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PersonID854470
Name (Last, First Middle)Waters, Harold E.
Branch at time of eventUSAF
RankCaptain
Graduation1985
Squadron
Home Town
Home State
High School
High School Activities
Post High School
Academy Experiences
Academic Degree MajorBS USAFA 1985
Active Duty AssignmentsPltTng,14StuSq ColumbusAFB;86:CCTS CastleAFB;87: StdnEvalPlt,RobinsAFB;88:USCENTCOM,CmdCrewEC-135 RobinsAFB; 89: InstrAcftCmdr,10ACCS,MildenhallRAFStnUK;90: ChSched/DptyC CurrentOpns/FSO 513ACCWg,MildenhallRAFStnUK; 92:StdnEvalInstrAcftCmdr,OffuttAFB;94:TngFltAsstFl tCmdr/Ch InstrPlt,OffuttAFB;95:ChStdnEvalInstrAcftCmdrRC- 135,38RcnSq OffuttAFB;96:AOC,CS- 35,USAFA;99:Plt/WgExOC-32,AF21AirliftSq,Andrews AFB;03:Director of Safety,USAF Academy.
Civilian PositionsCrew Member,FedEx
Award Year1995
Award Summary InformationCaptain Harold E Waters, U.S. Air Force Academy Class of 1985, is the winner of the 1995 Jabara Award for Airmanship for distinguishing himself by heroism in the recovery of an RC-135 aircraft with 32 crew members aboard after a catastrophic electrical failure ever the North Atlantic Ocean on March 10, 1994. At an altitude of 31,000 feet and several hundred miles east of northern Canada, Waters' aircraft experienced an engine failure and total electric failure. Without vital electrical power to engine instruments, fuel gauges, navigational aids and aircraft performance instruments, he was left with only battery power to handle selected aircraft systems on a limited basis. Supervising visual navigation, Waters chose to divert to the closest available suitable runway, Goose Bay, Canada. Deteriorating weather and limited visual cues made visual flight along the Canadian coast extremely difficult. With few visible landmarks along the snow-covered coast that matched navigation charts, a radio contact was finally made with a Canadian Forces C-130 aircraft which relayed the distress call to Goose Bay air traffic control. To get within range of ground radar, Waters had to descend below a 2,000-foot ceiling to maintain visual contact with the ground. Unsure of fuel remaining and relying on experience and aircraft feel, he set rudder trim for the engine-out condition and blindly drained fuel from the number one fuel tank to level the wings. At three nautical miles, Waters visually acquired the runway, a gray shadow against. :i solid-white background. He maneuvered for a smooth, three-engine landing and stopped the heavy jet without anti-skid breaking on a snow-covered runway. It was later determined that his number four main fuel tank was empty and the closest clear weather was another three hours away. Captain Waters' gallantry and composure in the face of such a complex emergency saved the lives of 32 crew members and a valuable Air Force asset.
Involved Crew Members
Burial Site/DateN/A
Aeronautical Speciality RatingCommand Pilot
Notable Military and Civilian Decorations & AwardsMSM(2),AAM(4),AFCM(3),AFAM Jabara Award
CommentsRetired,USAF,(LtColonel),2006;
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