Beauty!

In 1978 I was the Chief of Safety at Vance AFB, OK. One morning we received a call from the Command Post telling us that one of our T-37s (Tweets) had crashed. My first concern was for the condition of the pilots. As it turned out, they were fine. So then we began the investigation…

The aircrew, a Tweet flight commander and his assistant, were on their way to the auxiliary field to serve as runway supervisors for the morning. It seems they engaged in somewhat of a “game.” The rules were simple: Upon beginning the descent for landing once the throttles were retarded they could not be advanced and once a drag device was extended, it couldn’t be retracted. The idea was to see who could begin the drill the farthest out from the field. On this particular day the flight commander, who was flying, came up 19 feet short of the runway overrun. Damn-near made it!

When this accident occurred Vance had gone 4½ years without a T-37 accident. We were in one for a coveted 5-year accident free award for the Tweet squadron – that is, until these 2 Bozos pranged 19 feet short. This accident certainly didn’t have to happen…

Aside: When our wing commander called the ATC 4-Star (Commander) he told him (rightfully so) that he was sure of what happened and requested to investigate the accident “in house.” He agreed, and we investigated it ourselves – it wasn’t hard. At one point, over a few beers, we considered hanging it on Civil Engineers – for building the runway 19 feet to far to the South…

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