Av Hazard publicizes safety and operational concerns to help prevent accidents but it works only if we hear from you. Use the postage-free Av Hazard card to describe the hazard and return it to Pro Pilot. To obtain an official FAA review send NASA an ASRS form. For immediate action, call the airport, FBO, ATC, FSDO or the 24-hour FAA Safety Hotline at 800-255-1111. Note: Telephone numbers for all US Towers and ARTCCs are published in Ac-U-Kwik and Pilots Express Airport/ Heliport/FBO directories. To report safety concerns outside the US, contact ICAO HQ at 514-954-8219 or via fax at 514-954-6077. ICAO has worldwide telephone and fax numbers to expedite Av Hazard reports to civil aviation authorities.
Jeppesen and AFD don't match
The airport at Santa Teresa NM-currently 5T6 but soon to be DNA-is a nontowered airport with a nonstandard traffic pattern for north traffic only. There is also a drop zone on the south side of the airport. We have had a number of business jets fly a south left-hand pattern for Runway 28 through the drop zone. In addition, many of these aircraft have come through on the incorrect Unicom. Almost 2 years ago the Unicom changed from 122.8 to 122.725. This past weekend, 2 jets flew through the drop zone on the incorrect frequency.
And just the other day a blimp flew through the traffic pattern on the old frequency. This problem of the nonstandard traffic pattern brings up one of the shortcomings of the Jeppesen approach charts. Many times, information listed in the Airport Facility Directory (AFD) doesn't make it into the Jepp charts. I have seen airports used as drag strips during certain times of the day-they are not listed on the Jepp charts, no information was passed on via Notams or ATC, but the information was in the AFD. This drop zone and the nonstandard pattern at 5T6 seem to among the items not listed that could lead to a serious incident.
__ ATP, Bombardier CRJ
- Critical airfield information should be listed in all appropriate aerodrome information locations. All pilots should use the most current information when exercising their aviator privileges. That being said, some pilots have been known to use charts that are faded and outdated. The Unicom frequency published must be the one that is used.
In a previous Av Hazard, it was reported at one airport that some pilots refused to use a new CTAF, even after it was changed and they knew about it. Aviation operations are under a microscope right now and all pilots must be truly professional whenever they fly. This Av Hazard report has been forwarded to Jeppesen.
Conflicting traffic at DPA
On several occasions at DPA (Dupage, Chicago IL), I have been cleared for a visual approach to Runway 20R while at the same time a VFR aircraft is set up for a conflicting pattern for Rwy 15. Both aircraft thus find themselves in a situation where there is crossing traffic coming from the opposite direction.
Much time is spent with the priority of trying to spot the oncoming traffic visually-as if final approach weren't busy enough! DPA Tower apparently assumes that the traffic for Rwy 20R will pass over the traffic for Rwy 15. In this particular instance, neither pilot spotted the other traffic until it was clear there was a conflict. This is an obvious midair scenario.
__ ATP, Citation 550
- According to the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), "visual approaches reduce pilot/controller workload and expedite traffic by shortening flightpaths to the airport. It is the pilot's responsibility to advise ATC as soon as possible if a visual approach is not desired." It is the pilot's responsibility to let ATC know if he/she has other traffic. As the AIM says, "If the pilot has the airport in sight but cannot see the aircraft to be followed, ATC may clear the aircraft for a visual approach-however, ATC retains both separation and wake vortex separation responsibility."
The AIM continues, "When visually following a preceding aircraft, acceptance of the visual approach clearance constitutes acceptance of pilot responsibility for maintaining a safe approach interval and adequate wake turbulence separation." That being said, if you are involved in a close call, make sure you inform ATC of the event.