Two Navy Instructor Pilots (PIs) and two Student Naval Airmen (SNAs) with “Rangers” from Training Squadron (VT) 28 in Corpus Christi, Texas, responded to a civilian aircraft in distress overhead clouds and assisted the civilian pilot with the navigation assist where he was able to descend and land safely at Mustang Beach Airport (KRAS), Dec. 13.
At approximately 1:40 p.m., air traffic control at Corpus Christi International Airport (approaching Corpus) received a distress call from a private Piper Cherokee stating it was above the clouds and unable to cross them to land safely. Air traffic control then contacted the nearby pilots, who were conducting in-formation training in two T-6B Texan II trainers over Corpus Christi Bay, to see if they could get a visual. in an open area so that the Piper Cherokee can pass under the clouds.
The Navy pilots flying the two T-6Bs were Lt. Cmdr. David Indiveri of Succasunna, New Jersey; Marine 1st Lt. Casey Joehnk of Port Orchard, Washington; Lieutenant Billy Morse of Tucson, Arizona; and the sign Christophe ThÃ©odore of San Francisco. They quickly found a suitable area for an emergency descent under visual flight rules (VFR) and notified the Corpus approach. They were then instructed to proceed towards the distressed aircraft and guide the pilot to the opening in the clouds about six miles north of Naval Air Station Corpus Christi. Once they made visual contact with the aircraft, they matched their airspeed and guided the pilot to the clouds opening, after which he was able to descend safely and land at KRAS.
âIn the military, when someone asks for help, you are always ready,â Indiveri said. “There wasn’t much thought to it, we made a sure judgment call and hovered over the field and watched it land safely.”
Theodore is a student pilot who is only two flights away from completing his primary flight training.
âIt was a pretty unique experience helping someone during primary,â said Theodore. âWe’re getting into naval aviation to help people, but it’s very exciting to do something that helps that early in our training. It is very enriching.
âWhile our primary role here is to train future naval aviators, in an emergency our pilots are ready to answer the call,â said Cmdr. Brian Higgins, commanding officer of VT-28. âThis is the second time in less than a month that our crews have responded to this call to help pilots in distress and potentially save the lives of our fellow civilian aviators who share this sky with us every day. I am extremely proud of the Ranger flight crews and am glad they were the ones who got the call, as true to our squadron’s motto, “Rangers Lead the Way.” “
VT-28 pilots recently assisted another civilian pilot in distress. On November 15, similar VT-28 crews assisted a Coast Guard helicopter and civilian vessel in a search and rescue mission by helping to locate and rescue a civilian pilot after a forced landing in Copano Bay in Rockport, Texas.
The VT-28 is one of two main training squadrons attached to Air Training Wing Four in Corpus Christi, Texas, under the direction of the Chief of Naval Air Training (CNATRA). CNATRA, headquartered in Corpus Christi, trains the world’s best combat-grade aviation professionals, delivering them at the right time, in the right numbers, and at the right cost to a naval force that’s where it counts, when it matters.
|Date posted:||14.14.2021 15:31|
|Site:||CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas, United States|
|Hometown:||PORT ORCHARD, WA, US|
|Hometown:||SAN FRANCISCO, California, United States|
|Hometown:||SUCCASUNNA, New Jersey, United States|
|Hometown:||TUCSON, AZ, United States|
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