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Reserve instructor pilot earns AETC safety award

Reserve IP earns AETC award

Maj. Patrick Stewart, 39th Flying Training Squadron, earned Air Education and Training Command's 2020 Aviation Safety Well Done Award. (U.S. Air Force photo)

JOINT BASE SAN ANTONIO-Randolph, Texas – A Reserve instructor pilot from the 39th Flying Training Squadron here 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.

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While flying in the rear cockpit of a T-38C, Major 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.  Major 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 Randolph Air Force Base Supervisor of Flying that there was a runway in the area that was suitable for the damaged T-38C to safely land, Major Stewart flew a flawless approach and touchdown to nearby Kelly Field on the Lackland Air Force Base Annex.  Because of his exceptional skill and composure under duress, Major Stewart expertly handled an extremely serious and rare emergency and allowed for the safe return of the T-38C with both pilots on board.

Congratulations Major Stewart, and Well Done!