SAC Andy Gibbs, a serving member of 4624 (Movements) Squadron based at RAF Brize Norton, has been presented with an Air Safety Award by Group Captain Blackburn, Station Commander RAF Akrotiri.
Currently deployed to support Joint Movements Squadron at RAF Akrotiri, Andy arrived on shift on the morning of 9 Mar 18 and was tasked with the removal of aircraft steps from a Boeing 737 on Alpha Dispersal. He noticed that the passenger door handle did not appear to be fully locked and monitored the handle while the aircraft was powered up and pushed back.
As the aircraft commenced taxiing, and the handle had still not located properly, SAC Gibbs immediately informed the Visiting Aircraft Handling Section (VAHS) JNCO of his concern who signalled to the aircraft captain to stop. Once safely back on chocks, the door was checked by the crew and correctly locked into position.
Nominated for the award by the Station Flight Safety Officer, Flt Lt Leigh Robertson wrote to Andy commenting “You had the awareness to spot the potential flight safety implication backed by the confidence and moral courage to do something about it by saying STOP. Your actions were correct in alerting the crew to further investigate the issue and ultimately resolve the problem BEFORE the ac got airborne. A good example for all to witness. Well done”.
Presentation of the award took place in Apr 18; known locally as a ‘Tea and Cake’ award, as the recipient receives a voucher to spend in Lady L’s (the ‘go to’ eatery on base), SAC Gibbs’ photograph will also adorn the flight safety board.
“I feel very proud and honoured to be recognised in this manner knowing I was correct to stop the aircraft when I did; something I am confident I would do again should the need arise” stated Andy after receiving the award. He had the courage to act and clearly demonstrated the values and standards we should all strive to achieve.