The crew coordination between the pilots and RSO (Reconnaissance Systems Officer) was one of the strongest contributions to the SR-71’s outstanding safety record. The Blackbird simulator program was the cornerstone of establishing crew coordination. Teaching a pilot to communicate the correct information to his RSO so that he could coordinate the right procedure was essential. This trust and bond between them allowed two separate individuals, sitting in two separate cockpits, with two different roles, to perform like one individual in order to accomplish one very demanding job (think Pacific Rim). In an emergency this bond was even more important. On the night of December 22, 1982, Lt. Col. Bernie Smith and his RSO Major Eddie McKim experienced a left generator failure whilst on a mission over Canada. They selected Grand Forks AFB in South Dakota as the nearest suitable emergency airfield. During the descent, a primary hydraulic system failed, one of the most serious emergencies that can occur on the SR-71. They needed to land immediately. They dumped fuel to reduce the landing weight as they neared Grand Forks. The weather was deteriorating rapidly. It was now two hundred feet overcast, one-half mile visibility, and a slippery runway with freezing drizzle. During this emergency, Smith flew the instrument landing system down to minimums; The "Minimums" callout is made at the minimum altitude, and this is the point that the Pilot Flying has to make a decision -- continue landing or bail out. The runway environment was not in sight, and visibility was so bad he could not see anything. The idea of a missed approach was not an option though as there were no suitable alternate fields available and they were too low on fuel. Smith will never forget Ed’s words whilst he sat there staring into zero visibility at close ground proximity. “I have the strobes in sight. You’re on centerline. Keep on coming.” With no visibility around him either, Ed was looking through his viewsight and had picked up the sequence flashing lights beneath the aircraft. It was this bond, and trust that made Smith pull the throttle to idle and sit there until he felt the runway.