Kolligian for a Unique Save:

The Air Force has awarded the Koren Kolligian Jr. Trophy, its top individual safety award, to Lt. Col. Peter Byrne for his extraordinary recovery of his F-16C after suffering a stroke during a tactical maneuvering training flight in June 2006. According to a USAF release, during the flight, Byrne’s vertebral artery dissected and stopped blood flow to his cerebellum, causing severe vertigo, loss of visual acuity and fine motor skills. He was flying over populated areas, so, rather than simply attempting to bail out, Byrne engaged his autopilot and held out for 90 minutes, time for his symptoms to begin to clear but also for his aircraft to get low on fuel. He landed safely at Buckley. Byrne has been selected as vice commander of the Colorado Air National Guard’s 140th Wing at Buckley AFB, Colo.