Frederick L. Feinberg Award

Frederick L. Feinberg Award

Since 1961, the Frederick L. Feinberg award has been presented to the pilot or crew of a vertical flight aircraft who demonstrated outstanding skills or achievement during the preceding 18 months. It honors the memory of an outstanding helicopter test pilot and an exemplary person. The award consists of a stipend ($250), the engraving of the recipient’s name on a plaque, and an individual plaque.

Read more about Frederick L. Feinberg at Vertipedia.

  • No Award Presented
  • Alexander Neuhaus and Antoine van Gent
  • Pilots

For exceptional achievement of landing the Airbus H145 five-bladed prototype helicopter on the highest mountain in the Americas - the 22,837-ft (6,961-m) high Aconcagua mountain in the Andes mountain range in Argentina. This set an unprecedented milestone for twin-engine helicopters in a particularly challenging high-altitude environment.
  • Bell V-280 Experimental Test Pilot Team - Don Grove, Paul Ryan, Ernie McGuiness and Terry Glover
  • Test Pilots
  • Bell

The team of Bell V-280 Valor test pilots safely performed a full suite of test activities and demonstrated all key performance parameters of this transformational aircraft.
The pilots completed 173 sorties totaling 214 mishap-free flight hours, reached 305 knots (565 km/h) true airspeed in level flight, with a total of nine different pilots, including five US Army test pilots.
  • US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) 7th Special Operations Squadron CV-22 Osprey crew
  • US Air Force

In October 2020, this special operations wing executed a short-notice, long-range clandestine mission throughout the night to a target 2,000 miles (3,200 km) away, which required multiple refueling over some of the harshest African terrain. Leveraging the speed and range of the CV-22, the crew successfully performed an exfiltration mission from a remote location — totaling 11 hours and required a 17-hour crew day — showing significant self-sacrifice and courageous conduct.
  • US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) 8th Special Operations Squadron CV-22 crew
  • US Air Force

The four-man CV-22 crew performed conspicuous acts of valor while deployed in support of combat operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on Jan. 16, 2019. The AFSOC 8th Special Operations Squadron CV-22 crew: Major Peter J. Borchelt, Captain Paul J. Kenter, Technical Sergeant Nathaniel E. Elman, and Staff Sergeant Patrick D. Hillskemper.
The crew showed significant self-sacrifice and courageous conduct by planning and executing a no-notice rescue mission for three American military personnel catastrophically injured behind enemy lines. Leveraging the speed and range of the tiltrotor, the crew deftly penetrated rain and instrument meteorological conditions while avoiding enemy fire. If not for the CV-22 and crew, the injured personnel would not be alive today.
  • Bill Fell
  • Primary Test Pilot
  • Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin Company

As the primary test pilot for X2 Technology aircraft, Fell has been instrumental in driving the development of both the S-97 Raider and SB>1 Defiant.
Fell was at the controls for all events for both aircraft, logging over 50 ground-run hours and 30 flight hours to date. In addition to his flying duties, Bill supported the design teams with over 300 hours in the engineering simulator to help develop the flight control system. Terry Fogarty of Kaman (right) presented the award.
  • Prospero Alexie Uybarreta
  • The Chief Test Pilot
  • Martin Aircraft Company Ltd. in Christchurch, New Zealand

Uybarreta flight tested (and helped develop) the unique experimental Series 1 Jetpack, exploring the unknowns of a twin ducted fan, fly-by-wire/control vane, rotary-engine-powered personal VTOL aircraft.
  • 8th Special Operations Squadron
  • US Air Force

For their conspicuous acts of valor during flight while deployed in support of ongoing combat and humanitarian assistance operations in CV‑22B Osprey three‑ship formation assigned to Joint Special Operations Command as part of "Advise, Assist and Accompany" operations for African Mission in Somalia.
  • Troy Caudill
  • Bell Helicopter

For testing the world's first fly-by-wire commercial helicopter and establishing the Bell 525 design requirements during initial development, testing its redundancy management architecture, assisting with certification plans, and coordinating 525 pilot training
  • The Crew ofHigh Altitude Aviation Test Site (HAATS) Black Hawk
  • Army National Guard

For back-to-back rescues of injured mountaineers in September 2014 after climbers were severely injured in unrelated mountaineering accidents on two of Colorado's 14,000 ft (4.3 km) peaks
  • Pilots and Crew of RESCUE118

