Aviator’s extraordinary actions earn Broken Wing

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (Jan. 17, 2017) – Many aviators have said that the U.S. Army Broken Wing Award is not a highly-coveted accolade that most seek.

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brandon M. Cumens, an AH-64D Longbow Apache instructor pilot assigned to D Company, 1st Battalion, 14th Aviation Regiment, is no exception. However, for his actions during a single engine failure, while conducting live fire operations with a student pilot, Cumens received the Broken Wing award here, Jan. 5.

During the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center’s quarterly town hall, Brig. Gen. Jeffrey A. Farnsworth, Headquarters Department of the Army, Director of Army Safety and USACRC commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. Terry D. Burton presented Cumens with the award.

“The whole incident only lasted a few seconds,” Cumens said. “In a training environment, at an OGE (Out of Ground Effect) hover, it’s something that we practice quite often. My actions were instinctive.”

Col. Kelly E. Hines, 110th Aviation Brigade commander, touted Cumens’ actions as those of a senior, seasoned aviator.

“It’s great to see a pilot’s training come out … he didn’t have to think about it because he didn’t have time to be scared,” Hines said. “He reacted to the emergency and put the aircraft safely on the ground. There are senior W5’s (Chief Warrant Officer 5) that couldn’t have done it any better.”

During the presentation, Rae McInnis, director of Accident Investigations, Reporting and Tracking, USACRC, explained the criteria for earning a Broken Wing Award.

“This award is presented to an aviator that has demonstrated a high-degree of professional skill while recovering from…


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By: By Lori Yerdon, U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center


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