110th Avn. Bde. rewards 20 years of accident-free flight
January 21, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- The flight training program at the Daleville-Dothan Learning Center achieved a major milestone Nov. 14: it has not experienced an accident in 20 years.
FlightSafety International flew more than 175,000 flight hours and more than 109,300 aircraft sorties while training more than 5,200 military Aviators in numerous aircraft types.
Col. Russell Stinger, 110th Aviation Brigade commander, presented FlightSafety International representatives with a Certificate of Achievement in Safety during a Brigade meeting at the 110th Avn. Bde. building Jan. 14.
"The program (FlightSafety International) runs is just phenomenal," Stinger said. "They do the most incredible job in the most professional manner for the last 20 years."
Most in attendance had probably not heard of FlightSafety International before that day, Stinger remarked. However, he continued, that isn't necessarily a bad thing.
"The squeaky wheel may get the grease, but the wheel who doesn't squeak just motors along, accident free, for 20 years," he said. "They do everything internally like maintenance, flight training, operations - it's all right there."
Ralph Hicks, FlightSafety International Daleville-Dothan Learning Center manager, said accepting the award was an honor and promised to continue doing the work the center has done for the last two decades.
"We didn't set out to achieve a 20-year safety award, we set out to achieve no accidents daily," he said. "When you do just that daily, before you know it, it's been 20 years."
Hicks thanked current and former FlightSafety International employees who helped to make the award possible and said he plans to get to work on the next 20 years right away.
While achieving the award was a great accomplishment, it didn't come easy, Hicks said.
Over the course of 20 years FlightSafety International aircrews encountered various aircraft incidents ranging from landing gear malfunctions to fuel leaks and engine failures.
FlightSafety's maintenance professionals also completed 578,000 man-hours of scheduled and unscheduled aircraft maintenance tasks ranging from complete aircraft rebuilds to wing spar crack repairs and landing gear component replacements during the same time period.
Through it all, the FlightSafety team has made every effort to live up to its motto, "the best safety device in any aircraft is a well-trained crew," wrote Lt. Col. Joseph Matthew, 1st Battalion, 223rd Aviation Regiment commander, in a memorandum dated Nov. 14, 2010.