Articles, Training

Ground Operations

Posted on Apr 4, 2020 by SuperUser Account

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Hopefully we'll all be more careful as a result of the Regional Airliner departing Lexington, KY from the "wrong runway" accident.

As I said in that thread, I seem to make more mistakes on the ground than I do in the air - and that's just the ones I'm aware of. I daresay some here have taken off on the wrong runway and to this date don't even know it!

For background, I have over 6,000 hrs. of which more than 4,000 hrs. is instruction given. That instruction includes primary, commercial, instrument, multi-engine, tailwheel and aerobatic. I have yet to have an accident or violation. I've seen a WIDE variety of mistakes of all kinds, often with experienced pilots and I've made a few myself. In many cases the "offending" pilot might never have been aware of his mistake had I not pointed it out.

I mentioned several taxiing "brain farts" that I've had happen. Here's #1:

I was away from flying from about 1997 to about 2000. N. Perry airport had construction to some of the taxiways and runways while I was away.

Taxiing out for a 9R departure, I situated the plane as shown in the below photo for my runup:
Ground Operations Photo

The ground controlled advised I was on "his" runway. I had completely missed the hold lines (circled) which seemed to me to refer to 36L, not 9R.

I taxied clear and later called the tower on the phone, apologizing and explaining how it happened. I suggested it might be marked better, but when I looked on my next flight the hold line was clearly marked "9R".

Point is, we don't see what we're not looking for. On the way to a runway we often cross hold lines that don't apply to us - I think that always has the potential for confusion.

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