NBAA Awards Two Citation Pilots With Above and Beyond Airmanship Award

Incident was traced to single FBO fuel truck.

Bruce Monnier and Jerry Downs
Bruce Monnier (left) was pilot in command. Gerald (Jerry) Downs was the first officer.NBAA

The National Business Aviation Association last week recognized two pilots, Bruce Monnier and Gerald Downs with its first-ever NBAA Above and Beyond Airmanship Award, for their heroic efforts to land their Cessna Citation 550 at Savannah’s Hilton Head Airport (KSAV) following the complete failure of both engines. One of the Citation’s engines flamed out at 35,000 feet after a groundcrew member at Punta Gorda, Florida mistakenly mixed diesel exhaust fluid (DEF) with the jet fuel added before the aircraft departed. DEF clogged the engine fuel filters and essentially starved the engines. The Citation’s second engine shut down while the aircraft was conducting a single-engine approach to KSAV. Bruce Monnier was the pilot flying while Gerald Downs acted as the non-flying crewmember. Additionally, another Citation 550 crew who also received the contaminated fuel suffered from a single engine failure and safely landed their aircraft in Louisville, Kentucky.

The award was presented during a Safety Town Hall, which took place during NBAA’s first-ever Virtual Safety Week. NBAA’s Safety Committee created the Above and Beyond Airmanship Award to recognize action taken to avoid injury, loss of life or catastrophic business aircraft damage.

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