who has right of way, backtaxi vs landing aircraft?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by rbridges, Apr 25, 2021.

  1. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Pattern Altitude

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    Look back at post #1. The situation is a back-taxing aircraft that has the choice of exiting on a taxiway that does not connect to his parking location to allow the landing aircraft to land or continuing past that available taxiway which will result in the other aircraft going-around.
     
  2. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    The OP wrote:
    The taxiiway is closed due to FBO construction, so you have to backtaxi on the runway.​

    Is he obligated to exit onto a closed taxiway? He will still need to back-taxi on the runway.

    If the plane on the runway has the right-of-way, and I believe he does, it's his call. He should exit as quickly as he can, but it's still his decision to make.
     
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  3. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    What's silly is that if you take the AIM to mean what Larry in TN is, you'd have to exit every closed taxiway, and every other taxiway you come upon along the way, even if there is nobody else in the area.

    The AIM he is quoting has nothing to do with "If someone is in the downwind", it's ALWAYS. So you'd have to exit the first available taxiway, even if it doesn't go where you are going, and keep doing that one taxiway at a time I guess until you finally manage to get there. If you're going to apply a general AIM statement in such a draconian fashion as he is, then you've got to do what I just described.
     
  4. Witmo

    Witmo Pattern Altitude

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    Thanks for offering your rationalizations but based on the responses, you are in the minority. I agree with others that a landing has not concluded until you vacate the runway in use. An aircraft on final cannot dictate anything another pilot does. Every pilot has to fly his own airplane and if the runway he intends to land at is occupied, he has to deal with it by going around if a safe landing is in question. I've returned to land with 200 ft of tow rope dangling after towing a glider only to find someone walking across the threshold as I was on short final and about to release the rope . I radioed glider ground ops to get that person off the runway and clear of the rope drop area as I went around. Schmitt happens and you deal with it. I didn't have a tissy fit and chase down the person that made me go around.
     
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  5. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Pattern Altitude

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    The runway exit wasn't closed, the taxiway that connected that runway exit to the ramp on which he parks was closed.

    Then why does the regulation say that aircraft on Final have the right-of-way over aircraft on the surface. You're saying that aircraft on the surface have the right-of-way over aircraft on Final.

    It says no such thing. A closed taxiway is not an available taxiway. The OP said that there was an available taxiway, onto which he did temporarily exit, it just didn't connect to where he parks his airplane because of construction.
     
  6. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach

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    My understanding was the taxiway he exited on did not connect to anything. It was closed. He stated there was barely enough room to make a 180 to re-enter the runway. At least that’s what I thought I read. Perhaps the OP can clarify
     
  7. Salty

    Salty Final Approach

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    Doesn’t change how silly it would be to pull off and do a 180 if there’s nobody around. And then pull off at taxiway B, because it’s the next “first available” taxiway, do another 180, and so on for every taxiway along the runway to your destination.
     
  8. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    See the airport diagram earlier in the thread. The taxiway was open between A and B. He temporarily exited at B. (His ultimate destination was near C.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
  9. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

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    I shifted over and landed on a taxiway once, because an airplane appeared to be disabled on the runway. It was a pretty common procedure at that airport anyway because it cut a few minutes off the taxi time to the restaurant. :D
     
  10. HighCountry

    HighCountry Pre-Flight

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    No, he isn't. Per the reg he's saying the "aircraft attempting to make way" has right-of-way which is correct. Aircraft on the surface, such as those about to take the runway for departure, must yield to the approaching aircraft. The approaching aircraft must yield to the aircraft attempting to make way. You're still trying to apply an expedience or best practices constraint per the AIM, to negate the "attempt to make way" exception for approaching aircraft's right-of-way by converting that aircraft's status to "surface" if they don't meet your personal criteria. Per the reg only, no such limitation exists.

    Correct and he was forced to do so by the approaching aircraft. It's clear you really dislike that "attempt to make way" exception, but it's there for good reason.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
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  11. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The dispute is whether "attempting to make way" means using the first available exit. (I don't have an opinion on that.)
     
  12. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    First, there's more to the "surface" of an airport than the runway. For example, an aircraft on final has right-of-way over an aircraft on the surface at the hold-short line. Or over an aircraft waiting to cross the runway.

    Second, you're ignoring the "exception" part of the rule:
    ...except that they shall not take advantage of this rule to force an aircraft off the runway surface which has already landed and is attempting to make way for an aircraft on final approach.
    The aircraft on approach cannot force a plane on the runway to take whichever runway exit the pilot on approach might want him to. The plane on the runway is in the process of exiting, but it's his call where and how he exits, and the plane on approach cannot force him off the runway.

    Consider this: if the plane on final lands and collides with the plane on the runway, who do you think will get charged? Can you imagine the pilot saying, "Yeah, I knew he was still on the runway, but I had the right-of-way and he should have exited?"
     
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  13. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    I would contend that decision is left to the judgement of the pilot on the runway. No one else is in a better position to make the call.
     
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  14. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach

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    I’ll take your word for it.
     
  15. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Makes sense to me. I just don't know what the FAA would say.
     
  16. HighCountry

    HighCountry Pre-Flight

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    attempt
    verb: to make an effort at; try; undertake; seek

    Check your favorite dictionary, there's nothing here either about a need to conclude the attempt ASAP. An attempt takes as long as it needs to. The aircraft that landed makes their attempt at their leisure, giving them full authority to exit the runway where they choose using whatever method they choose.
     
  17. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

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    Isn’t anyone on a runway attempting to exit it, either by taxiing off or by taking off? I don’t think I’ve ever seen someone parked on the runway and having a picnic...
     
  18. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Maybe not having a picnic, but taking enough time to have one. Happened to me a few times while on final.
     
  19. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Just do a 360º on final for spacing ... that'll take care of it! :rolleyes:
     
  20. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Pattern Altitude

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    At the distance I've seen some student pilots take up landing with the little too much speed and altitude, I'd be hesitant to sit at the end of the runway waiting for them to land. :biggrin:

    Besides, going around is good practice for the student.
     
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  21. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Nope, I checked here: Make way for someone - Idioms by The Free Dictionary
     
  22. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Minority in terms of what? Hours logged, airports landed at, years flown, licenses and ratings earned or people present?
     
  23. Witmo

    Witmo Pattern Altitude

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    Really? Am we supposed to be awed by the number of hours or years you've flown? Perhaps a better argument would convince people that you're right. Your licenses and ratings certainly don't.
     
  24. HighCountry

    HighCountry Pre-Flight

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  25. SkyChaser

    SkyChaser Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This is why it's best to only fly out of airports without full-length taxiways. No one tells you to get off the runway while landing because there's nowhere to get off to! ;)
     
  26. Piper18O

    Piper18O Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It seems there are two schools of thought here. One is that the landing plane on final in this scenario has the right of way, and the other is that the plane that is on the surface having already landed and is back taxiing has the right of way. If you believe the plane on the surface has the right of way, you believe he doesn’t have to give way to the plane on final because the plane on the runway isn’t done landing yet, and won’t be done landing until he is at the exit where he can access his hanger. Therefore, he does not have to give way to the plane on final.

    This at first glance seems reasonable, but I have to go back to Oshkosh 2019. After I landed, the tower told me to exit the runway onto the grass to make way for the plane on final. The plane on final didn't declare an emergency, and I hadn't reached a taxiway exit either. It was apparent to me that now that I was on the ground and had slowed down somewhat, that I needed to give way to the plane on final, even though he hadn't declared an emergency or wasn't under any duress. Based on that experience, it would seem that the plane on final did have the right of way over me, and I was being instructed to make way for him. I mean if I was still the landing traffic, I shouldn't have had to make way for the guy behind me, he should have had to go around because I wasn't done "landing" yet.

    I just think that the process played out exactly as the FAR's intended them to. The OP pulled off the runway, giving the plane on final the right of way. Again, I think the CFI handled it very poorly, but the OP did as the regs required. After all, the OP was operating on the surface, and since he was operating on the surface, he was required to give the right of way to the CFI on final. The OP wasn't forced of the runway, like I described in post 268, or even like I described my landing at OSH. He gave way to the CFI by pulling off the runway at a taxiway exit. It did not matter that It didn't go where he eventually wanted to end up.

    In my landing at OSH in 2019, I wanted to slow down at a more gradual rate. Instead, I had to break harder and pull off onto the grass more quickly than I really wanted to. It was no big deal. We shouldn't be making that big of a deal on this thread either.
     
  27. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Don't ever let discussions like this steer you away from a type of airport. The OP in this scenario handled it well. The CFI in this scenario, as posted by the OP, is kind of a toad. At the end of the day if you find yourself in a situation like this and can help the pilot on final, do it. But, if for some reason you can't help, just say unable, and back taxi, don't ever let someone behind you put you into an uncomfortable spot. Or anyone at all for that matter.
     
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  28. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    I didn't mean to refer to just myself, rather the weight of the entire minority of which I'm merely one.
    Oh you have time alright, up until the plane on final reaches you.
     
  29. Piper18O

    Piper18O Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Coming up on nearly 8 full pages. Last Sunday, I would have put the over/under at about 2. :D
     
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  30. HighCountry

    HighCountry Pre-Flight

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    The regulation as written is quite clear which one of these is correct. That was all the OP was asking.

    This is incorrect and inconsistent with the regulation as written, which is specific to aircraft that has just landed and is attempting to make way. That aircraft is not "surface" traffic until it has exited the runway. Your OSH scenario is at a towered airport and there was no inconsistency there either.

    The OP was forced to leave the runway surface. The landing aircraft directed him to leave the runway surface earlier than he had intended. I really don't see how you can read that as anything but being forced to leave the runway surface.

