Saving a Costly Bird and More Costly Aircrew

Capt. Andreas H. Ix, a C-17 pilot now assigned to Altus AFB, Okla., is the recipient of the 2005 Koren Kolligan Jr. Trophy, the only individual safety award presented annually by the Air Force Chief of Staff. On March 10, 2005 a bird struck the nose of Ix’s C-17 while he was flying a training mission. The event caused the aircraft’s nose cone to break off—taking with it several probes that feed flight data to the control system. Ix immediately started emergency procedures and, despite impaired flight controls and inaccurate flight data, safely landed the aircraft without injury to himself or the crew. Gen. John Corley, vice chief of staff, presented the trophy to Ix at the Pentagon this morning.