25th CAB pilots earn Broken Wing award
January 12, 2007
Two pilots with the 25th Combat Aviation Brigade (CAB) were awarded Broken Wing awards, recently, for successfully landing a damaged aircraft during training at the Pohokoloa Training Area, when they were back in Hawaii, Feb. 23, 2006.
Capt. John B. Davis, commander of B Troop, 2nd Squadron, 6th Cavalry Regiment, 25th CAB, 25th Infantry Division, and Chief Warrant Officer Steven K. Huiton, the safety officer for 2-6th Cav., managed to safely bring down the OH-58 Kiowa they were flying after one of the craft's rotor blades was damaged while firing rockets during a training exercise.
"During the [training] the first three rockets left the tube with no issue and impacted the target," Davis said. "When CW3 Huitron fired the final rocket, the aircraft immediately began to severely vibrate and shake. This is when we realized that something had happened to the aircraft."
Though the blade was severely damaged during the accident, the pilots were able to quickly work together to bring the helicopter to the ground in rough terrain - at a spot just four feet wider than the craft's rotor blades - with minimal damage resulting from the landing.
The crew's quick reaction and teamwork were the deciding factors in safely landing the craft, Davis said.
"The crew is a team at the lowest level, and we both contributed to a successful landing," Davis said.
"When you're able to see an event here that could have led to catastrophic results, but the air crew falls back on its training ... that inspires confidence in the rest of the air crew members," said Col. A. T. Ball, commander of the 25th CAB.