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  Shuttle landing analyst A. Hochstein (1938-2013)

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Author Topic:   Shuttle landing analyst A. Hochstein (1938-2013)
Robert Pearlman

Posts: 28123
From: Houston, TX
Registered: Nov 1999

posted 11-02-2013 03:41 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Robert Pearlman   Click Here to Email Robert Pearlman     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The Houston Chronicle reports that Alan Hochstein passed away Friday (Nov. 1) in Garland, Texas. He was 75.
His career included work at Lockheed Aircraft in California and Marietta, Georgia, LTV in Grand Prairie, Texas, McDonnell Douglas in Houston, Rockwell and United Space Alliance in Webster, Texas. He received the Manned Flight Awareness Honoree Award from NASA and the Silver Snoopy Award from the Astronauts for his work on the approach and landing phase of Shuttle Flights.
In 2009, former space shuttle program manager Wayne Hale wrote about Hochstein, who served as a senior shuttle landing analyst.
At our Flight Techniques meetings, Alan was a frequent presenter showing what had been learned, advising of the best techniques. At one period we experienced a number of landings that were shorter than desirable - still on the runway, but consistently closer to the threshold than comfortable. Alan analyzed hundreds of combinations of factors over a several dozen landings looking for correlations. Nothing seemed to correlate, except one: "If you cross the threshold low, you are likely to touch down short."

Now that may seem obvious in retrospect. If a glider comes in low, any pilot would intuitively expect a short touchdown. But it was only obvious in retrospect. And any number of other correlations that common sense might have suggested were simply not borne out by the data. So we called this "Hockstein's Law": If you cross the threshold low, you will touch down short. The entire community worked very hard with the pilots to improve techniques to be higher at threshold crossing and thereby the incidence of short touchdowns was significantly reduced.


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David Carey

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