What happens if you are guilty of a runway incursion?

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by Askingforfriend, Nov 16, 2016.

  1. I've been flying for 16 years now. 10 years commercially with several at the regionals. I left that job for a position at home flying corporate which I've been doing for a few years now. I've never had any interactions with the FAA outside of linechecks and 299 rides. I've never had any issues.

    Today I made a mistake. I'm PIC of the trip but sitting right seat as we tend to alternate each day. This was my second day flying with a new hire who does have a lot of flight time and experience.

    We were taxiing on alpha in SFO. We were told told to hold for traffic crossing left to right then to "continue taxi strait on Foxtrot" followed by bravo. I was in the right seat so I read things back and we continued taxi. There was a 757 directly in front of us we had been following. We were taxiing to runway 1R. I was getting our frequencies ready when I hear "Clear left", I habitually looked up and said "Clear right". We taxied strait on foxtrot and crossed runway 1L. In my mind, had never been to SFO, we were going to cross 1L and 1R then turn right on Bravo to taxi for takeoff on 1R. As we crossed I'm told "XXXXX you just taxied across an active runway". My heart sank. I started pulling up the diagram and wondering what had happened I even responded that we were told to taxi strait on foxtrot. We had been following the 757 that just crossed and somehow everything felt normal. I looked at the chart and saw that Bravo was not on the other side of the runway. The "taxi strait on foxtrod" had led me to feel otherwise as is did my co-pilot. Neither of us had any question of what we were to do. Sitting there between 1L and 1R I was informed we were to have taken alpha to foxtrot to a right on bravo. Looking at the diagram I can now see what was intended but I can also see how with the busy environment and movement around us that we made the mistake that we did.

    I was given a number to call which I did. I spoke with the head of the ATC who was actually very understanding and nice. I literally had no idea what to expect as I've never had to make a phone call either. He told me he understood and these things happen but that he is required to send his information to the SFO FSDO. He said "They're a really good group of guys and are understanding, keep your chin up and go about your business and expect to hear from them via mail."

    We continued on but I've felt like absolute dog mess this entire time. I'm a younger guy with a lot of time left on his career and have actually been putting my resume out there for mainline carriers recently. Just finished hiring a consulting group to look over everything which they said looked very good. I'm pretty torn apart about this.

    This just happened and I've never had to deal with the FAA before so my mind is spinning. I did fill out an NASA report which I was very detailed in. I didn't try to place blame anywhere. It was an honest mistake. One thing I should as is that there was an aircraft that was lined up and waiting. It was waiting on the 757 to cross and since we were close to the 757 the other aircraft was never given any clearance to takeoff, never applied power or moved, and tower again seemed very understanding and sympathetic to what happened.

    My question is how screwed am I? What can the FAA do to me? What will go on my record if I already submitted a NASA form? If I apply somewhere what will they see? Also how long should I expect all of this to take? This isn't pleasant by any means, wouldn't wish it on anyone, and I'm a mess wondering how much I'd stuck my career.

    Thank you for any response.
     
  2. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Line Up and Wait

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    Sorry about the unfortunate experience. I know that taxi route very well. I don't have much to offer about the FSDO proceedings. As mentionioned, I would keep the chin up and go forward, it's not an insurmountable issue.

    With a busy 'Class B' airport, ground ops needs 120% attention. That's all the more so when unfamiliar, bad weather, newer crew member, or nighttime. Many times you 'give way' but don't follow another aircraft. Cockpit setup & checklists should be accomplished at less critical times during taxi.

    I'd think your NASA form should help. Now you know why PICs get cranky sometimes, and have to double check most everything.
     
  3. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Slow down and calm down. It will take time to process through the system and worrying won't change the result. I can't give advice but here' is a very brief overview. For real advice, your best bet is to talk with a lawyer or other enforcement professional about your specific situation, not take advice from SGOTI.

    As an incursion, it will, as ATC told you, probably be reported up the chain and you are likely to be contacted by an ASI. Probably a week or two depending on how busy your district is. That could be an informal phone call or a more formal letter advising the matter is under investigation, your input is requested, and informing you of your rights under the Pilots Bill of Rights.

    From there, unfortunately, the best I can say is "it depends." The FAA is using a new "compliance philosophy" that leans toward retraining and counseling instead if enforcement and penalties, but it's use an subject to such incident-specific details as how much of a problem, if any, was caused and how the situation came about. And how you respond to the inquire. Yes, saying something may be used against you but saythg the right thing van help. The pat where a professional consult can help most.

    So, the end result can generally run from a simple "go and sin no more" to a temporary certificate suspension, depending on a number of things.

