Page 1 of 4 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 36

Thread: Really Dumb FAA Move

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1,541

    Really Dumb FAA Move

    There is a new procedure that I have noticed here in Aspen, and at Denver Centennial. When a pilot of a small piston engined plane like me in my Bonanza calls for taxi to the runway, the ground controller asks, "Will you need a run up?"

    This is really dumb, of course we need and should do a run up, just as we were taught when we learned to fly. Them asking this over and over, every time before taxi is not going to talk me out of what I learned and what I know is right and safe, But there should not be the pressure to rush and short cut the procedure or do the run up before taxi., and especially this advice should not come from an official FAA agency.

    I am sure they, of course, would say they are only asking. But it is like if someone asked them every time they got in a car, "Do you really need to wear your seat belt" ? How about do your kids really need to wash their hands before eating or a waiter really need to wash their hands after using the restroom? Does the doctor really need to wear gloves and new ones for each patient? Do they really need to get their paycheck every month?

    I have never, not once, heard them ask a pilot of a jet if they will need a run up.

    I want to bring this to everyone's attention, especially since some new or student pilot may be tempted to skip or shortcut the run up on the idea that the tower controller must know best. They know best about their own procedures ,but when it comes to flying a plane most controllers are not even pilots.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 01-30-2013 at 03:22 PM.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Posts
    1,007
    That is likely a response and accommodation to the ratio of jet and commercial traffic to the recreational traffic. The jet and turboprop guys are usually ready to go when they arrive at the end of the runway and on the ground freq I often hear them read back their clearance and add the phrase "ready reaching". Jets and turboprops are great in that once the start is done you can push up the power levers and go flying.

    When I was a low paid professional aviator flying behind a reciprocating engine, we did a thorough check of the airplane in the morning when we saddled up and then did not actually stop and park in the runup area to repeat mag and prop checks during the day unless we thought that a hot start had fouled a plug or had another affirmative reason to want to do a thorough check. You can do a quick mag check while taxiing and if the props worked in the AM and are not slinging lots of oil and grease, they are going to work for the next takeoff of the day.

    So I will hazard a guess that the ground controller is getting data to feed to the tower controller and maybe the folks over at approach control about the type of traffic in what order will be coming off the runway.

    That said, as someone who operates mostly in the relatively busy northeast, I am surprised to hear that language originating in Colorado.

    Fly safe,

    Wes
    N78PS

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1,541
    Wes, the idea that the jets are ready to go at the end is propaganda. For example virtually all of them only fly on ifr flight plans, it doesn't matter if there is not a cloud in the state, and it they are only going to Eagle about 15 miles away or Rifle 40 miles away. So they must have IFR clearance for takeoff and it is not unusual for that to take some time once they are ready at the end. And they will also often sit on the runway for few moments after being cleared for takeoff.

    I could do a mag check while taxing, but sort of like texting while driving that is not the best procedure and not the safest. And there are other items on the just before flight check list other than just the engine run up. My check takes less than a minute, but the tower guys will give you the same line even if it is a slow day and there is not another airplane moving. And I am not using IFR service nor waiting for that clearance.

    Here is Aspen they added 1000 feet to the runway length. Now some folks will claim there is a budget shortfall, but I can tell you there is no shortage of Federal funds for more concrete for such a runway or for more and new control towers, even if they have one already.
    The longer runway gurus built the runway extension , but didn' t put a run up area at the new end. So now if more than one plane goes down to the end, it must sit on and block the only taxiway(actually, since there was plenty of money for concrete they even built a taxiway on the other side, but it doesn't connect to anything)
    So the result is they try to get the piston airplanes to do without the run up and pre flght check at the end, The other issue is if you taxi all the way to the end and have to wait behind a G5 , their exhaust is coming right into your face, and I'll bet it is not healthy in a matter of moments.

    I have never heard the phrase "ready reaching" used anywhere.

    I don't fly jets but I doubt if the procedure for any major U S airline is to do their pre takeoff checklist while they are taxiing. Is it?

    And I don't fly a turboprop,and I don't doubt that many of them may do their checklist while on the roll, and not repeat items for each takeoff during the day.
    But if there was an accident that had anything to do with props not working right after takeoff, or even a trim or flap setting, and there was an FAA hearing or a civil court case and it was found that the pilots skipped this item on a checklist, what would be the likely finding?
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 01-28-2013 at 04:10 PM.

  4. #4
    FlyingRon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    CJR / NC26
    Posts
    973
    At IAD if they send me from Landmark all the way to 30 (or worse), I'll often have my runup done by the time I get to the end. It's a two+ mile taxi.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    64
    so do the runup somewhere else. are you angry because they ask you the question in order to avoid traffic congestion at the end or because they didn't add concrete at the end for you?

  6. #6
    Flyfalcons's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Bonney Lake, WA
    Posts
    197
    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    Wes, the idea that the jets are ready to go at the end is propaganda. For example virtually all of them only fly on ifr flight plans, it doesn't matter if there is not a cloud in the state, and it they are only going to Eagle about 15 miles away or Rifle 40 miles away. So they must have IFR clearance for takeoff and it is not unusual for that to take some time once they are ready at the end. And they will also often sit on the runway for few moments after being cleared for takeoff.

    .....

    I don't fly jets but I doubt if the procedure for any major U S airline is to do their pre takeoff checklist while they are taxiing. Is it?

