What taxiway to use when getting off the runway?

Discussion in 'Pilot Training' started by Trogdor, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. Trogdor

    Trogdor Pre-Flight

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    Yesterday, a strange thing happened:

    I landed at a towered airport and when I got on the runway both myself and my CFI swore the ground guy said exit on taxiway A - which we did. Problem: There was another bird coming towards us on the same taxiway. Eventually, ground said we exited on the wrong taxi and after turning around and moving over everything went smoothly. Outside of me looking like a student pilot (which I am btw) nothing actually bad happened.

    Ok. So two questions:

    1) Are there designated exit taxiways off a runway? I didn't think so, and I thought I had the option to exit any taxiway that isn't taken or obstructed off the active before I cross the hold short line and call ground.

    2) Can I choose a different taxiway then what the tower tells me? The reason why I ask is I might not want to step on the brakes or pull back on the yoke so hard just to make a taxiway. I rather pick one I feel comfortable with after I have dissipated enough energy on the ground.

    I read the FAR/AIM and I didn't see much regarding this other than listen to ATC when instructed to. But what are my options getting off a runway in a towered airport?
     
  2. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Either follow the instructions, which it appears you made an honest attempt to do, or exit at the first taxiway, then follow instructions given by ground or the tower.
     
  3. GaryM

    GaryM Pre-takeoff checklist

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    You'll probably get more knowledgeable replies than mine, but:

    1) I've not heard of designated exit taxiways; exiting on the first taxiway that is both suitable and available seems to be what is expected.

    2) If time allows, ask the tower for the taxiway you want if they give you one you don't want; otherwise say 'unable' if you can't get slowed enough to make the taxiway you've been given. That may cause someone to have to go around or otherwise mess up the tower's planned traffic flow, but if you can't make the taxiway, they'll have to accommodate.
     
  4. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    By "ground guy" do you mean Ground Control? It would be very unusual you would be talking to him until after you have exited the Runway. What airport was this? The Taxiways that exit and enter the Runway often have numbers, like A1, A2 etc. Maybe you missed the number. AIM 4-3-20 tells you all about getting off the Runway. It starts with this

    a. Exit the runway without delay at the first available taxiway or on a taxiway as instructed by ATC.
     
  5. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    "Unable." You are not required to follow an instruction that you cannot safely comply with. Communicate and be prepared to explain yourself, but don't hurt yourself or your airplane. I once had tower while on short final ask me if I could make the first taxiway, for traffic behind me. I said I thought so. He clear me to land and instructed me to exit the runway "without delay." I was too fast for the first taxiway, so I took the second. The Grumman crawling up my butt went around, and tower asked me, "What happened to the first taxiway?" I just said I was unable and that was it.
     
  6. Trogdor

    Trogdor Pre-Flight

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    Ground control and tower that day I think were the same guy (I think). KTTN.
     
  7. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You got a good lesson, controllers screw up too, remember it and don't feel so bad when you screw up.
     
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  8. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    As others have said, use the first available or the one directed IF possible to do. That being said, controllers are human and make mistakes too.

    One example I have encountered. I was landing after a larger jet, and decided to land a little long to avoid wake turbulence. As I was in the flare, the controller asked me to exit Taxiway C, which I saw in my peripheral vision flashing by as the wheels chirped. Uh yeah, not going to make that one.
     
  9. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

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    Normally exit at the first taxiway unless otherwise instructed. It's normally more important to clear the runway than the taxiway, sometimes not. For example, the other day, I got instruction to taxi almost to the end and exit there because there were aircraft moving on the parallel taxiway.

    And yeah, controllers can mess up too. If you're curious, LiveATC.com probably has archives of the frequency, so you can go back and listen. Sometimes instructive to listen to it again because it will sound different.
     
  10. Badger

    Badger Pattern Altitude

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    Besides info above:
    It's ok to call tower and say that you missed taxiway exit as instructed. They may give you the next one or they may say turn 180 and taxi back to that exit.
     
  11. GaryM

    GaryM Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yesterday was a nice day to fly, though the closest I got to TTN was Central Jersey, and Solberg. I always thought Trenton managed to have an impressively confusing array of taxiways, for such a comparatively small airport. I prefer the simplicity of my home base of Morristown.
     
  12. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Is there a liveatc clip to listen to so it can be determined what was said?
     
