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.
Heads up while taxiing
We landed on Runway 24 at TEB (Teterboro NJ) and exited at the end of the runway. We contacted ground control and were cleared and read back “Cleared to Jet Aviation via Q, G, L, J.” While taxiing in, to my right on the first ramp I spotted a Gulfstream taxiing toward Q on a collision course with us. It was obvious to me it was not going to stop, so I did. I instructed my co-captain to ask ground control if we were meant to follow the Gulfstream. The controller stuttered a little as he assessed the situation and mumbled something to the affirmative. The Gulfstream must have received taxi clearance prior to us checking in on the ground control frequency. You can never be too careful out there.
__ ATP. BAe 125.
- The flight is not over until the chocks are on the wheels and all the power is off. Proper vigilance must be practiced all the way to the ramp. Airlines have a sterile cockpit rule that most of us know about. From engine start to takeoff and until passing through 10,000 ft, only mission essential conversation is allowed. This also applies on descent, from passing through 10,000 ft until the engines are cut off. We have to keep our head in the game. A Citation Sovereign flightcrew was not so lucky recently at LAX (Intl, Los Angeles CA) when they were struck by a vehicle while taxiing to the ramp. Many pilots will probably admit that a lot of times while taxiing, the nonflying pilot is cleaning up the cockpit, programming the FMS for the next leg, calling the FBO for service or even climbing in the back to let the passengers out. The temptation is there, but we need to stay at our post and “fly” the aircraft all the way to the ramp.
Safety is job one
Too often we see a pushy client or passenger demanding to use an airport for personal convenience that in the opinion of the operator/pilot would not be a safe operation. Kudos goes to the operators who don’t allow operational safety decisions to be overridden by a pushy passenger. To drive 35 minutes to a safer airport should not be the end of the world. I am curious how many operators still struggle with this problem. We cannot relinquish operational control even if we lose that client. Safety should always be first priority.
__ATP. Hawker 800XP.
- Safety must be the driving factor for all aviation professionals. Sometimes it takes a little education on the part of the client. Unfortunately, some pilots may be driven to use runways without sufficient length. The fact that an aircraft landed on a runway does not mean it can take off safely. If all engines run smoothly during takeoff, it can give a false since of security. Every time a takeoff is completed without engine problems on a short runway, it reinforces bad habits. Airports should always be selected with enough runway to accelerate to takeoff power and abort safely, if necessary. Part 25 aircraft require enough runway for accelerate-stop distances. While this is not a mandatory requirement for smaller aircraft, it is good technique. Safety is priority one and when all pilots practice that, we don’t have to demonstrate our superior piloting skills when things deviate from the norm.