The Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators (GAPAN) has awarded the Master’s Medal to the crew of US Airways Flight 1549, for an exemplary exercise in ditching their Airbus A320 in the Hudson River near New York with no injury or loss of life.
The detailed citation on the crew’s work that day, 15 January 2009, includes this statement: “The crew quickly cleared all the passengers: parents with children, an elderly woman, and dozens of people travelling on business. Capt Sullenberger then walked up and down the cabin, twice, to make sure everyone was out. He then took a final look at his sinking aircraft, grabbed the maintenance logbook and jumped onto a life-raft that was then filled with passengers.”
The presentation took place at the Guildhall in the City of London on 29 October, and the medal was received on behalf of the crew by the aircraft commander, Capt Chesley Sullenberger, and two of his cabin crew, Donna Dent and Sheila Dail.
Not present for the ceremony were the flight’s First Officer Jeff Skiles and Flight Attendant Doreen Welsh.
The awards were presented by the Guild’s Master, Rear Admiral C Cooke-Priest, and the immediate Past Master Air Commodore R Peacock-Edwards.
GAPAN also presented Flight International with its Award for Aviation Journalism. The citation noted Flight’s work in “charting the major events and developments in aviation and making sense of them to both the general public and to the professionals since its first issue was published 100 years ago on 2 January 1909, weeks after Cody’s ‘hop’ at Farnborough.”
It added: “Flight International’s team of committed and knowledgeable journalists under the current editorship of Murdo Morrison, are trusted by the people they interview and in turn trusted by their readers to deliver factually accurate and balanced information and well-informed insights. They provide a valuable service to the general media of providing expert comment to explain the complexities of aviation to a public audience.”
The Award was accepted on behalf of the Flight International team by Operations and Safety Editor David Learmount.
The Guild presented more than 20 Awards for outstanding services to aviation that evening. A list of the Award winners can be found on the GAPAN website.
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