Thu 18 June: TOP HONOUR FOR SHEPHERDING ‘BLIND’ PILOT
RAF team receive CAA’s annual Safety Award for their actions
The CAA has honoured several RAF personnel for guiding to safety a pilot who suffered a stroke during a routine flight and became temporarily blind.The incident in October 2008 followed a request from the blinded pilot for assistance to reach his intended destination after losing visual contact with the aerodrome. Wg Cdr Gerrard was asked to guide the aircraft to the ground with assistance from RAF air traffic controllers. The aircraft, a Cessna 182, landed safely and the pilot walked away without injury.The RAF team today received the CAA’s annual Safety Award in recognition of their actions.Bob Jones, the CAA’s Head of Flight Operations, said, “This was a remarkable piece of quick thinking by Wing Commander Gerrard and the air traffic control unit at Linton. Their composure and vigilance undoubtedly saved a pilot in distress. They are very worthy winners of this year’s Safety Award.”The Award, now in its fourteenth year, is presented in recognition of good airmanship or practical skills and abilities when faced with potentially serious incidents directly related to flying.