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16th of March 1957

A KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Douglas C-47, registered PH-DAR, was operating a freight flight on this day in aviation history in 1957. Onboard 2 pilots the captain (also an instructor) and first officer, and as third crew member a flight engineer.

PH-DAR at Schiphol, date unknown. (Source www.colori.nl // © unknown)

During the flight, the captain let the first officer gain some "stick time" to increase his experience. Also, the approach to Schipol Amsterdam Airport (the Netherlands) was flown by the first officers as pilot flying and the captain as the pilot monitoring. When the aircraft was in the final stages of the approach it got slightly below the glide path the captain took over control. The touchdown was normal and the aircraft slowed on the runway to taxi speed and taxied to its parking position During the taxi to the parking position, the captain was under the impression that he had taken over control a little late, and that they had landed just short of the paved surface of the runway. When he expressed this concern to the other crew members, the first officer and flight engineer convinced him that they had landed on the paved surface of the runway and, although close. all was well! Later traces of grass and soil were found on the aircraft. An inspection of the grass area just short of the runway had the tracks of two aircraft tires imprinted. They had the same track width as a C-47...... The aircraft had touched down on the grass, 10 meters (33 feet) from the paved surface of the runway.

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