The Sikorsky S-61N crew made a heroic nighttime rescue on May 15, 2013, saving the life of an injured climber above a 1,200 ft (365 m) sheer drop in the Bluestack Mountains in severe weather, hovering a halfrotor diameter's distance from the cliff face for 20 minutes
  • No Award Presented
  • LT Scott F. Chirgwin
  • US Navy

Recognized for his actions during Operation Tomodachi, the disaster relief mission after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Despite the unknown radiological risks, LT Chirgwin assisted in delivering 440,500 pounds of materials such as food, water and medical supplies to over 34,000 people
  • Kevin L. Bredenbeck
  • X2 Technology Demonstrator, Director Flight Operations, Chief Test Pilot and Project Test Pilot
  • Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.

For being the only person to ever fly the X2 Technology Demonstrator aircraft, and being a principal contributor to the September 2010 successful achievement of the program's primary performance objective of reaching 250 knots and thus exceeding the previous speed record for helicopters in the X2's weight class.
  • Roy Hopkins and Jeff Greenwood
  • Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc.

They completed a crucial milestone including the reconversion test of the BellAgusta BA609.
This test demonstrated the tiltrotor’s ability to land safely following an all-engines inoperative emergency. The two pilots conducted many hours of simulation and in-flight build-up testing, as well as numerous autorotations from 70 to 110 knots indicated airspeed in helicopter mode and flight in airplane mode windmill state from 140 to 190 knots. The pilots’ exceptional skill during the testing allowed this critical and potentially high-risk task to be completed safely and efficiently, thus exemplifying the qualities of extraordinary test pilots such as Frederick Feinberg.
  • The Crew of the Coast Guard Rescue Helicopter CGNR 6007
  • US Coast Guard

In recognition of their extraordinary rescue efforts to save crew members of the F/V ALASKA RANGER, a 200 foot trawler, which was sinking in the Bering Sea 120 nm west of Dutch Harbor, Alaska after losing its rudder. The crew of the CGNR 6007 JAYHAWK saved 15 lives while battling some of the most harrowing sea conditions.
Their actions coordinated were coordinated with four other air and surface assets which combined to save 42 lives in one of the largest cold water rescues in modern history.
  • First Polar Team of Jennifer Murray and Colin Bodill

This year’s award is given to the First Polar Team of Jennifer Murray and Colin Bodill in recognition of their extraordinary world record setting accomplishment on May 23, 2007 in flying around the world from the Arctic Pole to the Antarctic Pole in a Bell 407 helicopter.
  • Aircrew of Dustoff 57 - Operation Mountain Lion
  • US Army

This year’s award is given to the Aircrew of Dustoff 57 – Operation Mountain Lion, which on April 23, 2006 rescued a soldier in Afghanistan who had lost his footing and fell over 30 feet down a mountainside.
Based on the crew's meticulous flight planning and understanding of the aircraft, they were able to safely execute the dangerous hoist mission at 10,500 MSL and save their fallen comrade.
  • Blackhawks Squadron, HM-15
  • US Navy

In 2005 performed disaster relief missions in Indonesia following the southeast Asia Tsunamic, in New Orleans and the Mississippi Gulf Coast following Hurricane's Katrina and Rita, as well as earthquake relief operations in Pakistan following the October 8, 2005 earthquake which devastated that country.
  • Capt. Ryan Welch and CW2 Justin Taylor
  • US Army

For rescuing the downed crew of an OH58D Kiowa helicopter in southern Baghdad at night.
They accomplished the impossible – an emergency extraction of four people from combat with only a two-seat Apache by lashing two of the people to the outside of the aircraft. Performed a dangerous nighttime extraction in their Apache helicopter of two injured US Army Kiowa helicopter pilots who were shot down in Iraq in October 2004.
  • Roy Hopkins II
  • Principal Experimental Test Pilot
  • Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc.