    And I don't fly a turboprop,and I don't doubt that many of them may do their checklist while on the roll, and not repeat items for each takeoff during the day.
    But if there was an accident that had anything to do with props not working right after takeoff, or even a trim or flap setting, and there was an FAA hearing or a civil court case and it was found that the pilots skipped this item on a checklist, what would be the likely finding?
    Yes, it is expected that turbine aircraft are ready for takeoff when they reach the runway threashold. We accomplish our pre-takeoff checklists (even including engine starts) while taxiing, which is perfectly safe and normal in a multi-pilot environment. Regarding getting clearance at the end of the runway, really the only time that is happening is at uncontrolled airports. At towered fields, the jets have their clearances before engine start. Many jets have "cleared for takeoff" checklists that are run after takeoff clearance is received, and some run longer than others. That's why you typically don't see a jet roll onto the runway and blast off as quickly as you see a piston plane do so.
    Ryan Winslow
    EAA 525529
    Stinson 108-1 "Big Red", RV-7 under construction

  7. #7
    PA11's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    16
    ASE is a special case in that it's a one way in/one way out airport for most of the operators there. Ground has to sequence the aircraft just right so that one is ready to roll while one's coming over Triangle Peak.

    Most 121/turbine operators complete all their taxi checks prior to taxi now, so all that's typically left is selecting any anti-ice, radar settings, and/or transponder for takeoff.

  8. #8
    FlyingRon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    CJR / NC26
    Posts
    973
    I don't know, I've seen a lot of piston planes take a lot of time on the runway before commencing takeoff roll for no apparent reason. You weren't ready to take that takeoff clearance if you had much more to do than turn the transponder and strobes and and possibly confirm the DG with the runway heading (though you really should have already set it to the compass while preparing).

    I was up in the Dulles tower one time when some small pilot spent an excessive time on the runway while there were aircraft on final. There was some grumbling about student pilots (my wife was with me and she was a student pilot) that the controller apologized for but pointed out things NOT to do.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Circle Pines MN
    Posts
    141
    Bill you bring up a few questions and I'll try to give you some insight and answers to them.
    I used to fly into Aspen and Centennial airports somewhat regularly with part 91 and 135 turbojets, but I haven't been there in a few years. I think that the bigest reason the tower asks you if your going to do a run up is so they know if you need to sit on the end of the taxiway and block it for your run up. They just want to know if they'll have access to the end if they need it for someone else, probably just out of habit on the slow days. Looking at the airport diagram I see the old run up area, you could ask to use that at A8 for your run up on your initial call up. Also, they need to coordinate ASE departures with Denver for arrivials into ASE, traffic you may not know about at the time. Aspen being one way in and one way out is very critical in this respect, Why they do this at Centennial is a mystery to me. Maybe some pilots of piston planes do the run up while taxiing, and others don't, they just like to know in advance what to expect. Most of these guys aren't pilots and they sometimes don't know what we as pilots can and cannot do. I know it can be frustrating sometimes but don't be too hard on them.

    Why they didn't pave a run up area on the new end is probably a mistake in the long run. They may eventually do that sometime down the line. Looking at the airport diagram again, I see the new taxiways on the other side. I can see that being used when someone is on the runway, ready for takeoff, and for some reason they need to clear the runway quickly, they can turn left on BB and hold on B and still be clear of the runway. It's quicker than going all the way up to A8.

    Yes it's true that jets really don't need any run up, once they're started and the oil temp is at a certain number, they're ready to go. Certain items do need to be checked on the taxiway, like brakes, steering and thrust reversers. If I remember King Airs correctly, there has to be a prop check at a certain rpm, something you might do at the run up pad, and that may be only the first flight of the day. There are other line up checks done only after you get your takeoff clearance, like strobes, landing lights, pitot heat and engine and wing de-ice if needed. At a high altitude airport like Aspen, if I feel the need to spend a few seconds after takeoff clearance to visually confirm switches and configuration before I add full power, I'll definitely do that.

    I'm sure all part 121 operators fly IFR on all the legs, FAA regs and company regs both require it. Many part 91 and 135 turbine operators do the same, even on the short legs like to Eagle. Think about it, ASE to EGE is 15 miles but about a 6-7 minute flight. There's a lot happening on a short flight like that, after takeoff checks, radio calls, before landing checks, changing nav and comm radios, adjusting pressurization for the landing. The last thing I want to deal with is Eagle not knowing we're arriving in advance by being a "pop up" flight VFR.

    I hope this helps answer some of your questions.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    1,541
    Just to be clear, Aspen is not a one way runway, is is not that short downhill one in the Caribbean.
    United and the other airlines can and do land on runway 33 part of the time, not just the straight in on rnwy 15. 33 is via a right downwind, and not a problem in VMC weather. Corporate pilots may not be as comfortable flying downwind and base to 33. 15 is uphilll and most local pilots will use it until the tailwind gets up to about 10 knots, then go to 33.
    And while there are times when it is very busy here, especially with jets, there are many times when there is not a jet moving.

    There is only the LDA and VOR/DME approach to runway 15, not 33 but that is not any different than many airports like FNL or APA that are not in a mountain valley.

    I really had 2 points to make: First, nothing the FAA controller does should negatively impact safety. Trying to influence a pilot to skip the runup and preflight check or to do it somewhere like a parking area or sometime other than just before you call ready for takeoff, is not good procedure.
    Next, because they added the 1000 feet of runway extension and did not include a new runup area at the end is not the fault of any of us local pilots and we should not bear the hassle of it.

    They won't admit it, but it is pretty obvious that the longer runway is part of the campaign to bring larger 737 etc, airlines in, which the community has rejected because of the noise issue mostly.

    As someone who has made this my home for 40 years it is hard to see big city ways come to our beautiful area.

    I think the taxiway on the other side, which now sits empty and goes nowhere might be in the event a 2nd FBO is started and goes on that side. Lot's of money at stake and to be made on that one, I think.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 01-29-2013 at 11:38 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •