Recognizing when you do things right when things go wrong.

Not every accident or incident is “pilot error.” Things break without warning, and good pilots sometimes get thrown into unforeseen difficult situations. It’s not always the pilot at fault.

Pilots work in a dynamic, ever-changing medium. Weather changes abruptly, there are a gazillion moving parts on most airplanes, and airplanes (by nature) are not robustly designed because weight is a concern. All of this translates into the potential of tough scenarios that demand a pilot who can assess the negative situation, apply quality corrective measures, and ultimately “adapt and overcome.”

The MMOPA Broken Wings Award honors those pilots who were forced into dilemmas not of their making and overcame the challenge safely and responsibly. This ranges from something as dramatic as an in-flight engine failure handled well, to a situation where a series of preemptive good decisions dramatically reduced the risk of danger. The stories of those pilots in crisis should be told so that others can learn from their competence.

One of the best ways to learn is by example, and the MMOPA community is full of pilots who set the bar high in handling adversity in flight. The Safety Committee is excited to publicly honor those who overcame in those tough situations, with the hope and anticipation that it will help others do the same.

Characteristics of events which deserve the Broken Wing Award are:

  • The occurrence must be from an in-flight situation;
  • The pilot must show extraordinary skill, judgment, and technique during an in-flight emergency;
  • A successful landing must have occurred;
  • Extreme circumstances which might have led to catastrophic results must have existed;
  • The pilot cannot have induced the emergency situation through neglect, poor decision-making, or ill intent;
  • The event must have occurred in the last five years.

The Safety Committee will review and analyze the entries (at the meeting two months prior to the MMOPA Convention) and determine pilots shall receive the Broken Wings Award, which shall then be presented at the subsequent MMOPA Convention.

To apply for the Broken Wings Award, we invite you to submit the ONLINE APPLICATION.