Posts Tagged ‘runway incursions’

10 Tips for Avoiding Runway Incursions

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

A couple of simple tips.

1) Even if you are a VFR pilot, download the approach plates and airport diagrams for the airports you will fly to/from…they’re free on the aopa.org website. Study the airport taxiway diagram before you call for taxi clearance. On an XC flight, make it part of your pre-descent checklist.

2) If you land at an unfamiliar towered airport, once you switch to Ground, simply say, “Ground, , Request Progressive Taxi”. This is professional code which means…
“I’m not familiar with this airport, can you give me turn-by-turn taxi instructions?” You’ll still sound like a cool Pro on the radio, and Ground controllers are happy to help you.

3) It’s all about S.A. (situation awareness)–knowing where you are at all times, and knowing where you are going, and watching the whereabouts/listening to the instructions given to other aircraft. Anticipate that controllers other pilots will make mistakes.

4) Knowing where you are means you need to stay sharp regarding runway markings. Review them annually.

5) Crew coordination. If you have a fellow pilot sitting next to you…delegate all the housekeeping tasks to him/her while you taxi the airplane. If it’s a non-pilot, you can still offload small tasks like looking up a freq, folding a chart, looking up a checklist, or dialing in a squawk.

6) Communicate! Read back ALL taxi instructions (it’s required anyway). Study and review what taxi clearances mean. For example, “Taxi to runway 5 via taxiway Alpha, Bravo, and Echo” means you have clearance to taxi across all intersecting runways you might cross enroute to runway 5 while on A, B, and E. (There are two military airports where this does not apply, but everywhere else, it does). More importantly, anticipate what other aircraft given these instructions will be doing.

7) Monitor TOWER frequency while taxiing. If you’ve got 2 radios…USE ‘EM! Listening to tower while on the ground has saved my hide more than once.

8 ) Taxi at a reasonable speed. Most pilots taxi so fast, a good wind gust would get them airborne. Slow down!

9) On short final, EXPECT that an aircraft on the ground is going to taxi out onto the active runway in front of you. Are you ready for the Go-Around?

10) NightTime TIPS…if you are given a “Position and Hold” prior to takeoff. Position yourself left of the runway centerline. It makes your plane’s lights easier to distinguish from the runway lights centerline lights, and may keep you from being landed upon. We pick left of centerline because most two-place aircraft have the PIC on the left, so he has a better chance of seeing you. Navigate back to the centerline as you start your takeoff roll.

11) Bonus night time tip: Except when landing in a signficant crosswind…After landing…get OFF the runway centerline as soon as you are on the ground and rolling out comfortably under control. Here, just get to the exiting taxiway side of the centerline, and off the active runway as soon as practical. Don’t get so close to the side of the runway that you ding your wing on a runway light or marker. See, Avoid, LIVE.

NOTE: Obviously, both 10) and 11) apply to wide runways only! Common sense applies.

Get Additional Tips from AOPA