Gloria Bouillon, Airport Manager
46 L P Henderson Road
Beverly, MA 01915
For Immediate Release
Friday, Nov. 1, 2019
Media Contact: Kelsey Bode
Email: [email protected]
Beverly Regional Airport’s Mary Wertel Recognized for Efforts During 2018 Emergency Involving 17-Year-Old Pilot
BEVERLY — Air Traffic Controller Mary Wertel was recently recognized by the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) for her efforts to help a student pilot after her plane malfunctioned last year.
Wertel was presented with the ATCA’s Andy Pitas Aircraft Save Award on Tuesday, Oct. 22 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Washington D.C. The award honors Wertel for her actions on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, when a 17-year-old pilot’s plane lost a wheel and the right main gear strut during takeoff, spurring her to seek an emergency landing.
The award recognizes individuals or groups who provide exceptional air traffic service during the safe recovery of aircraft in an emergency.
During the incident, Wertel calmly instructed the pilot to continue circling the airport while waiting for her instructor to arrive in the control tower to assist. During this time, Wertel provided support to the pilot and encouraged her to remember basic flight skills and procedures she had learned. At the same time, Wertel also advised several nearby aircraft of the situation.
“Mary is truly an exemplary air traffic controller, and an incredible asset here at Beverly Regional,” Airport Manager Gloria Bouillon said. “She was level headed, calm and provided the student pilot in this situation with the guidance she needed while waiting for her instructor, and, thankfully, this situation ended without injury.”
Wertel began her career as an air traffic controller in the 1980s when she joined the Navy, and was hired at Beverly Regional in summer 2018.
“My favorite aspect of being in the aviation community is that despite the highly structured and regulated nature of our job, you never know what the day will bring,” Wertel said.