For his piloting of the BA609 on its first flight of March 7, 2003.
  • Super Blue Hawk Rescue Crews
  • China Air Force

For the SS Yuanshen No. 2 barge rescue.
With the help of three rescue vessels, four Super Blue Hawk helicopters were able to transport 133 fishermen, stuck on a storm-swept and burning ship, to safety.
  • US Marine Corps 15th and 26th Marine Expeditionary Units
  • US Marine

Participated in the Base Rhino, Afghanistan Seizure on November 26, 2001.
Six CH-53E Sea Stallions carried the first conventional forces which would later wreak havoc on opposing Taliban and Al Queda forces.
  • US Coast Guard Aircrews HH-60J Jayhawk 6031, 6001
  • US Coast Guards

US Coast Guard Aircrews based at Elizabeth City, North Carolina participated in the Seabreeze I Rescue.
The rescue mission established a record number of persons (26 survivors, four crew) ever carried in a Sikorsky Jayhawk and a new record for Coast Guard rescues.
  • The Rotorcraft Precision Terminal Procedures Program
  • NRTC/FAA/Industry

This team of Sikorsky and FAA pilots, funded by the National Rotorcraft Technology Center, has developed and demonstrated the first practical precision instrument approach to a hover.
The members of the team include William Wallace, James R. Arnold, Paul Erdway, and Paul S. Demko, all with FAA
  • V-22 Tiltrotor Pilot Staff
  • Bell, Boeing, NAWCAD
  • The Pilot Staff of the RAH-66 Comanche Combined Test Team

For successful completion of the first phase of the flight test regime for the first prototype Comanche.
The Pilot Staff of the RAH-66 Comanche Combined Test Team include W04 John Armburst of the U.S.Army; Loren "Rus" Stiles and Nicholas Lappos of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., and Reginald Murrel and Robert Gradle of Boeing - Philadelphia.
  • No Award Presented
  • Jon S. Dickens
  • Test Pilot
  • GKN Westland

Jon S. Dickens, Test Pilot for GKN Westland, managed to save his entire crew when the aircraft he was piloting during flight tests experienced an unexpected malfunction and plummeted to to the ground.
  • Ray Eche, Doug Pense, and Dave Wright
  • Era Aviation

For the heroic rescue of three men in the Beaufort Sea by Doug Pense, Dave Wright and Era Ray Eche of Era Aviation.
  • Crew of HH-60J CG 6008
  • US Coast Guard

For being the most outstanding achievement during the preceding year- the lifesaving achievement of a US Coast Guard helicopter crew which successfully performed a daring rescue during nighttime above 30 foot seas more than 400 miles from the North Carolina coast.
Fuel limitations and high winds prevented a return to base. Thus after the last survivor was hoisted aboard the pilots were forced to continue east to Bermuda where they safely landed more than five hours after the flight had launched and 632 nautical miles from their point of origin.
  • Leo Meslin and Dwayne Williams
  • Bell Helicopter Textron

For their work in developing procedures for take-olf and landings at elevated heliports.
Edward J. Renouard, left, Society outgoing president and Dean Borgman, Society chairman, far right, present Dwayne Williams and Leo Meslin with the Feinberg plaque in photo.
  • HMH 461
  • US Marine Corps
  • B Co., 4th Battalion, 25th Aviation Regiment
  • US Army

For its efforts in evacuation and search and rescue following a cyclone in western Samoa.
  • LT David R. McCormick
  • US Coast Guard
  • Nicholas Lappos
  • Sikorsky Aircraft
  • Charles A. Parlier and W. Edward Wilson
  • US World Helicopter Championship Team

They captured the title in England in the summer of 1986. The Team, flying OH-58A Kiowas, won the competition over teams from Great Britain, W. Germany, Poland, and the USSR. The U.S. crew, chief warrant officer Jon Isenminger and chief warrant officer Jimmy Green, amassed 2,302 points in the competition, which was in doubt until the last event. Teams competed in four categories: timed arrival rescue, precision hovering, navigation, and slalom.
The team had a rigorous practice and workout schedule, including 6:00 a.m. calisthenics sessions and six-mile runs with 20-pound weight belts. The team also focused on the actual competition, practicing in 5 1/2 hour sessions every day. At first, the crews were graded three times a week. Then, to keep the pressure on as it would be during competition, grades were given every day.
  • John S. Tulloch and A. Lynn Freisner
  • Boeing

John S. Tulloch and A. Lynn Freisner, Boeing Vertol test pilots, were honored for accomplishing the world's first helicopter flight using an optical flight control system.
From left, John s. Tulloch and A. Lynn Freisner display their Feinberg Award as Horner looks on.
  • COL Robert L. Stewart
  • US Army

Col Stewart, a mission specialist on space shuttle 41-B was credited with the first successful test of a manned maneuvering unit in orbit.
  • MAJ Edward C. Traasdahl
  • US Marine Corps

