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-hr 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.
Severe winds at PWM
On our first attempt to land on Runway 11 at PWM (Portland ME), ceilings were 700 ft overcast, with 4 nm visibility, rain and mist with winds 140° at 30 kts gusting to 45. About 300 ft AGL, we received +25 kts in airspeed and windshear warning. We went around. On the second attempt the identical thing happened, except for a momentary stick shaker. We aborted the landing again and diverted to Boston. After refueling and waiting for the winds to shift more easterly, we were able to proceed to PWM without further incident.
__ATP. Bombardier CRJ
- Good aeronautical decision-making skills for not pressing a bad situation. Some pilots would have pressed on and possibly made it while others would have bent metal. An additional good decision was to divert to Boston and wait it out. No doubt this caused other problems in terms of aircraft scheduling and passenger arrival times, but it is much better than the alternative. Professional pilots make professional decisions and keep bad aviation press out of the papers.
Bright ramp at Narita
At NRT (Narita, Tokyo, Japan), Taxiway A to Rwy 34L has extremely bright ramp lights at stands 903, 904 and 905 on the south ramp facing directly toward Taxiway A. It is almost impossible to see the taxiway during IMC or rain due to the lights' intensity and reflection. These poles are 50 ft high and have 10-12 amber sodium light units. They need to be turned off or shielded from view.
__ATP. Gulfstream G550
- Too much lighting can be just as bad as no lighting or too little. If the lights are so intense they cause blindness or obscure the taxiway, they are of little use to pilots. The taxiway markings may need to be repainted with reflective beads to aid in detecting the correct taxi path. Ramp lighting also serves a security role by illuminating the ramp area for proper surveillance.
Finding the right mix for both security and safety is a true test of airport management. Shielding the light bulbs to direct the light better could improve safety for flightcrews and still provide sufficient lighting for ramp safety and security. According to the Av Hazard report, this hazard was not shared with any local airport agency. Safety hazards cannot be corrected if they are not reported to those with the power to act.
Poorly lit tower near TTN
For the past 20 years, the Channel 52 tower 4.5 miles east of TTN (Trenton NJ) has remained poorly lighted during night and marginal VFR conditions. Its strobes are of marginal benefit to helicopter traffic following the Rt 1 route to the northeast/southwest between TTN and New York City or to low (1000-1500 ft) fixed-wing traffic nearing entry or departure of the TTN traffic pattern area. When approaching this tall tower, the lower adjacent tower is often more easily identified, while the tall tower's lights are not as bright. Area pilots know about this hazard, discuss it and avoid it. Transient or infrequent visitors are more likely to be surprised in that area.
__ATP. Not specified
- Obstacle detection has been a problem since the Wright brothers and will continue to be for some time to come. New glass cockpit technology promises to help by providing obstruction warnings on moving map displays. The GPS determines the location of the aircraft and obstructions are displayed as derived from the GPS position and an onboard obstruction database.
This new technology is very helpful but it can also lead to complacency and an over-reliance on the display, leading to relaxed vigilance on the part of pilots. There is no substitute for a good scan and situational awareness. Thank you for reporting this hazard to other professional pilots and sharing this known aviation hazard. This Av Hazard report was sent to the FAA Hotline.