“I Guess the Check Ride is Over?”

Years ago, at Vance AFB, OK, this kid was on a check ride in the T-37. As he and his check pilot completed the pre-flight walk around, it began to rain. They both quickly hopped in the jet and began to settle in. Not wanting to get wet, the student decided to close the canopy, without saying anything to his check pilot.

The Tweet (T-37) canopy was electrically controlled, and once engaged by the student, down it came. Soon a sickening, “crunching” noise was heard. The check pilot called out for him to release the switch, but too late. The canopy had already come down and “cleaved” the check pilot’s helmet sitting on the canopy rail! Well Hell, with the check pilot’s helmet now almost in half, they weren’t going anywhere except back to the squadron – the check ride was over.

As they walked back, the check pilot asked his student if he hadn’t hear the awful crunching sound as the canopy closed? The student replied that he had heard the “crunching,” but thought is was “icing” that has accumulated in the canopy mechanism. The check pilot stopped, turned to look at him and asked, “In August?”

The check ride was over…

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