Life Lessons for a Pilot

For his actions in the March 5 T-6 emergency landing at Randolph Air Force Base, Texas, Maj. Kent Currie earned an Air Force Aviation Well Done Award for "outstanding airmanship that prevented a serious flight mishap."

The citation credits him with saving the $4.5 million aircraft, as well as the lives of the two crewmembers. Base leadership says his example should be followed by other pilots.

"Major Currie did an outstanding job safely recovering our T-6," said Maj. Gen. Erwin F. Lessel III, who flew with Currie that day. "He quickly identified the problem and took appropriate corrective action, putting his airmanship skills
to the test."

The general went on to say that the events of that day reinforced what Airmen already should know: "Flying is inherently dangerous; we must train the way we'll fight, and we must always be prepared to deal with the unexpected."

According to Lt. Col. Sean McGlynn, a T-6 pilot who serves in the Air Education and Training Command Safety Directorate, "This emergency was about as complex as it gets. Fortunately, Kent Currie, without a doubt, was the right pilot to have in the air."

McGlynn says the major also provided some important lessons for other pilots to follow:
  • His mission planning was impeccable.
  • He understands that there's never a "routine" mission and prepared himself accordingly.
  • Even though he's so experienced, he didn't cut any corners; he still diligently followed checklists and procedures.
  • He demonstrated outstanding situational awareness, systems knowledge and crew resource management.
  • He remained cool, calm and collected under pressure.