Landed on closed runway

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by Notam buster, Aug 29, 2022.

  1. Notam buster

    Notam buster Guest

    Was on a long cross country in a relatively unfamiliar aircraft recently. Have foreflight and made sure everything was updated and packed. Had to divert from my original planned fuel stop due to weather. First airport I find was notam closed on Foreflight. Next closest i announce at 10 miles and get garbled chatter back that the north side has aerobatic activity on the north side per notam. Notam didn't show on Foreflight. I guess the south side was fine, but just decided to do 180 and leave the area. Next airport get to downwind and see x's at each end. No notam on Foreflight. All airports were uncontrolled without an atis. At this point I don't want to chance trying to make it to the next airport and chose to land at the closed airport. They were grinding the third airport. Luckily nobody was there but landed fueled up and got out of there. It turns out we had 20 gallons somewhere spread across all the tanks. But again, rather unfamiliar plane and I was trusting gauges rather than time on each tank.

    So I'm going to file a NASA report. But what happens next? Why did 1 notam show up but not the other 2? When I landed I checked on my phone and the notams were there, just not on Foreflight. Next day, when I had wifi again they were there.
     
  2. 172andyou

    172andyou Line Up and Wait

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    I mean, if you didn't screw up and miss the notam, then it's entirely possible that the airport manager screwed up and didn't register the closure at all or did so incorrectly. They are just humans also.
     
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  3. mandm

    mandm Line Up and Wait

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    Did you have ADSB-in? There was something said about ADSB-in only provides traffic and weather, but internet might be required for NOTAMs and TFRs.
     
  4. Notam buster

    Notam buster Guest

    That's the thing. I packed for the trip via Foreflight on wifi. One closed airport showed up in the air. The next closest airport was closed as well but did not show on Foreflight. Once on the ground I checked the notams and it was in fact listed closed. None of the 3 airports that had things going on were part of the planned trip. I do have adsb in via stratus. But I don't think that gives notams. But I THOUGHT I should have got them when I packed via Foreflight. It's weird 1 showed up and the others didn't. Once I got wifi again the 2nd closed airport was shown closed on it.

    When we fueled up it took 60 some gallons, which means a little over an hour of remaining fuel. But being unfamiliar, I trusted the old style gauges over noted times on each tank. Unfamiliarity told me to play it safe than sorry and not risk trying to get to the next airport.
     
  5. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    ADSB-In provides some NOTAMS but not all. I haven't quite figured out the logic on what gets sent and what does not. I think it sends TFRs except not the arena ones.
     
  6. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    You knew the runway was closed and decided to land on it. That's very different from missing a NOTAM and missing seeing machinery and landing on a closed runway endangering yourself and someone else. Based on your description, I assume you considered it an emergency and exercised your PIC authority under FAR 91.3. So what happens next is you send the FAA a report of why you did that, if they ask. And a missing runway closed NOTAM sure seems like a good reason for an ASRS report. Especially since, in your emergency, you might have turned a different direction had you had more notice.
     
  7. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Where the X's painted on the Runway? If not painted, then what? Not that it makes any difference, just wondering?
     
  8. Notam buster

    Notam buster Guest

    Yes. In the grass off each end of the runway. Noticed it entering downwind at a 45. But was committed. Luckily it was a weekend and no work was being done. Just a freshly ground and oiled runway.
     
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  9. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route

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    How long before your flight did you get your briefing, and what was the time of issuance of the NOTAMs? I had a VIP TFR pop up on me at the end of a 3 hour flight, having been briefed by phone (this was in the old days) about 20 minutes before departure. Fortunately I was receiving flight following and ATC identified the issue for me before it became an issue.
     
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  10. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I agree that he has a viable case for landing on the closed runway on the grounds of exercising PIC authority in a potential emergency.

    But here's the rub....it sounds like he then departed from the closed runway. Unless the runway pavers were coming after him with guns, hard to argue that was an emergency.

    Based on that, an ASRS won't help when the pilot knowingly commited a violation. I would suggest that the OP lay low and be prepared to lawyer up IF the FAA comes a knocking. Hopefully they won't.
     
  11. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Did the awos have anything ??
     
  12. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    That's a good point about the takeoff not being an emergency, but I'm not sure what the violation would be. The most likely candidate seems to be 91.13, but if he was just on the runway and it was fine, then that may not be an issue.
     
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  13. GaryM

    GaryM Pattern Altitude

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    Tell them you were being chased by the Langoliers.

    langoliers_cover.jpg
     
  14. 172andyou

    172andyou Line Up and Wait

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    What FAR is violated by taking off or landing from a closed runway.

    EDIT: I now see Lindberg questioning along the same lines. It's not careless and reckless if it was done safely. I think there is no violation here.
     
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  15. sarangan

    sarangan Pattern Altitude

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    You can file ASRS, but I don't think you need to. However, the main thing is to figure out what you would do differently next time. My take is this. You overly relied on foreflight to execute your flight. Your question "Why did 1 notam show up but not the other 2?" illustrates that. I don't count on anything reliable showing up on my tablet once airborne. Second, you did not call ATC or FSS when you decided to first divert. They could have told you which airport is closed and which one was closest to you.
     