  13. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    ya didn't miss a number. A is A. There's nothing in the AF/D or any Notams about Txy A. Based on what you said, controller was wrong. Perhaps the 'tribal knowledge' at that Tower is exiting on taxiways that require more than a 90 degree turn(i'm assuming you landed 24) is a no no. That's wrong. I'd get they're phone number and have a chat with them about this. If they give you any flack and you're up for being confrontational, tell them to read 3-10-9 in the 7110.65 and then file an ASRS. Or just file an ASRS. It isn't about you getting a get out of jail free card which you obviously don't need. It's about identifying problems in the system. The get out of jail free thang is nothing more than a way of encouraging problems to be identified.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
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  14. Trogdor

    Trogdor Pre-Flight

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  15. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    He says "left turn at alpha and juliet back to 6." But it was fast and mumbled and nonstandard.
     
  16. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Ah, Runway 6. Well, ya didn't waste runway, nice approach. Odd he said the runway is behind you instead of Juliet.
     
  17. Boone

    Boone Ejection Handle Pulled

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    He expected you to taxi back to the hold short because that’s what you asked for.
     
  18. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    did that controller have a mouthful of peanut butter? Damn.
     
  19. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    He said Alpha to Juliet, which made sense. So he didn't screw up. You should have had a taxi diagram out. Fore flight is good for this.

    Part of your pre flight should be to look at taxi ways and figure out a likely route and tower generally expects you to know the routes if you don't tell them otherwise. But you were training so you get a pass for that. I'll pull a taxi diagram as part of my pre landing routine just to get familiar.

    He spoke quickly and wasn't too clear. He must get extra money for that. You also didn't read back the taxi instructions, you should do that every time. It's a good check to make sure you have the instructions correct. Here we are required to read back taxi instructions and run way with call sign.

    At the end of the day, it wasn't a big deal, and it usually isn't, until it is. Your CFI should have stepped in, but maybe he was letting you learn a lesson.

    For your specific questions,

    1. Generally you get off at the first taxiway you are able. As you fly faster airplanes it may or may not be the first taxiway you get to. I'm flying a Cirrus 22 now, sometimes I need more runway and brakes are expensive. If they tell me a taxiway I can't get slow enough for, I just say "unable".

    2. See one, if they ask you to turn at a taxiway, you should do it if you can, if you can't you need to tell them. Just say unable. Missing turns while taxiing can get you in trouble if you interfere with someone else. Don't rush, I always write down taxi instructions, then look at a taxi diagram. I force myself to do it for airports that I know well just to reinforce the habit
     
  20. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Now I'm wondering. Anyone ever get Taxi instructions that were Romeo and Juliet? Todays challenge is find an airport where it could happen.
     
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  21. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

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    At most of the towered airports where I land, it kinda goes like this.

    Me: silent on radio during final moments of landing - touchdown happens.

    Tower: watches my landing, estimates which taxiway I'll probably make.

    Tower: Lance 817, turn left at taxiway Alpha-Five, and contact ground point seven.

    Me: (if I can make it) Left at Alpha-Five. 817. (done).
    Me: (if I can't make it) 817 is unable Alpha-Five. Is Alpha-Seven okay?

    Tower: (if okay) Sure thing, Lance 817, turn left at Alpha-Seven and contact ground.
    Tower: (if unable) Lance 817, I have multiple 747s blocking Alpha-Seven, turn left at the end and contact ground.

    Me: Left at the end and contact ground. Lance 817. (done).
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
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  22. NoHeat

    NoHeat En-Route

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    ORD has JJ and RR

    4C6228A3-DB27-42C8-B999-5443E9F90C55.jpeg
     
  23. Trogdor

    Trogdor Pre-Flight

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    Yeah, but I was landing. How the heck was I suppose to write down those taxi instructions while landing (or I was just hitting the ground I don't recall)?

    I think my mistake then was not calling ground right after getting off on Alpha. I kinda freaked when I saw opposing traffic coming my way.
     
  24. Seanaldinho

    Seanaldinho Pattern Altitude

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    It gets easier with time. During training your mind can be so task-saturated that anything new or unexpected creates even more mental backlog. Start to anticipate which side of the runway you want to exit and then start looking for the taxiway signs. Unfamiliar airports make this difficult too.

    Controllers also shouldn't make it a habit to give you instructions before you start to slow up but it happens.

    When you are on the runway, it is your runway, don't do anything unsafe or stretch the capabilities of yourself or the airframe to meet what the controller wants. Judging the talent of the airframe and yourself is also a skill that comes with time. In my PPL training at a busy field without a tower, I saw 6 planes lined up for departure and so after landing, tried to get off the runway quick and force using a taxiway I shouldn't have - I learned that C150s don't drift too well but kept the dirty side down and didn't quite flat spot the tires. My instructor looked at me, saw the look of horror, chuckled, and said "You won't be trying anything that stupid again for quite some time."

