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How to Land the Mighty A-10 Warthog On Its Belly

A-10 Warthog
Image: Creative Commons.

The US Air Force pilot who skillfully belly-landed her plane with the landing gear up and the cockpit canopy ripped off will become the first woman A-10 pilot to receive a coveted aviation safety award, an Air Force official told Insider.

Capt. Taylor Bye, a 75th Fighter Squadron pilot, pulled off an emergency belly landing in her A-10C Thunderbolt II attack aircraft in April 2020 after an unexplained gun malfunction over Grand Bay Range at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia sent panels and her cockpit canopy soaring and prevented her landing gear from deploying.

Gen. Mark Kelly, the commander of Air Combat Command, awarded Bye the ACC Airmanship Award on May 5 because “she managed to skillfully and safely land her A-10 with minimal damage” even as her plane was, as her wingman described it, “falling apart.”

That award is not the only award Bye will be receiving for her actions, Insider learned.

Written By

Ryan Pickrell is a senior military and defense reporter at Business Insider, where he covers the Pentagon and defense-related issues from Washington, DC.