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NEWS | Dec. 26, 2020

Reserve instructor pilot earns AETC safety award

By 340th Flying Training Group Public Affairs 340th Flying Training Group Public Affairs

A Reserve instructor pilot from the 39th Flying Training Squadron at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph was selected as the Air Education and Training Command Aviation Safety Well Done Award winner for 2020.

Maj. Patrick Stewart earned the award through his exceptional skill and ingenuity while performing duties as an Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals Instructor Pilot during a student syllabus sortie Feb. 27.

Stewart's calm, focused response to a potentially life-threatening situation (described in the medal citation, below) earned him kudos and recognition from leaders and peers.

The citations reads as follows:

While flying in the rear cockpit of a T-38C, Maj. Patrick Stewart displayed outstanding aircraft control, systems knowledge, and crew resource management during an incident in which part of the wingtip liberated from the aircraft while under high-G maneuvering, causing an immediate and violent roll. 

Stewart took control of the aircraft from the student and recovered from the dangerous and disorienting situation, then directed his flight lead to support as a chase aircraft while they worked to accomplish multiple extensive checklist procedures to determine if the aircraft was suitable to continue to fly, and most importantly, land. 

After working through all of the checklists and confirming with the JBSA-Randolph Supervisor of Flying that there was a runway in the area that was suitable for the damaged T-38C to safely land, Stewart flew a flawless approach and touchdown to nearby JBSA-Kelly Field Annex at JBSA-Lackland. 

Because of his exceptional skill and composure under duress, Stewart expertly handled an extremely serious and rare emergency and allowed for the safe return of the T-38C with both pilots on board.