August 8, 2007
United Airlines First Officer Brad Loper Receives ALPA’s Superior
Littleton, Colorado Pilot Recognized for Helping to Avert Potential Runway Collision
WASHINGTON—The Air Line Pilots Association, International (ALPA) will recognize United Airlines (UAL) First Officer Brad Loper with the ALPA Superior Airmanship Award for his 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.
“The actions of the pilots of United Airlines Flight 1015 underscore the importance of a trained, experienced flight crew ready to act decisively at a moment’s notice,” said ALPA President Capt. John Prater. “First Officer Brad Loper’s swift actions and quick decision-making helped to avert a potential high-speed runway collision, ensuring the safety of the passengers and crew.”
As flight 1015 departed Runway 27 at Chicago, United Airlines Capt. Scott Stoops noticed an Atlas Air Cargo 747 approaching on Runway 14, which crosses Runway 27, traveling at a taxi speed of only 15-20 knots. 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, now squarely in their way.
Stoops then increased the 737’s pitch somewhere between 23 and 25 degrees—about 10 degrees higher than normal—immediately after takeoff, expertly adjusting his takeoff technique to compensate for the early departure. 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.
“First Officer Loper is testament to why United pilots are regarded as the best in the airline business when it comes to safety and ability,” said United Master Executive Council Chairman Capt. Mark Bathurst. “His professionalism, calm demeanor, and abilities helped avert a potential disaster and loss of life.”
This award will be presented on August 9 at ALPA’s 53rd Annual Air Safety & Security Week and Awards Banquet in Washington, D.C. ALPA will also honor Loper’s colleague, Capt. Scott Stoops, with a Superior Airmanship Award for the event.
Founded in 1931, ALPA represents more than 60,000 pilots at 41 airlines in the U.S. and Canada. Visit the ALPA website at www.alpa.org for more information.
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CONTACT: Pete Janhunen, Linda Shotwell, Molly Martin, (703) 481-4440