For his performance as the project officer for the Service Acceptance Trials of the CH-53E Super Stallion.
  • John J. Shapley
  • Manager, FAA's Helicopter Policy and Procedures
  • U.A. Civil Helicopter Certification

Shapley was recognized for his 20 years of service as a helicopter test pilot and his outstanding leadership role in the development of the Federal Aviation Administration's Helicopter Certification Directorate.
  • CPT Stephen Kee and CWO George Chrest
  • US Army

In recognition of their winning the individual competition and leading the to victory in the World Helicopter Championships.
During the 4th World Helicopter Championships, held in Poland, pilot Chrest and co-pilot Kee recorded a score of 761 (out of a possible 800) to finish 11 points ahead of the second place West German team to win the individual competition.
  • LT John P. Currier
  • Lieutenant
  • US Coast Guard

For his heroic rescue of 10 people from the burning and sinking fishing vessel TERRY T. The weather was bad, with winds over 50 knots, seas to 30 feet, and visibility cut to 3/4 of a mile by the heavy rain.
At 5:00 a.m. No.1484 reached the TERRY T. With no outside reference, Currier was guided only by the voice of his hoist operator, David Seavey. After lowering a basket down to the deck several times, eight of the 10 men aboard were hoisted to safety. As the basket was lowered to pick up the two remaining men, they were suddenly swept overboard before they could be reached. Leaping into action, Currier demonstrated extreme skill and daring and maneuvered the basket into a position in the water so that the two men could literally fall into it, and they were lifted to safety. all 10 men were saved from the TERRY T and throughout the mission Currier and his crew showed exemplary skill and courage.
  • Dorman A. Cannon and Ronald G. Erhart
  • Bell Helicopter Textron

In recognition of their outstanding achievements as project pilots on the NASA/Army/Navy/Bell XV-15. Tilt Rotor Program. In 1979, Erhart and Cannon piloted the XV-15 Ship Number Two throughout a series of flight tests starting on April 23rd and culminating on July 24th with a full conversion from helicopter to airplane mode.
Prior to 1979, the two "flew" the NASA Simulator at Ames Research Center, piloted the XV-15 Ship Number One during its exploratory flights in helicopter mode, and remotely controlled that ship during its wind tunnel testing in the NASA 40' x 80' wind tunnel. Both are former military pilots, Erhart with the Air Force and Cannon with the Marine Corps.
  • Walter J. Hodgson (posthumously)
  • LT James D. Stiles
  • Pilot and Aircraft Commandar
  • USCG

For the leadership and courage he demonstrated in the rescue of four crewmen from the fishing vessel Viking Rover, which was disabled and sinking 43 miles south of Cape Sarichef, Alaska.
The Feinberg Award is given in recognition of the outstanding achievement accomplished by a helicopter pilot during the preceding calendar year.
  • Ramon J. A. Gibson
  • Engineering Flight Test Pilot
  • FAA's Southwest Region

For significant contributions to the certification of commercial helicopters for IFR flight by developing engineering flight-test standards and for his work with industry in establishing criteria for determining compliance with those standards, and for his sustained efforts leading to all-weather flight by rotary-wing aircraft.
  • LCDR Joseph L. Crowe, Jr.
  • US Coast Guard

For the rescue of eight crewmen from the Ship Spartan Lady on April 4, 1975. In 60-knot winds and limited visibility, Commander Crowe maneuvered his helicopter over the bow section of the Spartan Lady which was pitching and rolling in 30-foot seas and held a 100-foot hover for 45 minutes until all survivors were lifted to safety.
  • MAJ Eugene L. Richardson
  • Commanding Officer, 112th Medical Company(Air Ambulance)
  • US Army, Marine Army Nataional Guard

For heroic actions in February, 1974. Under most difficult and dangerous conditions, Maj. Richardson volunteered to evacuate injured mountain climbers from Mount Katahdin, Baxter state Park
Major Richardson also received the Air Medal for the rescue. His copilot, Capt. Paul W. Wheeler, also received the Air Medal, and Staff Sgt. Jay A. Tennant, medical aidman, won the Army commendation Medal. The crewchief, Specialist 6 Edward F. Harvey, was also selected to receive the Army Commendation Medal. The rescue was in the dead of winter; a sixth climber who reportedly elected to remain on the mountain ledge perished. The citations reported that the helicopter crew all risked their lives in making the rescue, b raving temperatures of 25 degrees below zero with an almost constant chill factor of 100 degrees below zero. Winds of 70 knots continually buffeted the aircraft, making control difficult and hazardous. Approaches to landing zones were through narrow mountain passes filled with dangerous swirling winds. If the rescue mission had not been carried out, the five rescued also would have died.
  • Azel J. Hutto, Jr.
  • Project Test Pilot-HLH Program
  • Boeing Vertol Co.