    "What they will see" if you apply for a job depends on what the result is, what the employer asks, and where the employer looks. PRIA pretty much only reports final suspensions and civil penalties. FOIA and Privacy Act inquiries a bit more but with limits. And thete's always the "have you ever" question that might bypass both. The consulting group you are working with (assuming they are working fir you and not an employer) should be able to give you information on career impact of various results.

    Again, your best bet is to contact a professional. That doesn't mean someone who is going to fight with the FAA unnecessarily. It means someone who understands the process and can give advice based on specifics, not generalities.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
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  4. mscard88

    mscard88 Final Approach

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    All I can add is keep a positive and humble attitude when dealing with the FAA. Perhaps find a way to do remedial or similar pertaining to what you did and have that done before you're contacted by the FAA. Sometimes with the right attitude and remedial training that shows you learned from the incident. I was at the regionals for 24 years and we had pilots do things like this. Usually the POI talks to the training department and then training has you undergo remedial training. Not sure how it works on the corporate side. I don't think it will be a career killer as far as the majors but that's my opinion.

    As midlifeflyer mentioned above an aviation attorney would be worth at least the time for a consultation. Good luck.
     
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  5. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Cleared for Takeoff

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    All of the big time employers are going to ask "have you ever...", so it'll a box you'll need to check yes to, regardless of whether you think it's discoverable.

    You could lie about it, but I wouldn't (it's amazing what a small industry this is). Checking yes to that box isn't a deal breaker by any means, and will give you a good interview story where you can impress the panel by owning the mistake and telling them what you learned.

    Sorry it happened, but keep your chin up, and I think you'll be just fine.
     
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  6. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Cleared for Takeoff

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    I realize this isn't the point of your post, but I was trying to follow along your description on the diagram. I'm confused because I don't see how from A --> F you would need to cross runways to get to B (as you said you assumed the route would be). Did you mean to say Lima?

    upload_2016-11-16_10-6-31.png

    A > F > B would've kept you on the same side, no?
     
  7. deonb

    deonb Line Up and Wait

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    Correct, but he was confused as to where B was located - he thought it was on the other side of 1R and was trying to get there.
     
  8. Trust me I understand how things look in the 20/20 rear-view. It was night, lots of movement, and we were told to hold for crossing traffic. I was running over the departure and making sure we had everything setup. I hear instructions so I respond. There was "continue strait on foxtrot then Bravo" segment. I understand that I was mistaken. I do. You do something several thousands of times and it becomes so second nature. I just responded and the co-pilot started taxiing. Seeing as how long he's been flying for you just kind of put your faith in someone. At that position visually I glanced up and "F" was far ahead of us. He started taxiing and it never occurred that we hadn't turned. As I doing a quick run through the FMS and looking at the fixes in my mind there's just a few primal thoughts rolling around the back of it as you are now concentrated on something else for a moment. In my mind there was a right turn that was going to be made. Keep in mind all of this happened in a matter of seconds, like 10, so it wasn't an eternity. I hear "We were given a hold short?" and I say "No". In my mind, again everything is much more clear after the fact, we were given taxi instructions for 1R and at no point in those instructions were we told to hold short anywhere. It hadn't clicked yet that he was about to cross a runway. He says "clear left" and I look and say "Ok clear right" then realize we are halfway onto the runway and for a moment just kind of tell myself "Oh, ok Bravo must be the taxi way coming up". This all happened quickly. There was that subconscious assumption that if the other person was doing it, not sitting there saying "i'm not sure or I don't know", that everything is normal and for a brief moment your mind goes with it.

    I've been through plenty of trainings and CRM trainings. I understand there were obviously errors made. I understand there are many things we could have done differently. There always will be when looking back at something that happened. I've been flying commercially for 10 years and haven't had anything in the past as I've done my best to maintain good practices. I don't like how we alternate seats at work but that's in the past as well.
     
  9. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

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    Move on and learn from it.
     
  10. easy to say but I'm more or less wondering what the FAA can do. Moving on might not be so easy.
     
  11. exncsurfer

    exncsurfer Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yea, I wasn't judging, I didn't realize that you were thinking Bravo was on the other side when I was reading your first account and looking at the diagram. That's what deonb was saying. Now I get it. Thanks for the clarification.
     
