|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : eko.airport|
|Altitude||agl single value : 0|
|Controlling Facilities||tower : cyul.tower|
|Function||controller : ground|
|Qualification||controller : non radar|
|Anomaly||incursion : taxiway|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other controllerb|
other other : pers 1
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Consequence||faa : reviewed incident with flight crew|
|Airport||construction : eko.airport|
markings : eko.airport
other physical facility
On sunday evening, I went to our local airport, harris field in elko nv to ready my airplane for a business trip the next morning. I arrived at the airport did my preflight and flew for about 20 mins. By the time I put the airplane away it was almost dark. On attempting to exit the airport, I found the card operated gate was broken and I could not exit. There were no other persons in sight. Not knowing of an alternate way out, I drove my vehicle across the ramp towards to tower. I stopped at the edge of the ramp, flashed my lights at the tower and when I received a green light proceeded across the taxiway and the runway to the tower. I went up to the tower and asked the cltr how I could get out of the airport, as the inoperable gate was the only way I knew. He pointed out of the tower window towards the ramp I had just used and said 'go back on the ramp north along the row of hangars, you will see a yellow snowplow parked at the end of the ramp. Make a left turn and follow up the ramp until you can make a right turn, follow that past the barricades at the end of the new airport access road, past the next row of hangars and then a right turn and there is another cardlock gate. Don't go onto the gravel area beyond the ramp at the snowplow.' I thanked him and started out following his directions. As this was a part of the airport I had never been to, and as it was quite dark by now (this is a totally unlighted area) I proceeded slowly trying to follow the directions I had been given. All the locations seemed to be correct and I made my way out with no problem. So far so good. The problem occurred the next morning when I arrived at the airport for my trip and found the gate still broken. Knowing the problems with the gate had been ongoing. I figured the procedure to get in must be in the same as the way out and that is what I proceeded to do. While the area looked different in the daylight as it did in the dark, all the landmarks seemed the same so I proceeded to reverse the course I had used the night before and drove to my hangar. While I was getting my airplane out the tower chief drove up and said I had driven on the taxiway. I told him I was only doing the reverse of what I had been told the night before, but he proceeded to take my driver license information and would not listen to my defense. As I had people waiting for me in california I got in my airplane and made my scheduled trip. I returned to elko on thursday, this was the first time I had a chance to go back and look over the area I had used to come onto the airport on monday. What I found was very confusing situation for someone with no prior knowledge of this area, especially inlight of the instructions given. Entering the airport from the operable gate, heading west, driving straight ahead is possible only for a short way, and then the road makes a 90 to the left, south, and then in about 60 ft turns west again for only a short distance to the unmarked taxiway which in all honesty looks like a road, especially if that is what you are expecting to find. You do not cross any other road which would have been easily visible had it come up to the entrance road. The reason it does not come up to the entrance road is that it stops several hundred ft short and becomes a large paved ramp area which does come to the edge of the entrance road. On actually looking at the situation in daylight, not only does the road I should have used not cross the entrance road, it is not visible at all because it climbs up out of the gravel area (remember my instructions to stay out of the gravel area) and becomes the south edge of the large ramp to my left as I drove in. I could not see this road at all until I drove almost to it on the ramp. As there are no markings for either access road or the taxiway from this entrance, I feel this situation will only foster more problems. At the very least, prominent markings or arrows directing automatic traffic to the access road would have prevented me from making a mistake, and I have been around airports most of my adult life. I would never break the rules on purpose, and I do know the rules. The tower operator will verify my waiting for a green light to cross an inactive taxiway and runway the night before. This is perhaps a too lengthy explanation of what happened here, but I wanted to try and make it clear as to what really happened and why. I do believe some action in regards to markings is necessary for everyone's safety. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: the reporter said that there is ongoing construction at the field and that the carded gate has since been repaired. It has a history of intermittent failure. He feels that during construction and at the time other routes are required to get off the airport, safety would be improved by better markings of vehicle routes.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: WITH INTERMITTENT INOPERATIVE CONDITION OF CARD KEYED ACCESS GATE AT ELKO, NEVADA, EGRESS FROM THE ARPT IS COMPLICATED BY LACK OF MARKINGS FOR VEHICLE TFC TRYING TO USE AN ALTERNATIVE ROUTE TO GAIN EXIT AND ENTRY.
