Release #08.041
August 14, 2008

Pilots Honored for Dedication to Safer, More Secure Skies
ALPA Presents Awards at the 54th Annual Air Safety & Security Forum

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Air Line Pilots Association Int’l (ALPA), today honored the very best in the piloting profession by commending individuals who made truly remarkable contributions to the safety and security of the airline industry. Three crews that demonstrated superior airmanship when confronted with potentially disastrous developments while inflight also received recognition.

The awards were presented by ALPA’s President, Capt. John Prater, at the Association’s 54th Annual Air Safety & Security Forum and Awards Banquet in Washington, D.C.

A Superior Airmanship Award went to a Delta Air Lines (DAL) flightcrew, Capt. Peter Hupperich, First Officer Edward Calzolari, and First Officer Joseph Stafford, for their outstanding effort in handling multiple bird strikes to DAL Flight 77, a Boeing-767-400ER passenger aircraft providing service from Rome Fiumicino International Airport to Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport on July 7, 2007.

A second Superior Airmanship Award went to a Northwest Airlines (NWA) flightcrew, Capt. Dennis Leighton, First Officer Edward Sparks, and Second Officer David Kritzer, for their outstanding performance in preventing the catastrophic loss of NWA Flight 908 due to multiple electrical system failures. The Boeing-747-200F cargo aircraft was flying from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei to New Tokyo International Airport (Narita) in Japan on Aug. 14, 2007.

A third Superior Airmanship Award went to an American Eagle Airlines (EGL) flightcrew, Capt. Richard Joslyn and First Officer John De Paola, for their outstanding performance in dealing with the landing gear failure on EGL Flight 4539, an Embraer ERJ 135 regional jet providing service from Toronto Pearson International Airport to Boston Logan International Airport on June 20, 2007.

Capt. Terry McVenes, a US Airways pilot, received the Air Safety Award, ALPA’s highest safety honor, for forging crucial new alliances and developing effective consensus solutions to some of the most pressing safety challenges of our time. Capt. McVenes advocated for a higher level of aviation safety at myriad venues—testifying before Congress, advancing pilots’ perspectives in policy debates with industry stakeholders, and speaking at high-level conferences around the globe.

Capt. Edwin Folsom, a United Airlines pilot, received the Aviation Security Award, the Association’s highest security honor, for his commitment and contribution to the greater security that passengers, crews, and cargo shippers count on today, including his work to advance the Federal Flight Deck Officer program, create innovative security incident reporting systems, and install secondary barriers on airliner cockpit doors.

A Presidential Citation, the Association’s honor for outstanding work in aviation safety and security, went to United Airlines Capt. Mary McMillan for her activism in constructing a framework for the sustainability of aviation in the environmental sector. In January 2008, Capt. Prater created the Presidential Task Force on Aviation Sustainability and the Environment, appointing Capt. McMillan as the chairperson. She successfully established an ALPA presence within the environmental realm of the aviation community and academia.

Retired United Airlines Capt. Ellis Nelson received a Presidential Citation for his contributions to many of the industry’s most critical security initiatives, including work to advance the Federal Flight Deck Officer program, give airline employees more efficient access to secure airport areas, enhance cargo airline security, and protect the nation’s air transportation system against chemical-biological threats.

ALPA presented a Presidential Citation to US Airways Capt. Brian Townsend for his superior leadership of ALPA’s National Airspace System Modernization (NASMOD) Committee. He effectively directed ALPA’s participation in such diverse areas as the development of performance-based navigational procedures (RNAV and RNP), Unmanned Aircraft Systems, advanced aircraft navigation and surveillance concepts, development of equipment standards and procedures, and the wide variety of industry activity in support of the Next Generation Air Transportation System (NextGen).

ALPA recognized First Officer Avery Bates with a Presidential Citation for playing his critical role in ALPA’s security efforts. A staunch advocate for improving security of air cargo operations, F/O Bates has also served ALPA pilots as the Director of Information for the Association’s National Security Committee.

A Presidential Citation also went to Capt. Ken Young for his dedication to making “One Level of Safety and Security” a reality for cargo pilots, as ALPA did in the 1990s for FAR Part 135 passenger operations. Under his leadership, the Cargo Safety Project Team recently worked to block cargo operators from dramatically increasing the maximum payload that can be flown under FAR Part 135 (from the current limit of 7,500 pounds to an astonishing 30,000 pounds).

ALPA awarded a 2007 Presidential Citation to First Officer Greg Bergner for his tireless work during his tenure on ALPA’s National Security Committee to advance key aviation security initiatives, including the Federal Flight Deck Officer program and pivotal efforts to improve security for cargo airlines.

ALPA also honored three Airport Liaison Representatives (ALRs) and presented the “Airport of the Year” award during the 54th Annual Air Safety and Security Forum.

Pilots selected Boston Logan International Airport for the “Airport of the Year” award because of the airport’s extensive efforts to reduce runway incursions and excursions through enhanced markings and technologies, its new physical improvements that reduce congestion and delays, and its multi-faceted approach to emergency exercises.

ALPA recognized United Airlines First Officer Tim Albert with the Outstanding Airport Liaison Representative Award. F/O Albert serves as the ALPA ALR for the Palm Springs International Airport and serves on the Airport Commission, a 19-member body made up of representatives from cities throughout the Coachella Valley.

ALPA honored United Airlines First Officer Michael Brown with the Outstanding ALR Award as well. F/O Brown serves as the ALPA ALR for the Sacramento International Airport (SMF). He continues to voice airline pilots’ safety concerns with officials at SMF, including issues with enhancing airport signage and markings.

ALPA also recognized Continental Airlines Capt. Stuart Cory with the Outstanding ALR Award. Capt. Cory serves as the ALPA ALR for the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) and continues to foster productive communication with CLE airport management, air traffic control, and other stakeholders regarding many relevant aviation safety concerns.

ALPA represents 55,000 pilots at 40 airlines 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,