal developer of United’s Flight Safety Awareness Program, the first formalized and effective non-punitive incident reporting system—similar to the modern day Aviation Safety Action Program.

A Presidential Citation also went to retired Northwest Airlines Capt. Terry Lutz for his dedication to improving safety through his work with major aircraft manufacturers in the development of several types of aircraft. As an ALPA representative, Lutz conducted operations evaluations of the B-777-300, B-777-300ER, B-717, B-767-400ER, A-330-200, A-340-500, A-318, and the EMB170. Lutz also worked to educate his fellow pilots on subjects such as throttle-only-control and steep approaches.

ALPA awarded a 2007 Presidential Citation Award to retired Northwest Airlines Capt. Peter Reiss for his long and outstanding efforts to promote and improve aviation security since 1968. Capt. Reiss’ early work established the first Common Strategy security model in 1971, a standardized crisis response plan for dealing with defined criminal and terrorist acts perpetrated on board U.S. and Canadian airliners.

ALPA represents more than 60,000 airline pilots at 41 carriers in the U.S. and Canada. Its motto, “Schedule with Safety,” reflects the union’s deep commitment to provide the maximum level of safety and security to airline operations. For more information, please visit

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ALPA CONTACTS: Pete Janhunen, Linda Shotwell, Molly Martin, (703) 481-4440,