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Archie League Podcast: Pilot Loses Pressure But Gains Helping Hand From Boston Center Controller

“Eight Hotel Romeo is descending, I’ve lost my cabin pressure.” The pilot of a Socata TBM-850 single-turboprop aircraft was flying north toward Burlington, Vt. Boston Center (ZBW) controller Casey Allan was conducting on-the-job training. But what first seemed like a normal flight in their airspace soon turned serious with the onset of hypoxia signs. Allan took over the sector. “I believe he got up to 33,000 feet. He climbed pretty rapidly for an aircraft like the TBM, and it started a right-hand turn,” Allan said. “Once we saw the indication of a turn, my first thought was, ‘it’s going to go into a spin.’”

What happened next was expert handling of the flight to ensure its eventual safe landing at Stewart International Airport in New York. For his efforts, Allan has been named the winner of the 2021 New England Region Archie League Medal of Safety Award, presented by NATCA. Stream the podcast here.

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