July 18, 2013
ExpressJet Pilots Honored with ALPA Superior
Capt. Micah Peery of Bartlett, Tenn. and F/O Andrew Kinnear of Waukesha, Wis. Recognized for Heroic Actions
WASHINGTON—The Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l (ALPA) presented its Superior Airmanship Award to Capt. Micah Peery and First Officer Andrew Kinnear for their heroic actions in safely landing ExpressJet Flight 5912 from Peoria, Illinois, to Denver, Colorado, on the evening of April 3, 2012. Nineteen passengers and one flight attendant were in the cabin of the Embraer 145.
“Capt. Peery and F/O Kinnear were faced with a near impossible situation—to land an aircraft on instruments without being able to see clearly. Despite this, they remained calm, worked together, and displayed the utmost professionalism to land the aircraft safely. Their quick thinking and expert action resulted in a safe landing for all 22 people on board, which is the true mark of superior airmanship,” said Capt. Chris Grable, chairman of the ALPA unit at ExpressJet Airlines.
At approximately 6 p.m. on April 3, 2012, ExpressJet Flight 5912 was on an instrument landing system (ILS) approach to Denver International’s Runway 34R, established on the localizer and glideslope—about 1,800 feet above the runway. Suddenly, they heard and felt an unusual vibration in the airplane. F/O Kinnear glanced at the engine instruments and noticed problems with the right engine.
Shortly afterwards, the pilots smelled smoke then saw it entering the cockpit. Soon, the entire inside of the airplane filled with thick smoke. The pilots quickly donned their oxygen masks and smoke goggles. Capt. Peery decided to continue flying the approach on instruments all the way to the runway because he and F/O Kinnear could not see clearly either inside or outside of the cockpit.
Capt. Peery saw the “baggage smoke” warning and the “lav smoke” warning messages appear on the electronic engine instrument displays. He discharged the baggage compartment fire extinguisher, and F/O Kinnear tried to ventilate the cabin by manually dumping the cabin pressure.
Visibility in the cockpit was only about 12 inches, forcing Captain Peery to put his chin over the control yoke to see the instruments and fly the approach. F/O Kinnear deployed the passenger oxygen masks, notified the Denver air traffic control tower of the emergency, and asked for the airport firefighting and rescue trucks to be dispatched to await their landing.
As Capt. Peery flew, F/O Kinnear called out altitudes, speeds, and deviations from the localizer and glideslope. At 300 feet above touchdown, F/O Kinnear saw the runway approach lights and helped to pull the control yoke back. Through their utmost professionalism and great teamwork, the pilots put the smoke-filled jet on the pavement just to the right of centerline and about 500 feet past the threshold.
Mechanics subsequently discovered that a bearing failure in the right engine caused carbon seals to fail, allowing several quarts of oil to be ingested into the engine bleed air system, which provides pressurized air to the cockpit and cabin.
“Capt. Peery and F/O Kinnear are testaments to the high level of skill, training, and teamwork it takes to be superior airline pilots,” said ALPA President Capt. Lee Moak. “I am honored to present this prestigious award to them for their extraordinary abilities and professionalism.”
Capt. Peery joined ExpressJet Airlines in October 2000. He is based at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and lives in Bartlett, Tenn. with his wife, Jennifer. He is also a volunteer on the ExpressJet ALPA Professional Standards Committee.
F/O Kinnear joined ExpressJet Airlines in June 2011. He is based at Chicago O’Hare International Airport and lives in Waukesha, Wis.
Founded in 1931, ALPA is the world’s largest pilot union, representing more than 50,000 pilots at 33 airlines in the United States and Canada.
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CONTACT: ALPA Media, 703-481-4440 or Media@alpa.org