|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz.airport|
|Altitude||agl single value : 0|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Any Unknown or Unlisted Aircraft Manufacturer|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||ground : taxi|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time total : 200|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : ground|
|Qualification||controller : non radar|
|Anomaly||incursion : runway|
non adherence : published procedure
non adherence : clearance
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
other flight crewa
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : became reoriented|
none taken : detected after the fact
Flight Crew Human Performance
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
I've just been involved in a runway incursion that could have been very ugly, and it caused me to think about the problem. Why did I do what I did? The answer is simple -- too little experience hearing and responding to complex taxi instructions and seeing and interping confusing airport signage. I feel more comfortable in the air following a sectional and finding a little airport than I do on the ground trying to find taxiway C. So I was thinking about how to get more experience, and the problems are clear. First, going to a seminar (which I've done), even one with good teaching aids, is dry and boring. I learned a little but I was still lacking actual experience. Second, if I'm going to use or rent a plane at $75 or $100 an hour, I want to fly -- not taxi. Third, taxiing is hard on airplanes -- plugs foul, tires and brakes wear out, there is the risk of hitting something with a wing, etc. As I was thinking about these problems, a simple answer became clear (the best answers are always simple) -- use a vehicle for practice that is designed for taxiing and is cheap to operate -- use a car. Why not put a navigation/communication in a car, put a 'student pilot' sign on the top with flags and perhaps a strobe, and have students, as well as seasoned pilots, 'taxi' around the airport under the direction of ground control and local control. Students who haven't received taxi sign-off would be required to have a CFI in the car with them. If I 'taxied' around an airport in a car for 1 or 2 hours, I would get as much experience listening and responding to taxi instructions and seeing and interping airport signage as I would get in 1 yr of flying -- the cost would be zero, or close to zero, and I wouldn't be risking damage or using up expensive hours on a $100000 machine that's designed to fly, not drive. This idea has all kinds of possibilities. Pilots who typically fly out of uncontrolled airports and who are nervous about flying into a complicated twred airport could drive to the nearest twred airport and use the 'taxi car' for 1 hour of practice. When the WX unexpectedly goes down and a lesson or planned touch-and-goes are cancelled, rather than go home empty handed, you could take out a taxi car for 1 hour. Clubs or the local FSDO could sponsor taxi practice on saturday mornings when traffic is light, or at night since taxiing at night is a whole 'nother kettle of fish and pilots typically have even less practice finding their way around the airport at night. The tower people could get involved by developing a set of practice taxi instructions that keep students away from the active runway but take them all over the airport -- perhaps to areas and signs that a pilot might never see in a yr of regular lndgs and departures, or which are put out specifically for practice. If a station wagon or van were used along with an intercom, 4 or even 6 students could take turns watching and listening and then taxiing. The whole thing would be fun. Thinking further, it wouldn't take too much money or effort to modify a car to be steered by pedals and to put the 'throttle' on the dashboard. The dashboard could even be modified to look like a control panel, although that wouldn't really be necessary. The point here is that even if a pilot has 200 hours in his logbook (like me), he probably has fewer than 10 hours taxiing. If the FAA is serious about cutting down on runway incursions due to misunderstood taxi instructions or misinterped airport signs, the only answer is more training and practice in actual conditions. Making that training and practice easily available at low or no cost by using radio equipped cars would be the solution to the problem. I know if such training and practice had been available to me, I would have used it and my runway incursion would not have happened.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SMA. INEXPERIENCED PLT HAD RWY INCURSION DURING TAXI.
Narrative: I'VE JUST BEEN INVOLVED IN A RWY INCURSION THAT COULD HAVE BEEN VERY UGLY, AND IT CAUSED ME TO THINK ABOUT THE PROB. WHY DID I DO WHAT I DID? THE ANSWER IS SIMPLE -- TOO LITTLE EXPERIENCE HEARING AND RESPONDING TO COMPLEX TAXI INSTRUCTIONS AND SEEING AND INTERPING CONFUSING ARPT SIGNAGE. I FEEL MORE COMFORTABLE IN THE AIR FOLLOWING A SECTIONAL AND FINDING A LITTLE ARPT THAN I DO ON THE GND TRYING TO FIND TXWY C. SO I WAS THINKING ABOUT HOW TO GET MORE EXPERIENCE, AND THE PROBS ARE CLR. FIRST, GOING TO A SEMINAR (WHICH I'VE DONE), EVEN ONE WITH GOOD TEACHING AIDS, IS DRY AND BORING. I LEARNED A LITTLE BUT I WAS STILL LACKING ACTUAL EXPERIENCE. SECOND, IF I'M GOING TO USE OR RENT A PLANE AT $75 OR $100 AN HR, I WANT TO FLY -- NOT TAXI. THIRD, TAXIING IS HARD ON AIRPLANES -- PLUGS FOUL, TIRES AND BRAKES WEAR OUT, THERE IS THE RISK OF HITTING SOMETHING WITH A WING, ETC. AS I WAS THINKING ABOUT THESE PROBS, A SIMPLE ANSWER BECAME CLR (THE BEST ANSWERS ARE ALWAYS SIMPLE) -- USE A VEHICLE FOR PRACTICE THAT IS DESIGNED FOR TAXIING AND IS CHEAP TO OPERATE -- USE A CAR. WHY NOT PUT A NAV/COM IN A CAR, PUT A 'STUDENT PLT' SIGN ON THE TOP WITH FLAGS AND PERHAPS A STROBE, AND HAVE STUDENTS, AS WELL AS SEASONED PLTS, 'TAXI' AROUND THE ARPT UNDER THE DIRECTION OF GND CTL AND LCL CTL. STUDENTS WHO HAVEN'T RECEIVED TAXI SIGN-OFF WOULD BE REQUIRED TO HAVE A CFI IN THE CAR WITH THEM. IF I 'TAXIED' AROUND AN ARPT IN A CAR FOR 1 OR 2 HRS, I WOULD GET AS MUCH EXPERIENCE LISTENING AND RESPONDING TO TAXI INSTRUCTIONS AND SEEING AND INTERPING ARPT SIGNAGE AS I WOULD GET IN 1 YR OF FLYING -- THE COST WOULD BE ZERO, OR CLOSE TO ZERO, AND I WOULDN'T BE RISKING DAMAGE OR USING UP EXPENSIVE HRS ON A $100000 MACHINE THAT'S DESIGNED TO FLY, NOT DRIVE. THIS IDEA HAS ALL KINDS OF POSSIBILITIES. PLTS WHO TYPICALLY FLY OUT OF UNCTLED ARPTS AND WHO ARE NERVOUS ABOUT FLYING INTO A COMPLICATED TWRED ARPT COULD DRIVE TO THE NEAREST TWRED ARPT AND USE THE 'TAXI CAR' FOR 1 HR OF PRACTICE. WHEN THE WX UNEXPECTEDLY GOES DOWN AND A LESSON OR PLANNED TOUCH-AND-GOES ARE CANCELLED, RATHER THAN GO HOME EMPTY HANDED, YOU COULD TAKE OUT A TAXI CAR FOR 1 HR. CLUBS OR THE LCL FSDO COULD SPONSOR TAXI PRACTICE ON SATURDAY MORNINGS WHEN TFC IS LIGHT, OR AT NIGHT SINCE TAXIING AT NIGHT IS A WHOLE 'NOTHER KETTLE OF FISH AND PLTS TYPICALLY HAVE EVEN LESS PRACTICE FINDING THEIR WAY AROUND THE ARPT AT NIGHT. THE TWR PEOPLE COULD GET INVOLVED BY DEVELOPING A SET OF PRACTICE TAXI INSTRUCTIONS THAT KEEP STUDENTS AWAY FROM THE ACTIVE RWY BUT TAKE THEM ALL OVER THE ARPT -- PERHAPS TO AREAS AND SIGNS THAT A PLT MIGHT NEVER SEE IN A YR OF REGULAR LNDGS AND DEPS, OR WHICH ARE PUT OUT SPECIFICALLY FOR PRACTICE. IF A STATION WAGON OR VAN WERE USED ALONG WITH AN INTERCOM, 4 OR EVEN 6 STUDENTS COULD TAKE TURNS WATCHING AND LISTENING AND THEN TAXIING. THE WHOLE THING WOULD BE FUN. THINKING FURTHER, IT WOULDN'T TAKE TOO MUCH MONEY OR EFFORT TO MODIFY A CAR TO BE STEERED BY PEDALS AND TO PUT THE 'THROTTLE' ON THE DASHBOARD. THE DASHBOARD COULD EVEN BE MODIFIED TO LOOK LIKE A CTL PANEL, ALTHOUGH THAT WOULDN'T REALLY BE NECESSARY. THE POINT HERE IS THAT EVEN IF A PLT HAS 200 HRS IN HIS LOGBOOK (LIKE ME), HE PROBABLY HAS FEWER THAN 10 HRS TAXIING. IF THE FAA IS SERIOUS ABOUT CUTTING DOWN ON RWY INCURSIONS DUE TO MISUNDERSTOOD TAXI INSTRUCTIONS OR MISINTERPED ARPT SIGNS, THE ONLY ANSWER IS MORE TRAINING AND PRACTICE IN ACTUAL CONDITIONS. MAKING THAT TRAINING AND PRACTICE EASILY AVAILABLE AT LOW OR NO COST BY USING RADIO EQUIPPED CARS WOULD BE THE SOLUTION TO THE PROB. I KNOW IF SUCH TRAINING AND PRACTICE HAD BEEN AVAILABLE TO ME, I WOULD HAVE USED IT AND MY RWY INCURSION WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED.
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.