    The fallacy in your argument is if "making way" truly has to be completed at the earliest possible opportunity no matter the circumstances, then there's no need for the exception to exist at all. What is your scenario that is consistent with the exception in the reg yet still requires the landed aircraft to exit immediately? Wouldn't the aircraft approaching to land always have right-of-way? After all, the aircraft that just landing is presumably required to exit immediately anyway, so there's no need for this exception at all. This assertion has all kinds of negative safety implications. If you read the reg as written there is no conflict in the exception and the safety benefits are obvious, both to the plane on the ground and the one approaching. The next time you land at an untowered field and your destination is on one side of the runway, but the first exit is on the other side of the runway and is effectively a dead end to you, choose wisely.

    Thankfully the reg was written the way it was to protect the aircraft that has just landed on the runway and has little to no situational awareness of the aircraft that is approaching (from behind or possibly even opposite direction). You are granted the authority to exit the runway however you feel safest to do so, and any approaching aircraft is prohibited from pressuring you into making that choice.

    Frankly it's astonishing how many are so quick to give up their right-of-way to the approaching traffic, and I'm not sure if it's because they envision themselves as the aircraft that just landed and like to be submissive to the (possibly) approaching aircraft, or if they're the approaching aircraft and wish to enjoy a sense of authority over the poor soul that just landed and is trying to get out of their way (and might not even be aware of their existence). Either way it's dangerous behavior and should be discouraged. Be safe out there!
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
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  31. tspear

    tspear En-Route

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    @Piper18O

    At Osh, the airport in that situation is a towered airport. The Rges have specific rules covering it, and include spacing and other requirements.
    None of which apply to an non-towered airport.

    So you can skip the whole story. It does not apply.

    Tim
     
  32. HighCountry

    HighCountry Pre-Flight

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    And since we're just talking specifically what the regulation states, and not what I would do as a matter of practicality, it's clear that I still have the right-of-way and the plane on final must yield. Which means a whole lot of nothing in the heat of the moment, so I hope both make wise decisions.
     
  33. FORANE

    FORANE En-Route

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    Comm broke, watch for finger.
     
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  34. Piper18O

    Piper18O Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I would say that there is no need to state that the plane on final has the right of way. It should read that the airplane that hasn't arrived at his hanger has the right of way. Until he gets there, he is still a landing aircraft. Don't you think that would clearly apply in this scenario?
     
  35. HighCountry

    HighCountry Pre-Flight

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    It absolutely needs to identify the aircraft on final has right-of-way over surface traffic so that those about to enter the runway must yield. However you still need to give the plane that just landed an opportunity to identify, process, and decide on a safe exit from the runway. That's covered by the exception to the landing aircraft's right-of-way. As written it works quite well and makes sense. The alternate interpretation with implicit / unwritten requirements is nonsense.
     
  36. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    Ok, I'll bite as well.
    The OP stated I think , that he did not hear traffic behind him. Not sure what that was about. Landing at an uncontrolled field I start talking 10 miles before entering the downwind and report about every 2 miles.

    The OP was between the end of the runway back taxing with a closed taxiway between him and his destination. If there was room to pull off at the closed taxiway he should pull over and give way for the landing traffic. Communication was the problem here.

    The CFI should have tried to talk to the OP about his intentions.

    The OP had the runway to the point as he felt it safe to leave the runway, period.
     
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  37. HighCountry

    HighCountry Pre-Flight

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    Agree with all that you wrote, but also consider that not all aircraft at untowered fields have a radio and some that have a radio may choose not to use it. See and avoid dominates and radio is complementary.
     
  38. Piper18O

    Piper18O Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The regulation is written in such a way to give us guidance, while providing a measure of safety for all involved. This, or any other law or regulation in flying or even in life will never work if each one of us can only think about ourselves, and are more concerned about the loopholes we can take advantage of. If the plane on the surface can only think of himself and not the plight of his fellow pilot or vice-versa, the animosity towards our fellow man will only make things worse. Anger and bitterness towards each other will increase. All of our quality of lives will continue to get worse and worse until we all throw up our hands and say, “What is the use anymore?” The OP should be thinking “I can easily pull off and wait a minute for the sake of safety and let the guy on final land.” If the guy on final sees that the guy back taxiing is caught between exits and will have to pull into a wet a soggy infield, than he should go around. For crying out loud, we should all stop trying to figure out who can we dominate, and instead figure out who can we help! My guts are full on this thread and I can’t take it anymore. Sorry for having to spill them.
     
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  39. HighCountry

    HighCountry Pre-Flight

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    There are two discussions going on in this thread; one addressing the polite / considerate thing to do which relies heavily on AIM guidance and a presumption of situational awareness, while the other is specific to FAR 91.113 (g) text and determination of right-of-way. The two are not necessarily in conflict, but it's still incorrect to combine the two and claim regulatory meaning beyond what is written in FAR 91.113 (g). This intermixing of discussions coupled with some passionate opinions is why we're 8 pages deep :) This is PoA, without molehills there wouldn't be mountains.
     
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2021
  40. Daleandee

    Daleandee Cleared for Takeoff

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    :yeahthat: