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On the Air April 2012 Issue

On The Air: April 2012

This happened at Guntersville, Ala., over 30 years ago, but my husband just told me about it for the first time.
My husband was renting an airplane, and the CFI mentioned he’d been in another aircraft with a student who had landed on the grass beside the runway, instead of on the runway, resulting in some aircraft damage, though no serious injuries. The CFI did, however, pull the hamstring and calf muscles on his right leg. The CFI was a big guy, about six-foot-three, and built like a football player.
My husband then asked, “Well, if you were in the plane, how could you let him land completely off the runway? Why didn’t you intervene?”
The CFI replied (imagine an extreme small-town Alabama southern drawl): “Well, see, you’re not understanding the whole picture here. We were in a Cessna 150, and I’m just a bit large for those; it’s a tight squeeze. So I had the seat all the way back, and the back all the way reclined, and was kinda relaxing. I really couldn’t see much over the glareshield, so I didn’t realize he wasn’t lined up with the runway until I looked over on my side and noticed we were a bit closer to the lake than we oughta be. It was right at that moment that he touched down. I had to sit up real fast, problem was my right leg was stretched out of the right window, and I pulled the muscles in my hamstring and calf when I was trying to pull my leg in.”

Crista Worthy
Boise, Idaho

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