NASA Shuttle Specific Sections > Shuttle History - Pre-RTF

Columbia STS-28 Ė Called Back to Duty

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psloss:

--- Quote from: Ares67 on 09/05/2012 09:49 pm ---Brewster Shaw later referred to this landing as demonstrating that he ďwasnít such a hot pilot. When I landed 61-B, it was on the concrete runway at Edwards thatís got defined boundaries and itís easy to judge sink rate and your height. On STS-28 we landed on the lakebed, which has stripes painted on it. Itís like oil that they put down there so it outlines the runway, but itís not a well-defined thing and you donít have the same kind of depth perception. So when we came down and I flared the orbiter, I didnít know how high we were. Looking at the photographs, we werenít very high, but I basically leveled the vehicle off and then it loated. So instead of landing at 195 knots, the way we were supposed to, we landed at 155. This was Columbia again and so here we are on the main gear, decelerating fast and Iíve got to get the nose on the ground. The same thing that happened to John Young on STS-9 happened to me and the nose went Ďbamí on the ground. I felt terrible because I let the thing float for 40 knotsí worth of deceleration. We got a lot of great data about low-speed flying qualities on the orbiter, but it wasnít supposed to work out that way.Ē (JSC Oral History Project, Jan. 2006, and Ben Evans: ďSpace Shuttle Columbia,Ē 2005)

--- End quote ---
(Double-posted to connect stories.) Wayne Hale posted about this landing in his blog; I don't know if this is in the public record elsewhere, but it adds some interesting context to the story:
https://waynehale.wordpress.com/2015/07/29/pilot-error-is-never-root-cause/

A little excerpt, but I recommend the whole thing:

--- Quote ---But I never blamed Brewster. We had set him up.
--- End quote ---

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