Reply To: 2021 Spring Safety Meeting

Welcome to Sky Soaring Forums General Discussion 2021 Spring Safety Meeting Reply To: 2021 Spring Safety Meeting

Mark MallamoMark Mallamo

A funny story to add….About six years ago on my Private Pilot checkride, the first landing task the examiner asked for was a accuracy landing (spot landing).  The winds were out of the west and we were landing and departing on Runway 27.   That being the case,  I recall picking a spot close to the runway threshold, thereby avoiding a long golf cart tow back to the launch point for the next flight.  I joined the pattern to land and exactly as discussed today, there was a glider staged at the start of the runway, directly in the center.   I turn on to final and the glider is still there on the runway…decision time.  Considering that I had a designated examiner in the back, I closed the dive brakes, informed the examiner I was aborting the accuracy landing and would land long for safety. Figuring I had made a conservative choice, I assumed the examiner would applaud my aeronautical decision making after we had landed.   WRONG!  I was lambasted for flying over the parked glider (even though I deliberately approached high to avoid it).   Apparently, the correct course of action was to do a “side-step” maneuver, where you maneuver to the side of the runway and then turn back once the obstacle is clear.  Considering I had never seen or heard of that maneuver, let alone practiced for it, I’m still glad I did what I did, despite receiving an earful.   No harm, no foul….gliders were unscathed and I ended up doing an extra flight to complete the accuracy landing task (this time with an open runway).

Let’s do our best to keep the approach end of the runway clear of gliders and by all means, avoid doing the low approach over any gliders, vehicles, or persons on the ground.