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  16. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    No blood.....No problem....nobody cares
     
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  17. danhagan

    danhagan En-Route

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    Our field has had serious runway work twice .... both times taxi way Alpha became the main runway for months (Notamed as such also with a weight limit like 15000 or some such) ... here's what it looked like ....

     
  18. TrueCourse

    TrueCourse Line Up and Wait

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    Interesting dilemma. Definitely a conscious decision to land and takeoff on a closed runway. Potential hazardous if there was a chance you really couldn’t tell the integrity of the runway surface before touchdown. The X in the grass and not the actual end of runway is probably irrelevant since “A visual indication may not be present depending on the reason for the closure…”

    If the FAA never learns of your actions then there is no pursuit of violations (if any), plus the ASRS report can’t be sent to the FAA for a violation. If the FAA did learn of it (local seeing it and reporting it to them), not sure the ASRS can help with all the events since the action (if a violation) was intentional.

    Like others have said, potential claim of emergency to justify all op’s at the closed runway won’t hold its own because there is no emergency takeoff. But, maybe a massive hail producing storm was imminent, the local cartel was after you, or a cannibal tribe was commenting on your BMI, causing you to leave.

    If the identity of the airport could be kept undisclosed on the ASRS and it was justifiable to consider it an emergency situation, I’d probably do the ASRS for THE LANDING.

    Simple view, it’s a nothing burger but was a good exercise in what ifs. I did it once when a student pilot. Didn’t interpret the faint Xs until after I landed. Blasted out of there and never heard a thing. No smart phones, no YouTube, no danger (runway was bought by developer), no worries.

    All the steps of the process are outlined here:

    https://asrs.arc.nasa.gov/overview/immunity.html
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2022
  19. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Don't worry about it, and don't do that again. I doubt anyone cares, but very risky landing on a closed runway.
     
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  20. Notam buster

    Notam buster Guest

    I should have at least been on vfr flight following. FSS didn't even cross my mind. Although by the time I saw the big X I was in let's put in on the ground mode and was prepared to put it in the grass if it wasn't abundantly clear no work was being done. I really got in my head in trusting the gauges and kind of guessing where they're at instead of time. In my head I created an emergency when their shouldn't have been. You best believe thats the next upgrade
     
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  21. Notam buster

    Notam buster Guest

    Fwiw, the machinery was nowhere near the runway. But what happened remains unchanged.
     
  22. Tools

    Tools Cleared for Takeoff

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    You did nothing wrong. No reason to file a nasa. There was no problem in leaving. Period.

    a closed runway only means “at your own risk”, however, you are still OBLIGATED to not endanger someone, or be wreckless/careless.

    This applies to a towered field as well. If a controller has no reason to NOT clear you land on a closed runway, he has to let you (think people and equipment actively working on it), but is obligated to remind you it’s at your own risk, which implies it doesn’t meet the safety criteria of an open runway (think potholes and such).

    So, you feel the potholes are less of a risk than the 30 kt crosswind, ask for the closed runway. This does not need to be an “emergency authority” declaration.

    EDIT: MANY airport managers and possibly some controllers do not know this….
     
  23. Racerx

    Racerx Pattern Altitude

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    Got nothing to add but wow there's some varying opinions here. "Nothing wrong" to "get a lawyer".
     
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  24. Chrisgoesflying

    Chrisgoesflying Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Nothing to see here. You can land on a closed runway as long as you don't endanger anyone. I used to fly out of an airport with two runways. One was open but the other one was "officially" closed due to bad surface. However, for most GA aircraft, the surface was more than fine. Sure, it wasn't smooth asphalt but certainly wasn't worse than let's say a grass field most GA pilots would fly out of. If the wind was more favorable for the "closed" runway, most pilots landed on it. When I lived there, I just got my license at the time and both the airport manager and my CFI both told me that if the x-wind is too strong for the open runway, I should simply use the "closed" runway. Never had to but always kept that option in the back of my mind.

    As for NOTAMs not showing up, I think you need internet to see NOTAMs so if you didn't update them prior to your flight, they wouldn't show. But, I also know that NOTAMs sometimes are forgotten to be posted. Last year, I flew to some small, untowered airport in the middle of nowhere for a $100 burger. I checked NOTAMs the same day. I arrived there planning to fuel up only to find out that the fuel pumps are inop. I called the airport manager, he confirmed and said "oops, never posted that NOTAM". I had enough fuel to get back home so no issue for me.
     
  25. LesGawlik

    LesGawlik Line Up and Wait

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    Tell that to Trent Palmer.

    The question is if Karen cares.
     
  26. dbahn

    dbahn Line Up and Wait

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    File the ASRS. If nothing else it adds to the database that can be used to fix problems like this. (I've filed them when there wasn't any concern for a violation, and I've had them contact me for more information to help address the issue I reported.)

    Keep in mind that ASRS doesn't protect you from having the violation. It only protects you from a suspension. And one step that helps mitigate NOTAM violations is to phone flight service before you even get to your plane and tell them you have the weather, etc. but just need to verify that there are no applicable (or last minute) NOTAMs for your destination airport. Unlike depending on Foreflight, you have a clear record of responsible flight planning if the FAA reviews your case.
     