  12. brcase

    brcase Cleared for Takeoff

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    You will likely get a phone call from the FSDO, or perhaps a letter requesting you come in for an interview. My recommendation is keep the attitude you have in your 1st post.
    "I screwed up, here's what happened". My experience lately is that the FAA is more interested in finding out what is going wrong and fixing it. Hopefully you will get a letter back from them that says something like the following...

    upload_2016-11-16_14-8-45.png

    A local airport here has reported a record number of runway incursions in the past year. However the FAA FSDO is a bit dubious about this. They suspect they may only have a record number of reports and the actual incursions are about the same. They think this is due to their efforts to encourage reporting and compliance as opposed to enforcement, so controllers are reporting more incursions because they know they and the pilot will probably only get counselling and perhaps some additional training but nothing is going on their permanent record like a certificate action would. The additional information the FSDO is getting is allowing them to provide better signage and procedures to help prevent incursions.

    Brian
    CFIIG/ASEL
     
  13. Ted DuPuis

    Ted DuPuis Super Moderator Management Council Member

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    :yeahthat:

    We all screw up at some point. Screwing up itself is usually not an issue, it's more what you did (or didn't) learn. Your first post showed a good and humble attitude. Keep that up with the FSDO and if it comes up in an interview and I wouldn't expect any issues. It's something that can happen to anyone.
     
  14. Unit74

    Unit74 En-Route

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    Is it a hotspot? Not that it is an excuse, but if it is, the FAA may be more forgiving.

    Just thinking aloud.
     
  15. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    OP, did I read your post correctly? Did you not pull up the chart until after it had already happened?
     
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  16. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    It is marked on the chart as HS-1 which should give rise to a higher level of awareness. At least I believe that is why those are on there.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2016
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  17. Ryanb

    Ryanb Pattern Altitude

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    My thoughts exactly.
     
  18. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And so it begins...
     
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  19. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Line Up and Wait

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    you BOTH need to file nasa forms.

    bob
     
  20. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

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    with no deal;
    -you sweat a lot
    -you feel like crap
    -'perfect' pilots take potshots at you
    -you take your lumps from the FAA
    -you carry on and put it behind you, emerging a better pilot.
     
  21. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    you're an airline guy, they are hurting for folks, I doubt nowadays this will cause you much future career damage.

    side note, did you file a ASAP report on this? thought those were sposed to help cert wise in these types of events
     
  22. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow En-Route

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    But could be less forgiving if it's labeled as a hot spot.
     
  23. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow En-Route

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    Will it be on your record?? If you actually receive a violation, yes, it will be there for life. Will you lose your certificate? Probably not seeing as though you filed a NASA report.
    If you receive a warning I believe it's on your record for a couple of years.
    Regardless, it will be reportable for future jobs (unless they just slap your hand), but certainly not career ending.
     
  24. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Personally, I like the guys who open their souls say much more than they need to often include just the wrong thing said in the wrong way, and then want to fix the damage. It pays much better.
     
  25. Harold Rutila

    Harold Rutila Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There is no statutory requirement for you to call an air traffic control tower when you are advised to call one. Anything you said on that line, which was likely recorded, can be used against you in enforcement proceedings.

    The good news is the post-2015 FAA is a lot gentler when it comes to pilot deviations.
     
  26. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow En-Route

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    But non cooperation usually gets you nowhere.
     
  27. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm all for not talking to the cops, my line is that I mean no disrespect, but any and all questions would need to be routed through my lawyer, I'll ask questions but won't answer any, and I will ask if I'm being detained or if I'm free to go, and I'll go.

    Buuuuuut, this ain't a court of law, it's the FAA, it's administrative, you're guilty until proven innocent, and if they want you you're F'ed, you did screw up, I'd be friendly and treat it as a learning experience, screwing up where all could see and then trying to play lawyer hard ball, you're going to get it broke back mountian style.
     
  28. Zeldman

    Zeldman En-Route

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    As James331 said, it is not a criminal act, therefore you will not be warned that anything you say can and will be used against you. The FAA has many lawyers working for them, and they are all well versed on how to trip you up for a self confession. If asked to write a quick paragraph so this can be quickly cleared up means they want you to write a self confession without actually telling you what they want you to do and that it will be used against you. I learned this from experience.

    Notice I never said do not cooperate, just be smart and be careful.

    Is your company familiar with ASAP? This is one way to volunteer information without it being used against you. I did this twice last summer and I never heard a word from the FAA.

    https://www.faa.gov/about/initiatives/asap/

    Believe me, it is not a career ender, it will not stall your career. Any company that does not like seeing any blemish is a company not worth working for.
     
  29. Harold Rutila

    Harold Rutila Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The bottom line is there was a pretty serious deviation here, and the last thing I would do is call the number and admit to the mistake. The self-admission in this context is a terrible idea. Self-admissions are for ASRS reports, not for recorded phone lines with the FAA.

