Flight training, both military and civilian, generates a mixture of experiences that are unique and never forgotten. Hidden in those experiences are stories, good and bad, that provide lessons which remain with the aviator throughout his flying career. We would like to read your favorite stories about your flight training or checkout in the Birddog so send them to us and we’ll post them for our members and website visitors to enjoy.
Here is a story sent in by Bruce Solberg, Shotgun 43, Vietnam 1970-1971
“Landing On One Wheel With The Brake Locked, And A Pink Slip Rescinded”
During the low level training at Fort Rucker in 1970, the training often involved landing in unimproved strips rented from local land owners, and one such strip for our training was at the crown of a hill with contour lines (read dikes or berms etc) to capture water and prevent erosion. The contour lines circled the hill in series down to the lowland.
The hill was planted in grass, for the “grass strip” landing experience. As I recall it was likely the trickiest landing in flight school, for me at least, as you needed to approach it by starting below the crest, just clearing the contour line and then setting it down just beyond that barrier to make the landing . . . . if you did not land looking up . . . . you were going to do a go around.
My instructor and I were scheduled for the first flight in the morning . . . . and it was in the fall with heavy dew on the grass. I nailed the approach, and as we landed, the airplane veered 60 degrees or so to the right, sliding on the right wheel only until we met the contour line, and then slid around the contour to the end. I’m doing left stick as much as I can and dropped flaps to max slow us down….or get us off again, but nothing worked. Anyway, we landed, came to a circling stop at the end of the strip, and my instructor got out with his pink slip pad . . . . (bad news as some may remember).