F-15E Pilot Earns Top Safety Award

Capt. Hans Buckwalter, chief of standardization and evaluations with the 391st Fighter Squadron at Mountain Home AFB, Idaho, has received the 2010 Koren Kolligian Jr. Trophy, the Air Force’s top flight safety award. Air Force Secretary Michael Donley presented Buckwalter with the trophy during a ceremony last week in the Pentagon. Donley recognized Buckwalter for successfully landing his crippled F-15E after taking off from Kunsan AB, South Korea, on April 8, 2010, using only the nose and right main landing gear. The F-15E had experienced a mechanical failure that wedged the left main landing gear in the fuselage. “Through his actions, Hans exemplifies the standards established for this award,” said Donley. “It is an honor to receive this award,” said Buckwalter, crediting the assistance of his wingman and ground personnel during the June 29 ceremony. (SAF/PA report by SSgt. Richard A. Williams)