    OP, given recent changes to the pilot deviation process, I don't know how this will go for you. The new "compliance philosophy" may not apply to something as serious as this. However, I do suggest you talk to a company lawyer, or a third-party lawyer, if you end up receiving the letter in the mail. At that point the FAA will start asking you to confer with them about the issue, which will be mandatory. The ASRS report only protects you from fines -- not certificate action. In any case, I would seek out remedial training on taxi operations starting now, which you may use to show an investigator your good-faith effort to avoid the mistake in the future. They will look with favor on self-initiated remedial training.
     
  30. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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  31. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    The point of the "brasher" has never been to get self admission from the pilot. The whole intent is to inform the pilot of a deviation that they observed on their end and what action will be taken. The controller doesn't have time to tie up a freq with all that information while you've got other pilots listening. It something that should / is handled over a secure phone conversation. I know our phones used to be recorded but had nothing to do with incriminating a pilot. It was for over the phone clearances for pilots departing an uncontrolled airfield in case of an accident.

    If the pilot wants to admit, fine. ATC has more witnesses and proof that they've probably got a tight case anyway. It might even be something (non TARP) they can sweep under the rug and they no intention of logging in the first place. If you don't want to admit, that's fine as well. There's a block on the MOR for pilots who elect not to make a statement. It's not a big deal.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2016
  32. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    It's not quite that bad under current policies, and hasn't been so in many parts of the country for a few years. The FAA these days in fact does warn at the beginning of an investigation that what you say can be used against you. The pilots Bill of Right requires it.

    There are kinks, exceptions, and, of course, inspectors who don't quite buy into the "kinder, gentler" thing. And the policy is still new. I've geven a few talks on it and, each time, there has been something brand new to talk about. But the answer lies somewhere between the conspiratorial "the FAA is out to get you" and the Pollyanna-ish "don't worry about it." Which is why it may be more important than ever to get good individual advice.
     
  33. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Just to clarify, "certificate action" and "certificate suspension" are two different things. One is an enforcement action taken against a pilot that seeks to confirm a violation (find you "guilty" or "responsible" if that helps) for which the potential penalty is the suspension or revocation of a pilot certificate rather than a civil penalty (a "fine"); the other is the penalty.

    For example, the pilot who is found in violation at the end of the "certificate action" process, but uses ASRS to avoid the "certificate suspension" will still have a violation on her pilot records.
     
  34. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Thanks for clarifying that.
     
  35. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pre-Flight

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    Not sure where you are getting your information from with regards to a runway incursion, but you are putting out some serious bogus information here.
     
  36. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pre-Flight

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    And as with most stories, there is much more to this one than the OP is telling here.
     
  37. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    There usually is.
     
  38. Harold Rutila

    Harold Rutila Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I haven't "put out" any new information. I've provided a commentary based on existing information. What "new information" do you believe I have "put out?"
     
  39. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Pre-Flight

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    Let's start here:
    The FAA already has him as PIC on the flight plan he's filed. They also have him on tape, and a controller has witnessed the event. Plus this PIC is operating under 14 CFR Part 135, so by trying to avoid talking to ATC is only going to make his situation worse, not better. And under the current Compliance Philosophy the FAA is seeking compliance and expects the PIC to be compliant.

    Where are you getting this from? This is exactly one of the areas covered under the Compliance Philosophy.


    This PIC is operating under Part 135. His POI (Principal Operations Inspector) will get the Pilot Deviation on the event as well as the tapes. Next step will be the PIC gets a phone call to inquire about the PD. Again, under the CP the FAA is seeking compliance from the PIC and the POI is looking for why the event happened and how it could be avoided in the future.

    It's not mandatory. See the Pilots Bill of Rights. However, by showing a compliant attitude does help the situation and avoids it going to an enforcement.

    This PIC's company has an SMS (Safety Management System) program. The FAA (POI) will contact the company (Chief Pilot or Director of Ops) and discuss. The company can run this through SMS, offer training and document what took place. Once that is complete the company sends the information to the POI and the matter is closed out.

    Under the SMS the risk is identified and mitigated. The SMS may identify that the training program needs to be strengthened on airport taxi, runway incursion and hot spots. The strengthened training in turns helps to mitigate the risk of future incursions.
     
  40. mscard88

    mscard88 Final Approach

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    Have to agree with Doc Holiday. I flew 121 but basically the same deal, and I had a one of these, maybe 2. In my case the training department showed the POI I had my peepee whacked, receiver training on the matter, and that was the end of it.