Runway Incursions at Non-Towered Airport

Discussion in 'Change to my Frequency...' started by James Riley, May 9, 2022.

  1. James Riley

    James Riley Filing Flight Plan

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    Most of my flights include departure and/or arrival from a non-towered airport. A common rub we run into is "runway incursions".

    An obvious runway incursion is when someone is already on the runway and someone else gets in front of them...that's very obvious. (ie. Someone is departing and someone else crosses in front of them.)

    The less obvious ones, that lead to the conflict, are the ones where someone comes behind. A common example would be when one plane takes the runway to land or take off and another comes on the runway behind them. Regardless of the fact that calling "line up and wait" is an ATC function, I can't find anywhere in the FAR where this behavior is actually a runway incursion or violation.

    There definitely is the whole "unsafe manner" clause but, if you're lining up behind a plane that just landed or is departing, waiting for them to clear, the only potentially unsafe thing could be that someone is on final and you're in their way.

    So, aside from being rude, what is the actual issue with it and when does it actually, definitively, become a runway incursion?
     
  2. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    You will not find a reg that says two aircraft cannot be on the runway at the same time. But 91.13 and 91.113 have some relevance here.
     
  3. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    When sheet metal gets bent.
     
  4. geezer

    geezer Line Up and Wait

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    Taxiing onto the departure end of a runway while an arriving or departing aircraft is still on it is poor technique.

    Once you turn down the runway, you cannot see incoming landing aircraft, and if there is any visual obstruction, they may land without seeing you.

    Entering the runway should be followed by immediate departure at non tower airports You should precede entering the runway with a radio call announcing the intention, and pause long enough for any inbound aircraft to respond.

    Your question is a good one for a beginner, as this type of action is a bad example to follow, and now you know the reason.

    Oshkosh and Sun and Fun are excellent exceptions to this basic rule, they have multiple planes on the runways at the same time, but everyone there is expecting exactly what is happening, and operate their plane accordingly.
     
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  5. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    If everyone announced what they were doing, there’d be a lot less so called “incursions.”
     
  6. Racerx

    Racerx Pattern Altitude

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    Could you imagine the paperwork at Oshkosh?
     
  7. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy En-Route PoA Supporter

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    while on runway incursions…
    So buddy of mine, hasn’t flown for 9-12 months, has a couple thousand hours.. flew his plane down to a class C to pick up a gps that was down. He doesn’t do a lot of towered fields. Fires up calls ground. Gets a ground clearance to taxi. Taxis out to hold short looks left looks right and takes off. Calls departure and gets reamed a new one. Fortunately not busy at the moment but has some big iron coming in and take offs and landings from intersecting runway. He called the number apologized. Is awaiting cb from FSDO.
     
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  8. mcdewey

    mcdewey Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I suspect he already filed a NASA report.
     
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  9. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    I've been through this with the FAA.

    The textbook definition of a runway incursion is "Any occurrence at an aerodrome involving the incorrect presence of an aircraft, vehicle or person on the protected area of a surface designated for the landing and take off of aircraft".

    In my conversations with the FAA, ATC is necessary to determine the "incorrect presence", and as well as provide the "protected area", thus it is nearly impossible to have a runway incursion, by the book, at an uncontrolled airport.

    Now obviously if there is a collision, someone shouldn't have been there.

    Previously the definition included the "loss of separation", but that definition was changed years ago. The change was made to increase the reporting requirements of aircraft or vehicles entering runways without ATC authorization, even if there was not an aircraft using the runway.
     
  10. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It also included 'with ATC authorization'. Controllers boo booing were no longer off the hook just because a loss of separation didn't occur.
     
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  11. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Couple thousand hours and does not know how basic operations at towered airports work?...that absolutely deserves some remedial training prior to being allowed to fly again.

    But yeah...saw a similar thing at an AOPA event mass departure where a dude that was VERY elderly struggling with the radio work took the runway and departed without takeoff clearance amongst the mass chaos...luckily everyone else on frequency and Tower was situationally aware and did not cause an incident.
     
  12. danhagan

    danhagan En-Route

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    At my field, we have several that have turned down their volume (training), think the pattern is empty, don't look up final and pull on out cutting off the aircraft on short final ... they did "annouce taking the runway" a microsecond prior to pulling out past the hold short lines ...
     
  13. coma24

    coma24 Line Up and Wait

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    That's even more painful than it initially sounds when you consider that if he was decent pilot following non-towered procedures due to a brain fart, the chain would've been broken when he went to dial the CTAF and realized a) it didn't look like a normal CTAF freq, and b) oh looks it says here it's a tower freq. Oh that's right, it's a towered airport. And C) if he failed to notice all of that, then when he made the "[airport name] traffic...." call on what he thought was the CTAF (or the ground freq, more realistically), the controller would've had the chance to catch it.

    But no, he said nothing and launched into the blue yonder. That's pretty telling about where his head is at with regards to radio calls during departures. THAT is something which really should get addressed, just as much as the "hey, you need to call the tower at a towered airport."