Moe Wagner was with his University of Michigan basketball teammates on March 8, 2017, aboard an Ameristar Air Cargo MD-83 as it began its takeoff roll down Runway 23 Left at Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti, Mich. The aircraft, headed to Washington Dulles for the Big Ten tournament, reached 173 knots. However, due to a mechanical failure, the aircraft did not pitch up and the pilots executed a rejected takeoff.
The aircraft overran the end of Runway 23 Left and stopped on grass, 1,000 feet from the end of the runway. All 109 passengers and seven crew members evacuated the aircraft and only one person suffered minor injuries during evacuation, according to the NTSB.
That Wagner, now a rookie with the Los Angeles Lakers, and the other passengers survived this incident is a direct result of the work of NATCA-represented Airports Division (ARP) members Irene Porter and Ernest Gubry. Porter, who recently retired, and Gubry initiated, designed, planned, environmentally cleared, and funded the construction of a fully compliant runway safety area (RSA) at Willow Run. They oversaw and managed the project from initial concept through construction.
For their work, Porter and Gubry were presented with NATCA’s annual Region X Commitment to Safety Award.
NATCA has activated its disaster relief fund to assist members who may be affected by Hurricane Michael. Our brothers and sisters who live and work in facilities in the Southern and Eastern Regions are rallying to offer support and assistance as needed, as is the NATCA family as a whole.
GoFundMe: Please click here.
Checks: Payable to “DRF” or “Disaster Relief Fund.” Mail to:
Attn.: Accounting Department
1325 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, D.C., 20005
Automatic Payroll Deduction: NATCA members can also donate to the disaster relief fund through payroll deduction, using this form.
Following our 'Ask the Captain' and 'Ask a Flight Attendant' episodes, we wanted to pose your questions to an active air traffic controller. So in this episode, San Juan Tower controller Kyrandgel Rio...
A video produced by FAA Communications in collaboration with NATCA.
NATCA Great Lakes Archie League Medal of Safety Award. Aired on April 25, 2017.