    Last edited: Aug 30, 2022
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  27. 1000RR

    1000RR Pre-takeoff checklist

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    @Tools summed it up pretty well above. What was the issue?
     
  28. C-1 PILOT

    C-1 PILOT Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You’re lucky there wasn’t a huge hole or obstruction between your touchdown point and your turnoff to the taxiway…
     
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  29. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    All Controllers know it. It’s a pretty basic thing that is hammered home early in their training. Here’s the rules about it.

    3−3−2. CLOSED/UNSAFE RUNWAY INFORMATION
    If an aircraft requests to takeoff, land, or touch-and-go on a closed or unsafe runway, inform the pilot the runway is closed or unsafe, and
    a. If the pilot persists in his/her request, quote him/her the appropriate parts of the NOTAM applying to the runway and inform him/her that a clearance cannot be issued.
    b. Then, if the pilot insists and in your opinion the intended operation would not adversely affect other traffic, inform him/her that the operation will be at his/her own risk.
    PHRASEOLOGY−
    RUNWAY (runway number) CLOSED/UNSAFE. If appropriate, (quote NOTAM information),
    UNABLE TO ISSUE DEPARTURE/LANDING/TOUCH−
    AND−GO CLEARANCE. DEPARTURE/LANDING/TOUCH−AND−GO WILL BE AT YOUR OWN RISK.
     
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  30. Pinecone

    Pinecone Cleared for Takeoff

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  31. Notam buster

    Notam buster Guest

    This wasn't the destination airport. If anything this was the 4th choice. Diverted after weather pushed things west. I did call and get weather prior to flight. I packed Foreflight the night prior. Was going to divert to one airport but that was closed per notam on Foreflight. The next had an aerobatic notam but the airport apparently wasn't closed. Was unclear what the situation was at the time but left the airspace before causing more issues. Flew past the first closure to get to the second closure. 2 airports right next to each other closed.
     
  32. Terry M - 3CK (Chicago)

    Terry M - 3CK (Chicago) Line Up and Wait

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    Were you near Chicago at all?
     
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  33. Terry M - 3CK (Chicago)

    Terry M - 3CK (Chicago) Line Up and Wait

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    @luvflyin if a clearance can't be issued at a controlled airport, does the departure at your own risk even apply? Aren't you departing without a clearance then?
     
  34. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    @midwestpa24 , what do you know about this? Say you close a Runway. Someone lands on it. Can you charge them, or have them charged for anything? What local ordinances may apply?
     
  35. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If you don’t get a clearance, you will have departed without a clearance. That’s when you get the at own risk thing. They specifically tell you they can’t give you a clearance and then give you the at risk speech

    UNABLE TO ISSUE DEPARTURE/LANDING/TOUCH−
    AND−GO CLEARANCE. DEPARTURE/LANDING/TOUCH−AND−GO WILL BE AT YOUR OWN RISK.
     
  36. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    The only thing the FARs may have on it is 91.13. There is no specific FAR about closed runways. If this was my airport and I witnessed it, I would definitely be giving the FSDO a call.

    That being said, as an airport manager, if I have the runway NOTAMed closed, you as a pilot don't know the "why". The NOTAM system doesn't allow us a place to put the "why". Depending on distance, angle, and lighting, there may be something you can't see from the air. Perhaps there is a high voltage line strung across the runway. Maybe we have an open trench running across the runway. There could be a surveyor walking on the runway, tough to see a person from a 1/2 mile final. Point is, you are taking one heck of a chance using a closed runway without understanding why.
     
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  37. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

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    Ask Ms. Lunken about that.
     
  38. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I get all that. The reasons that it might not be a good idea. I’m not talking about the FAA and their FAR’s. We all know the FAA has jurisdiction in the sky and State and Local Governments can’t be making rules about what happens up there. But we’re talking about on the ground here. And an airport that is most likely owned by a State or Local Government or Privately owned. Have you ever heard of some ordinance saying you can’t use closed runways?
     
  39. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    I don't have any here. I sure wouldn't want to be the test case for trying to enforce one either. I'm not a fine of local jurisdictions trying to implement their own rules on aviation. As mobile as aircraft are, having a patchwork of regulations on aircraft operations at every airport is a headache at least, if not impossible. Especially since such rules are often not easy to find, usually buried in Airport or City codes on a shelf somewhere.

    Now airports can and should have various rules for things such as access control, hangar usage, etc., and that is a lot easier to enforce locally. Often those rules are found right in the lease language you sign when you accept a hangar rental.
     
  40. dbahn

    dbahn Line Up and Wait

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    Sorry, I got that but didn't make it clear in my response that having clear proof that you checked NOTAMS for the original destination could be a factor in your favor if the FAA were to investigate the incident, even if it occurred at an airport that you diverted to. Most safety inspectors for the FAA can be very reasonable when they are confident of the facts of the case, but absent documentation of your actions they can be suspicious that the pilot is embellishing their defense of the event. Plus NOTAMs occasionally pop up quickly and unexpectedly, so it never hurts to call shortly before your flight begins.