For the first helicopter flight and an electrical control system ("Fly-by-Wire") without mechanical backup.
This significant development will provide future helicopters with less-vulnerable, lower-weight, better response, and more-reliable control systems.
  • Henry Whitfield
  • Ag Rotors Inc.

For heroic helicopter rescue operations in Pennsylvania during Hurricane Agnes.
  • LCDR Paul R. Lewis
  • US Coast Guard

For an heroic sea rescue of an ill crewman from a merchant ship at night and under extremely hazardous weather conditions.
Commander Lewis was selected for his sea rescue of an ill crewman from the merchant ship, S.S. Steel Executive, at night and under extremely hazardous weather conditions. Despite very dense fog, Lt. Cdr. Lewis took off and proceeded to the estimated position of the vessel some 220 miles south of San Diego, Calif., and - by applying extremely skillful instrument approach procedures - was able to find the vessel with visibility reduced to an eighth of a mile and less at times, and by hovering 50 feet above.
  • Louis M. Hartwig
  • Experimental Test Pilot
  • Bell Helicopter Co.

For his significant contributions to Helicopter Research and Development and, in particular, for the flight program on the AVLABS-Bell high performance helicopter.
  • 1st LT Joseph P. Donovan
  • US Marine Corps
  • Ronald L. Diggins
  • Petroleum Helicopters, Inc.

For outstanding display of piloting skill and personal bravery in rescuing a man trapped on a burning oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico August 21, 1968.
  • CPT Jerome R. Daly
  • Infantry Officers' Advanced Course, Class 68-3, 20th Co., 2nd Student Battalion Student Brigade
  • US Army

For outstanding achievement in the development of tactics and techniques of helicopter aerial gunnery, smoke laying, and night search and destroy missions, heroically demonstrated under fire on Easter Sunday, 1967, in RVN.
  • Robert G. Ferry
  • Chief Engineering Test Pilot
  • Hughes Tool Company, Aircraft Division

For his outstanding airmanship, initiative and planning in successfully accomplishing a solo, transcontinental, world-distance-record flight in a light helicopter.
  • Delford M. Smith
  • President
  • Evergreen Helicopters

For risking his life and his helicopter to rescue a teenage girl from an extremely restricted location on a flooded island in the rapidly rising Yamhill River, at night and under severe adverse weather conditions.
  • COL George P. Seneff
  • Director of Army Aviation
  • US Army

For his personal efforts in developing and testing flight techniques of the 11th Aviation Group, the largest tactical aviation organization of its kind. For organizing and equipping a mobile striking force built around the use of rotary-wing type aircraft.
  • Winford Alan Newton (posthumously)
  • Chief Test Pilot
  • Kaman Aircraft Corporation

For his dedication and skill in rotary wing flight test and development. He was among the earliest licensed helicopter pilots and pioneer commercial operators. He managed seven successful world record assaults and was recognized throughout industry and the military for his contributions to and ability in the art of helicopter test flying.
  • LT Robert W. Crafton and CPT Louis K. Keck
  • Naval Air Test Center
  • US Navy and US Marine Corps

For establishing an official helicopter speed performance in excess of 200 miles per hour. On February 5, 1962 they flew an SH-JA over a 19 Kilometer course at an average speed of 210.6 miles per hour. In so doing they exhibited exceptional piloting skill and a willingness to undertake a hazardous flight operation in order to advance helicopter state-of-the-art.
  • Lt.Col. Francis M. Carney
  • Commander, 3638th Flying Training Squadron (Helicopter)
  • US Air Force

For the establishment of four new world records for helicopters on 18 and 24 October, 1961. The records established were the maximum altitude for a Class EID helicopter and three time-to-climb records for all types of helicopters.
  • Link Luckett
  • President
  • Hill-i-Copters, Inc.

For the rescue of two mountain climbers from the 18,000 foot level of Mt. McKinley.
  • MAJ William J. Davis and CPT Walter J. Hodgson
  • US Air Force

In recognition of their new world altitude record for class E1D helicopters, exceeding the previous record by over 8,000 feet.

Cached July 17, 2024 12:37:08 AM CDT