“Did Cheeta17 Land in the Overrun?”

I had a young IP who worked for me and was about to head off to the airlines. Before he left he had one last Instrument Check (ride) to fly. As it turned out he was assigned to fly with this ‘zipper-headed, no-brain’ from Stan/Eval (Standardization and Evaluation). I didn’t think much about it as Tom was one of my better instructor pilots.

I was the SOF (Supervisor of Flying) when Tom came down to sign in from his flight and out of curiosity I asked him how it went. He replied, “Not too well Boss. I think I stuck one (landing) in the overrun.” Crap! It happens, but not often.

So I called out to the’ Little House on the Prairie,’ the RSU (Runway Supervisory Unit), and asked if they had any comments on ‘Cheeta 17.’

“Yeah Boss,” the Controller said, “he put one in the overrun.”

“By very much?” I asked.

“Nah,” came the reply, “maybe 10 or 15 feet.” Crap, it happens.

So then I told him, “Okay, there will be a case of beer in your car when you get in if you add 25 feet to his touchdown.”

“You got it Boss, Bud Light!” came his reply!

No sooner than I hung up, the flight examiner came in, went over to a secondary phone we had to the RSU, and called the Controller. I doubt if even 30 seconds had passed. I overheard him ask if they had touched down in the overrun, to which the Controller told him ‘it was close,’ but on the runway.

When he hung up and was about to walk away I asked him if there was a problem. He told me he had a question about a landing. I then “rolled in on him;” telling him that I didn’t mind if he used the phone, but it usually was common courtesy to ask for permission first. He recognized right away that he had indeed breached protocol, apologized, and I sent him on his way. As soon as I got off SOF duty I headed over to buy a case of Bud Light…

For many years I never said anything about the incident until I ran into Tom at the airlines. Then we had a nice chuckle about it all, and a Bud Light!

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