Basic Flight and the Curse of the Island Airstrip
by, 3rd October 2013 at 12:52 (4417 Views)
Last time, some bored Kerbals were wandering around KSC, taking in the sights. In response, the Kerbanaut Training Corp instituted a Basic Flight course that all aspiring rocket jockeys would have to pass. Not wanting to lose any potential candidates, they kept it simple: a simple check flight that takes off from KSC and lands at the nearby island airstrip. Any landing that did not kill the Kerbal would be considred a successful flight. The first four new Kerbanauts to go through Basic Flight were Enwise, Obmon, Rodgas, Rodun.
The Kerbanaut Training Corp put in a request to the engineering department for a trainer aircraft. An early version of the flight trainer aircraft looked like this:
It was an uncontrollable deathtrap, and soon modified with safety improvements, namely a breakaway cockpit section and radial parachute, that allowed for zero landing skills. Instructions read: Just slow down, nose up, separate cockpit and deploy chute. Later versions (not pictured) were further improved with larger flaps on the tail section to create more responsive pitch and yaw control.
Craft File: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-kT...it?usp=sharing
Even with these improvements, no Basic Flight trainee ever managed to land their aircraft intact. They attributed the constant destruction of their flight trainers to a curse placed on the island by invisible Kremlins, monsters out of Kerbal folklore that hated all flying machinery. "Any landing you can walk away from" became the new motto for the first Basic Flight class, and, by that definition, they all passed.
One of them even found some obsolete rocket parts abandoned in the island airstrip's hangars. Spooky!
Recognizing the difficulty of lining up the airstrip during final approach, some Kerbals planted flags at either end to provide easy to see markers for future pilots attempting a landing. The official flag of the Basic Flight program was used for these markers.
Next time: Two kerbanauts go back into orbit, because it takes two to rendezvous.