|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : t49|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Controlling Facilities||tower : sfo|
|Operator||general aviation : instructional|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||ground : preflight|
ground : holding
ground other : taxi
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 9|
flight time total : 384
|Function||oversight : airport manager|
|Qualification||other other : other|
|Anomaly||conflict : ground less severe|
|Independent Detector||other other : unspecified cockpit|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
none taken : anomaly accepted
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
|Airport||other physical facility|
I was taxiing to runup area for runway 36 at guenther airport la grange, tx. It is unattended. Runway is 3230 ft long. There are a number of small cedar trees/bushes at the end of runway 36 on both sides of the paved area. 90 percent or more of the time the wind is from the south so runway 18 is used for landing and takeoff. I have only had runway 36 about 3 or 4 times out of some 40 or 50 trips to la grange. As I started to turn the aircraft around in the runup area, I was not watching the wing-to-tree distance and the left wingtip hit a small cedar tree. It scratched the paint for about 12 inches at the end of the wingtip but did not damage the strobe light or navigation light. There did not appear to be any structural damage to wing leading edge. I flew the plane back to the airport I rent from in houston which is west houston airport. I advised the airport manager of the incident. He looked at the plane and agreed there did not appear to be any damage. However, he is going to have his mechanic look at the wingtip. How could this have been prevented? By my being much more careful in taxiing to the end of a runway that I don't use often. Really by being more careful at all times. However, this is the only airport I have ever flown into where there were trees within the wing span in the runup area or along the sides of the runway. I will be much more careful in the future. Fortunately this incident didn't result in damage to me or the plane. Had the trees been cut down within wing span distance on both sides of the runway, the incident would not have happened. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: reporter states the scrub cedar trees are about 12-14 ft high. They are growing right up to the edge of the runup area. Airport is unattended but is a municipal airport and should be maintained by cutting back the trees in runup area to allow turns without wingtip contact. This is a very popular airport as there is an excellent restaurant within walking distance. Also has lights so it gets a lot of night time traffic. Feels this is a really unsafe condition. Only exists at one end of runway, runway 36.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ACFT TURNING IN RUNUP AREA HITS TREES WITH WING TIP.
Narrative: I WAS TAXIING TO RUNUP AREA FOR RWY 36 AT GUENTHER ARPT LA GRANGE, TX. IT IS UNATTENDED. RWY IS 3230 FT LONG. THERE ARE A NUMBER OF SMALL CEDAR TREES/BUSHES AT THE END OF RWY 36 ON BOTH SIDES OF THE PAVED AREA. 90 PERCENT OR MORE OF THE TIME THE WIND IS FROM THE S SO RWY 18 IS USED FOR LNDG AND TKOF. I HAVE ONLY HAD RWY 36 ABOUT 3 OR 4 TIMES OUT OF SOME 40 OR 50 TRIPS TO LA GRANGE. AS I STARTED TO TURN THE ACFT AROUND IN THE RUNUP AREA, I WAS NOT WATCHING THE WING-TO-TREE DISTANCE AND THE L WINGTIP HIT A SMALL CEDAR TREE. IT SCRATCHED THE PAINT FOR ABOUT 12 INCHES AT THE END OF THE WINGTIP BUT DID NOT DAMAGE THE STROBE LIGHT OR NAV LIGHT. THERE DID NOT APPEAR TO BE ANY STRUCTURAL DAMAGE TO WING LEADING EDGE. I FLEW THE PLANE BACK TO THE ARPT I RENT FROM IN HOUSTON WHICH IS W HOUSTON ARPT. I ADVISED THE ARPT MGR OF THE INCIDENT. HE LOOKED AT THE PLANE AND AGREED THERE DID NOT APPEAR TO BE ANY DAMAGE. HOWEVER, HE IS GOING TO HAVE HIS MECH LOOK AT THE WINGTIP. HOW COULD THIS HAVE BEEN PREVENTED? BY MY BEING MUCH MORE CAREFUL IN TAXIING TO THE END OF A RWY THAT I DON'T USE OFTEN. REALLY BY BEING MORE CAREFUL AT ALL TIMES. HOWEVER, THIS IS THE ONLY ARPT I HAVE EVER FLOWN INTO WHERE THERE WERE TREES WITHIN THE WING SPAN IN THE RUNUP AREA OR ALONG THE SIDES OF THE RWY. I WILL BE MUCH MORE CAREFUL IN THE FUTURE. FORTUNATELY THIS INCIDENT DIDN'T RESULT IN DAMAGE TO ME OR THE PLANE. HAD THE TREES BEEN CUT DOWN WITHIN WING SPAN DISTANCE ON BOTH SIDES OF THE RWY, THE INCIDENT WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: RPTR STATES THE SCRUB CEDAR TREES ARE ABOUT 12-14 FT HIGH. THEY ARE GROWING RIGHT UP TO THE EDGE OF THE RUNUP AREA. ARPT IS UNATTENDED BUT IS A MUNICIPAL ARPT AND SHOULD BE MAINTAINED BY CUTTING BACK THE TREES IN RUNUP AREA TO ALLOW TURNS WITHOUT WINGTIP CONTACT. THIS IS A VERY POPULAR ARPT AS THERE IS AN EXCELLENT RESTAURANT WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE. ALSO HAS LIGHTS SO IT GETS A LOT OF NIGHT TIME TFC. FEELS THIS IS A REALLY UNSAFE CONDITION. ONLY EXISTS AT ONE END OF RWY, RWY 36.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.