- Oct 25, 2005
- Wichita, KS
- Display Name
A friend of mine, when he was a regional copilot, made the cabin announcement for landing. Shortly thereafter, tower asked them to stop prior to the cross runway, and “let me know if you’re not going to make it.”I learned the hard way of the rule of the “sterile cockpit.”
As a newly minted pilot many years ago, I took a non-pilot friend for the $100 hamburger to Block Island one winter day. Typical weather for the day was stiff wind from the north, and as we did our downwind to runway 28, I was preparing for a challenging crosswind landing. I began to think out loud “more to the left, more to the right, raise the nose, lower the nose, blah blah blah.” When I turned final, on a quasi-stabilized approach, I really thought I was going to have to do a go around. So out of my lips came “I don’t think we’re going to make it.” But then I got the approach stabilized made a nice landing.
As we rolled out, I looked at my friend who had two huge eyes and an open mouth. I said “So what’s with you?“. He repeated my words to which I responded, “Oh that’s not what I meant.“ But he said, “BUT that’s what you SAID!“
So, while I still run my checklists out loud, I keep my thoughts to myself and my mouth shut when flying the plane.
The captain, noticing that the copilot’s mic switch was still on “cabin” instructed him to “tell tower we won’t make it.”
My friend dutifully keyed the mic, and said, “Tower, Air Midwest ####, we’re not gonna make it.”
I can imagine the reaction of the 19 people in the back of the airplane when they heard that.