Tags: Spy | Plane | Crew | Wins | Conduct | Awards

Spy Plane Crew Wins Conduct Awards

Friday, 18 May 2001 12:00 AM

At a ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Osborn, 26, won the award for wrestling his heavily damaged EP-3 aircraft safely to the ground after colliding with a Chinese fighter jet over the South China Sea.

"Lieutenant Osborn displayed superb airmanship and courage," his citation said. "Despite extreme damage to the aircraft, including loss of an engine, nose radome, all airspeed and altitude information and structural damage to the forward portions of the fuselage and control surfaces, he heroically regained control, directed appropriate emergency procedures and coordinated the crew's efforts to safely land the aircraft."

As commander of the mission, Osborn also won the Meritorious Service award for his conduct during the 11 days he and his 23-member crew were held in detention by Chinese authorities on Hainan Island.

"Although isolated throughout much of his detention, Lieutenant Osborn continued positive attitude and forceful leadership in the face of uncertainty and possible long-term detention inspired the entire crew to remain steadfast and diligent," the citation read.

Rumsfeld awarded air medals with bronze stars for first awards to the other 23 crew members for their role in securing the aircraft and their personal conduct during the detention.

China released the crew on April 12.

The EP-3 remains in China, where officials are refusing to allow it to be repaired and flown out. Instead, they are insisting it be disassembled and shipped out.

The Pentagon has sought information from London-based Antonov Airlines, an air charter company that has Russian-built cargo planes capable of transporting the aircraft if the wings are removed, London's Daily Telegraph reported May 17.

Copyright 2001 by United Press International.

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At a ceremony at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Osborn, 26, won the award for wrestling his heavily damaged EP-3 aircraft safely to the ground after colliding with a Chinese fighter jet over the South China Sea. Lieutenant Osborn displayed superb airmanship and courage, ...
Spy,Plane,Crew,Wins,Conduct,Awards
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2001-00-18
Friday, 18 May 2001 12:00 AM
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