I know the word Hero is thrown around a lot these days but Lt. Zilberman is the eppitomy of the word. I thank you for your service and the ultimate sacrifice you paid to keep my family and country safe. I can only hope your family will eventually find peace.
RIP Lt. Zilberman
Story from Military.com today:
Navy Pilot's Last Act: Saving 3 Crew Mates
April 23, 2010 The Columbus Dispatch, Ohio
The plane had blown an engine over the northern Arabian Sea, and the lead pilot, Lt. Miroslav "Steven" Zilberman, had to make lightning-quick decisions.
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.
The Navy soon will start recovery operations to try to pull the wreckage from the sea, said Lt. Cmdr. Philip R. Rosi II, a public-affairs command officer for the Naval Air Force Atlantic fleet in Norfolk, Va. The crash is being investigated.
Zilberman's last act earned him the Distinguished Flying Cross, one of the highest honors the U.S. Navy bestows, Rosi said.
The medal was presented to his wife, Katrina Zilberman, in Norfolk, where she lives with their children, Daniel, 4, and Sarah, 2. A copy of the medal also was given to his parents -- Boris Zilberman and his wife, Anna Sokolov -- who live in the Eastmoor area of Columbus.
"Now we have unbelievable pain," Sokolov said this week. "He was our one and only son."
Full story here.
These stories always drive home the inherant danger my own child is in everytime she boards her plane. Stay safe Bug. I love you.