The Female Pilot Who Won An Award For A Successful A-10 Belly Landing
A couple of years back, flight leader Capt. Taylor Bye and her wingman Maj. Jack Ingber were flying A-10 birds on a basic surface attack ride at Grand Bay Range Georgia. When the Capt. Taylor Bye attempted to fire her gun the aircraft met with very bad failures causing her landing gear to stop working.
According to the Air Force, the failure was caused by the famous Gatling gun of the A-10 aircraft the 30 mm GAU-8 Avenger cannon. This failure of the gun, not only prevented her landing gear from deploying but also her cockpit canopy to detach too.
Her first reaction was to climb away from the ground and check her engines. The amazing thing about A-10 is that with all those failures it still had very well-working engines and hydraulic systems. Capt. Bye explained,
“I slowed down the aircraft and that’s when (Ingber) looked over my jet, The trust in this community and the Air Force in general, but specifically this fighter squadron, is huge because I’m completely relying on him to let me know what’s going on so I can take the proper action and get both him and I back on the ground safely.”
Her wingman Ingber was very helpful and could provide very critical information about the situation to Bye,
“When you’re in that environment, it becomes very robotic, When anything (unusual) happens, it’s apparent and very easy to spot it and fix it. It’s my primary job to think of everything that (Bye) is not because she has a massive handful of an airplane that is falling apart.”
Even if they evaluated the damage well, while in flight, it was a very hard job to take the A-10 to the ground safely. With the missing canopy, Capt Bye had to lower her seat because the wind at about 350 mph was hitting her face. Then again with a lowered seat, it was difficult for her to see the runway well.
Bye explained how nervous she was at the moment,
“I thought, ‘where’s the ground, where’s the ground’ … I was holding my breath at that point, I guess I was nervous the whole time, but I didn’t have time to think about being nervous. My job was to take care of myself and to take care of the jet.”
With all the hardships this amazing female pilot could land her A-10C Thunderbolt II with minimal damage and without any harm to herself. This wonderful female pilot was awarded the Air Combat Command Airmanship Award for the successful belly-landing of an A-10 without a canopy and landing gear.
This successful A-10 belly landing is a prime example of excellent airmanship and decision-making and we all know how durable is the awesome A-10 Warthog. If you don’t, read the following article.