    Its a lot more embarrassing to foul a runway with a broken plane than it is to take another minute to taxi to the next one. Just live and learn from the situation.
     
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  25. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Pattern Altitude

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    Years ago when I was training at KSYR, where there's a lot of commercial and military traffic and long runways, we little bugsmashers would always request Juliet for takeoff. She never showed up...
     
  26. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You hadn't landed yet? I would've told him stand by, or just not answered. I'm not a big fan of getting taxi instructions while slowing down on the runway, but sometimes they do it. I've never gotten taxi instructions in the air. I think the tower controller expected you to stay with him, but he should have said that. I've had times where I was focused on handling the airplane, got a taxi instruction, read it back, then get off the runway and thought to myself "where am I supposed to go again"? I just call them back and ask. Sometimes you can hear a little testiness in their voice, just ignore that and keep at them until you understand. Write it down, and have a taxi diagram in your lap or on your avionics when you taxi. All good habits.

    Like I said before, things like this are great learning experiences. We need to make sure we get what we need out of controllers and that we understand what they want.
     
  27. Vance Breese

    Vance Breese Line Up and Wait

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    In my opinion the student’s job is to make mistakes and the instructor’s job to make teachable moments out of the mistakes.

    I have found it helpful to look at the airport diagram as part of my flight preparation. Most flight planning software will print out an airport diagram and I identify my destination and the best way to get there. Sometimes the taxi instructions may have multiple taxiways and hold short instructions that should be read back.

    It looks to me like the only way to get to runway six full length is Alpha Juliet.

    I have found if I know what to expect a somewhat garbled transmission becomes understandable.

    At the airports I frequent with an operating control tower they expect me to read back instructions so they know communication took place.

    I have my clients say student pilot on initial contact in the hopes the controller will slow down and expect the potential for inappropriate responses. It does not always have the desired effect.

    If it is a new to me airport I will say unfamiliar on initial contact.
     
  28. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

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    QFT
     
  29. Salty

    Salty Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I’ve found the corollary to also be true.

    When It not something I’m expecting, a perfectly clear message sounds completely garbled.
     
  30. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Always take the reverse high-speed taxiway !
     
  31. keen9

    keen9 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I try very hard to ignore taxi instructions while still landing to the point that I will ask the controller to "say again" even if I think I heard it all. Trains me and the controller to not do that (even more important with no training wheel!).
     
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  32. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I wait to reply until I'm sure that talking won't distract me from keeping the airplane under control.
     
  33. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    First taxi way you can safely turn off at or directions of the controller.
     
  34. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    Not 2 taxiways but got something similar a few times:

    I was on Romeo lane and ATIS was often Juliet. So it sounded even better "Ground, Skylane, Romeo with Juliet taxi for for southwest departure" :)
     
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  35. Vance Breese

    Vance Breese Line Up and Wait

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    More common is at taxiway Romeo with information Juliet.
     
  36. woodchucker

    woodchucker Cleared for Takeoff

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    Depending on the airport you may be given specific requests (not instructions per se) such as “cleared to land 17 if able exit K7” ... etc. My experience is flying out of a Bravo they need to ensure the runway is available for a Lear hot on your six. I’ve also been given the instruction to land long (on a 12,000 foot runway) to expedite exiting the runway because the taxiway exit they wanted me to utilize was about 8000 feet down the runway.

    These are the joys of flying out of a busy towered airport. You are still the pilot, and need to make the decisions based on what you and your plane are capable of. But the controllers appreciate us bugmashers being able to blend in to help traffic flow.

    When you are a student flying solo make sure you let tower know you are a student pilot. They will go out of their way to help you as much as possible.
     
  37. RomeoTango

    RomeoTango Filing Flight Plan

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    You would think VRN (Verona, Italy) would have taxiway Romeo and Juliet. But it does not appear to be the case.
     
  38. steingar

    steingar Taxi to Parking

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    Get off the first taxiway you can that doesn't have conflicting traffic.
     
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  39. danhagan

    danhagan Pattern Altitude

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    I can see get exciting with head on taxi traffic. I've had that the past TWO flights and they just kept coming at the pilot controlled field I fly out of ... BOTH times they were head down and not on frequency:mad::mad::mad:
     
  40. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Makes too much sense :D

    But yes, situational awareness applies to taxi too.