Narrative: ON SUNDAY EVENING, I WENT TO OUR LOCAL ARPT, HARRIS FIELD IN ELKO NV TO READY MY AIRPLANE FOR A BUSINESS TRIP THE NEXT MORNING. I ARRIVED AT THE ARPT DID MY PREFLT AND FLEW FOR ABOUT 20 MINS. BY THE TIME I PUT THE AIRPLANE AWAY IT WAS ALMOST DARK. ON ATTEMPTING TO EXIT THE ARPT, I FOUND THE CARD OPERATED GATE WAS BROKEN AND I COULD NOT EXIT. THERE WERE NO OTHER PERSONS IN SIGHT. NOT KNOWING OF AN ALTERNATE WAY OUT, I DROVE MY VEHICLE ACROSS THE RAMP TOWARDS TO TWR. I STOPPED AT THE EDGE OF THE RAMP, FLASHED MY LIGHTS AT THE TWR AND WHEN I RECEIVED A GREEN LIGHT PROCEEDED ACROSS THE TXWY AND THE RWY TO THE TWR. I WENT UP TO THE TWR AND ASKED THE CLTR HOW I COULD GET OUT OF THE ARPT, AS THE INOPERABLE GATE WAS THE ONLY WAY I KNEW. HE POINTED OUT OF THE TWR WINDOW TOWARDS THE RAMP I HAD JUST USED AND SAID 'GO BACK ON THE RAMP NORTH ALONG THE ROW OF HANGARS, YOU WILL SEE A YELLOW SNOWPLOW PARKED AT THE END OF THE RAMP. MAKE A LEFT TURN AND FOLLOW UP THE RAMP UNTIL YOU CAN MAKE A RIGHT TURN, FOLLOW THAT PAST THE BARRICADES AT THE END OF THE NEW ARPT ACCESS ROAD, PAST THE NEXT ROW OF HANGARS AND THEN A RIGHT TURN AND THERE IS ANOTHER CARDLOCK GATE. DON'T GO ONTO THE GRAVEL AREA BEYOND THE RAMP AT THE SNOWPLOW.' I THANKED HIM AND STARTED OUT FOLLOWING HIS DIRECTIONS. AS THIS WAS A PART OF THE ARPT I HAD NEVER BEEN TO, AND AS IT WAS QUITE DARK BY NOW (THIS IS A TOTALLY UNLIGHTED AREA) I PROCEEDED SLOWLY TRYING TO FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS I HAD BEEN GIVEN. ALL THE LOCATIONS SEEMED TO BE CORRECT AND I MADE MY WAY OUT WITH NO PROB. SO FAR SO GOOD. THE PROB OCCURRED THE NEXT MORNING WHEN I ARRIVED AT THE ARPT FOR MY TRIP AND FOUND THE GATE STILL BROKEN. KNOWING THE PROBS WITH THE GATE HAD BEEN ONGOING. I FIGURED THE PROC TO GET IN MUST BE IN THE SAME AS THE WAY OUT AND THAT IS WHAT I PROCEEDED TO DO. WHILE THE AREA LOOKED DIFFERENT IN THE DAYLIGHT AS IT DID IN THE DARK, ALL THE LANDMARKS SEEMED THE SAME SO I PROCEEDED TO REVERSE THE COURSE I HAD USED THE NIGHT BEFORE AND DROVE TO MY HANGAR. WHILE I WAS GETTING MY AIRPLANE OUT THE TWR CHIEF DROVE UP AND SAID I HAD DRIVEN ON THE TXWY. I TOLD HIM I WAS ONLY DOING THE REVERSE OF WHAT I HAD BEEN TOLD THE NIGHT BEFORE, BUT HE PROCEEDED TO TAKE MY DRIVER LICENSE INFO AND WOULD NOT LISTEN TO MY DEFENSE. AS I HAD PEOPLE WAITING FOR ME IN CALIFORNIA I GOT IN MY AIRPLANE AND MADE MY SCHEDULED TRIP. I RETURNED TO ELKO ON THURSDAY, THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME