Good Company

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Things that Make Heroes: Navy pilot's last act: saving 3 crew mates

From the The Columbus Dispatch Navy pilot's last act: saving 3 crew mates:
The E-2C Hawkeye, returning from a mission in Afghanistan, was a few miles out from the Dwight D. Eisenhower aircraft carrier. Zilberman, 31, was a veteran U.S. Navy pilot who had flown many times in the Middle East with the Hawkeye, a turbo-prop aircraft loaded with radar equipment.

The starboard propeller shut down, causing the plane to become unstable and plunge. Zilberman ordered his three crew mates, including the co-pilot, to bail. He manually held the plane as steady as possible so they could jump.

"He held the plane level for them to do so, despite nearly uncontrollable forces. His three crewmen are alive today because of his actions," Navy Rear Adm. Philip S. Davidson wrote to Zilberman's parents.

Zilberman went down with the aircraft on March 31. The 1997 graduate of Bexley High School was declared dead three days later, his body lost at sea.
Donations for the education of his children can be made here.

Bugler, sound taps.

Where do we get such men?

UPDATE: Steeljaw on it early and first report.


  1. Barry9:38 AM

    This guy is a double volunteer. He and his family immigrated here when he was a child from behind the former Iron curtain and he became a Naval Aviator. He knew what he was doing, both as a human being and as an Aviator. Rest in Peace and God speed.

  2. Fellow former-CO and Hawkeye NFO brother in arms, Skippy-san, breaks down the ugly truth of pitch-lock in the E-2C in today's post. Reading this should serve to underscore the valiant and selfless actions LT Zilberman took to ensure his crew survived.

    Also, a personal thanks for mentioning the VAW/VRC Memorial Fund -- the good folks there have made a significant difference in the lives of the widows and children left behind...
    w/r, SJS