Tech Improves Short-Strip Landing Training

The C-17 schoolhouse at Altus AFB, Okla., recently installed a camera system to judge students’ short-field assault landings without pulling instructors off the flightline. In order to safely land at forward operating bases in Afghanistan “C-17 pilots have to land within the first 500 feet of the runway,” said Maj. Theodore Shanks, 97th Operations Support Squadron operations director, who is overseeing the upgrade. “The cameras provide feedback about where the landing gear touched down,” he added in a Nov. 3 release. “With the cameras, we can significantly improve the training … without having to dedicate a formal training unit instructor to sit and monitor the assault landings,” he said. Training on Altus’ 3,500-foot assault landing strip helps aircrew avoid accidents such as a 2012 incident where a pilot misjudged a landing at an airstrip in Afghanistan, causing $69 million in damage to a C-17.