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Volume 46 | Issue 5 | June 2004

People & Places

photo: William Condzella
William R. Conzella
NASA Photo

Dryden wins 3 QASARs

By Leslie Williams
Public Affairs Specialist

Three Dryden employees have been recognized by NASA with one of the Agency's most distinguished safety awards. The trio was cited for contributing to the safe operation and maintenance of Dryden's one-of-a-kind and modified research aircraft, such as the DC-8 atmospheric experiments plane and the legendary NASA B-52B mothership.

The Quality and Safety Achievement Recognition (QASAR) awards are made in four categories: NASA employees inside and outside of the Safety and Mission Assurance directorate; a NASA prime contractor or subcontractor, and one employee of another government agency. The QASAR acknowledges people for significant quality improvements to products and services for NASA, as well as for safety initiatives, programs, processes and management activities. Dryden nominees won three of the four categories for 2003.

NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe presented the awards April 14 at the 18th NASA Continual Improvement and Reinvention Conference in Alexandria, Va. Dryden's winning nominees were: NASA employee William R. Condzella, Analytical Services & Materials (AS&M) employee Frank W. "Bill" Burcham, and U.S Air Force employee Al Clark

NASA employee William R. Condzella, nominated for discovering that the DC-8 airplane's control surfaces were improperly balanced after the aircraft returned from FAA-required maintenance at a contractor facility. The citation states that Condzella's "insight, dedication, persistence and concern for others has saved NASA and the Airborne Science Program from potential disaster. His behavior is in the best tradition of the Dryden safety ethic and serves as an example for others, particularly operations engineers. He is deserving of our highest praise."

photo: Frank W. "Bill" Burcham
Frank W. "Bill" Burcham
NASA Photo

Analytical Services & Materials (AS&M) employee and NASA retiree Frank W. "Bill" Burcham, selected for his creation and development of propulsion controls technology that provides aircraft with crippled flight controls the ability to use engines alone to land safely. His citation states: "For outstanding contributions to aircraft safety through the conception, dedicated research, and the successful demonstration of propulsion-only controls technologies that have contributed to the survival of a crippled civil aircraft as demonstrated by the successful engines-only landing of the DHL A300 airplane in Baghdad, Iraq, on November 22, 2003."

U.S Air Force employee Al Clark, systems program office coordinator between the Air Force and NASA at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. Clark has helped maintain the NB-52B for 28 years. The Air Force plane is on long-term loan to NASA. His citation states: "Mr. Clark has provided absolutely essential quality and airworthy safety to NASA Dryden with the upkeep of the high-altitude, heavy-lift launch capability of the B-52B. He has spent endless hours coordinating, advising, inspecting and contracting, especially the past 10 years, to keep the B-52B safely airborne. The lives of our pilots and aircrew depend on it."