I HAD A CHANCE TO GO BACK AND LOOK OVER THE AREA I HAD USED TO COME ONTO THE ARPT ON MONDAY. WHAT I FOUND WAS VERY CONFUSING SIT FOR SOMEONE WITH NO PRIOR KNOWLEDGE OF THIS AREA, ESPECIALLY INLIGHT OF THE INSTRUCTIONS GIVEN. ENTERING THE ARPT FROM THE OPERABLE GATE, HEADING WEST, DRIVING STRAIGHT AHEAD IS POSSIBLE ONLY FOR A SHORT WAY, AND THEN THE ROAD MAKES A 90 TO THE LEFT, S, AND THEN IN ABOUT 60 FT TURNS W AGAIN FOR ONLY A SHORT DISTANCE TO THE UNMARKED TXWY WHICH IN ALL HONESTY LOOKS LIKE A ROAD, ESPECIALLY IF THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE EXPECTING TO FIND. YOU DO NOT CROSS ANY OTHER ROAD WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN EASILY VISIBLE HAD IT COME UP TO THE ENTRANCE ROAD. THE REASON IT DOES NOT COME UP TO THE ENTRANCE ROAD IS THAT IT STOPS SEVERAL HUNDRED FT SHORT AND BECOMES A LARGE PAVED RAMP AREA WHICH DOES COME TO THE EDGE OF THE ENTRANCE ROAD. ON ACTUALLY LOOKING AT THE SIT IN DAYLIGHT, NOT ONLY DOES THE ROAD I SHOULD HAVE USED NOT CROSS THE ENTRANCE ROAD, IT IS NOT VISIBLE AT ALL BECAUSE IT CLIMBS UP OUT OF THE GRAVEL AREA (REMEMBER MY INSTRUCTIONS TO STAY OUT OF THE GRAVEL AREA) AND BECOMES THE SOUTH EDGE OF THE LARGE RAMP TO MY LEFT AS I DROVE IN. I COULD NOT SEE THIS ROAD AT ALL UNTIL I DROVE ALMOST TO IT ON THE RAMP. AS THERE ARE NO MARKINGS FOR EITHER ACCESS ROAD OR THE TXWY FROM THIS ENTRANCE, I FEEL THIS SIT WILL ONLY FOSTER MORE PROBS. AT THE VERY LEAST, PROMINENT MARKINGS OR ARROWS DIRECTING AUTO TFC TO THE ACCESS ROAD WOULD HAVE PREVENTED ME FROM MAKING A MISTAKE, AND I HAVE BEEN AROUND ARPTS MOST OF MY ADULT LIFE. I WOULD NEVER BREAK THE RULES ON PURPOSE, AND I DO KNOW THE RULES. THE TWR OPERATOR WILL VERIFY MY WAITING FOR A GREEN LIGHT TO CROSS AN INACTIVE TXWY AND RWY THE NIGHT BEFORE. THIS IS PERHAPS A TOO LENGTHY EXPLANATION OF WHAT HAPPENED HERE, BUT I WANTED TO TRY AND MAKE IT CLEAR AS TO WHAT REALLY HAPPENED AND WHY. I DO BELIEVE SOME ACTION IN REGARDS TO MARKINGS IS NECESSARY FOR EVERYONE'S SAFETY. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: THE RPTR SAID THAT THERE IS ONGOING CONSTRUCTION AT THE FIELD AND THAT THE CARDED GATE HAS SINCE BEEN REPAIRED. IT HAS A HISTORY OF INTERMITTENT FAILURE. HE FEELS THAT DURING CONSTRUCTION AND AT THE TIME OTHER ROUTES ARE REQUIRED TO GET OFF THE ARPT, SAFETY WOULD BE IMPROVED BY BETTER MARKINGS OF VEHICLE ROUTES.
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.