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Old 12-27-2013, 04:28 PM
Greg Arehart's Avatar
Greg Arehart Greg Arehart is offline
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Delta, CO/Atlin, BC
Posts: 2,437
Default Who owns the runway?

I had an event (don't want to call it an "incident") today that made me wonder about runway "ownership." I think I know the answer but here's what happened. I taxiied out to the runway and backtaxied to the end of runway 16 (no taxiway here). As I started taxiing onto the runway, I announced my intentions. A bonanza driver then announced that he was 2.6 out from the airport, planning on landing. I told him that I was taxiing down the runway and would get out of the way as soon as possible. I turned around at the end of the runway and was running up the engine when - whoosh - overhead, the guy just lands over the top of me. Note that there is a displaced threshold at this airport, and he did land beyond the threshold. But it did kind of scare the pejesus out of me and my first-time-flying-in-a-little-airplane passenger to see this guy come in only maybe 40 feet above us.

So, I was always taught that whoever is on the runway "owns" the runway completely until that aircraft is either in the air (on takeoff) or clear of the active runway (on landing). [For the record, this is a non-towered airport.] I thought this guy should have either gone around or otherwise delayed his landing. Am I correct?

Cheers, and happy new year.
Greg Arehart
RV-9B (Big tires) Tipup @AJZ or CYSQ
N 7965A
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:37 PM
Mel's Avatar
Mel Mel is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
Posts: 11,228
Default OPINION!

If the guy was on final, then the runway is his. The question is; where does final begin? In my opinion, 2.5 miles is NOT in the pattern.

On the other side of the coin, if there is no taxiway, run-up should be done before entering the runway.
Mel Asberry, DAR since the last century. Over 1,000 certifications accomplished. Discount for Veterans, Law Enforcement, Fire Fighters.
EAA Flight Advisor/Tech Counselor, Friend of the RV-1
Recipient of Tony Bingelis Award and Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:46 PM
jim plaster jim plaster is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: N.C.
Posts: 144
Default Poor piloting

IMHO....I feel he should have delayed his landing until you took off. What if he had engine issues on final and landed short of the displaced threshold. I agree with Mel on doing the run up prior to getting on the runway. I probably would have " discussed" the Bonanza drivers poor piloting skills with him....but that's just me!
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:47 PM
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cfiidon cfiidon is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Arizona
Posts: 657
Default My Opinion

If he announced 2.6 out and the GPS airport center is in the middle, then he was probably less than 2.4 out. That's not far in a Bonanza. If you were close to the taxiway you entered on perhaps you should have turned and cleared.

I think the guy flying always has the right of way over the guy on the ground. Sounds like you required too much time to back taxi and get going. Some additional communication might have been in order as a courtesy.

That said, if he knew you were there and landed over top of you without coordination, he's an idiot.

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Old 12-27-2013, 04:53 PM
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SMO SMO is offline
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Salmon Arm, BC
Posts: 933

Can't answer the legal question, but I regularly fly out of a non-towered airport without taxiways. It is a Mandatory Frequency airport.

My procedure is to do all my checks and runup on the ramp, then call backtracking 10 - 15 seconds before entering the runway to give others time to respond. I always look both ways regardless of how the wind is blowing to see if anyone is coming NORDO. If someone calls with an inbound position I decide whether I have time to backtrack and takeoff without interfering with their operation. If I don't think I have this much time before their arrival I wait.
Mark Olson
1987 RV-4 Sold
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Old 12-27-2013, 04:55 PM
rv4bill rv4bill is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: orlando
Posts: 187

I would have announced my intention BEFORE entering and starting to backtaxi onto the runway. Then, when bonanza driver said he was 2.6 miles out, or 1 minute 20 seconds out, I would have waited for him to land before entering the active runway..
Bill Whidden
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Old 12-27-2013, 05:22 PM
ArlingtonRV ArlingtonRV is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Marysville, WA
Posts: 574

(g) Landing. Aircraft, while on final approach to land or while landing, have the right-of-way over other aircraft in flight or operating on the surface, 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. When two or more aircraft are approaching an airport for the purpose of landing, the aircraft at the lower altitude has the right-of-way, but it shall not take advantage of this rule to cut in front of another which is on final approach to land or to overtake that aircraft.

As previously mentioned "where does final begin."

Of course, flying a standard pattern would answer that question and make it easier to see what is happening on the surface prior to landing.
Steve Rush
Arlington, WA
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Old 12-27-2013, 06:14 PM
NASA515 NASA515 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Hansville, Washington
Posts: 536

Radios are great inventions. What we have here is "a failure to communicate." I think these sorts of conflicts are a daily occurrence and I'm always coordinating with the other pilot(s) to sort out who is doing what so we can all fly safely.

On the other hand, I recently had some gal in a low wing something-or-other report she was on downwind behind me, had me in sight and would follow me. I called Base and the next thing I knew she was off my left wing calling turning Final, with no Base call. Yikes! Obviously, she never saw me and could have run right up my tailpipe.

I called her and told her I didn't appreciate her "following me" by cutting me out of the pattern - to which she replied with a giggle "Sorry about that."

Bob Bogash
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Old 12-27-2013, 06:18 PM
jbDC9 jbDC9 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 912

Originally Posted by cfiidon View Post
If he announced 2.6 out and the GPS airport center is in the middle, then he was probably less than 2.4 out. That's not far in a Bonanza. If you were close to the taxiway you entered on perhaps you should have turned and cleared.
Yeah, but... saying you're 2.6 miles "out" is pretty vague. Is that a 2.6 mile final? Maybe 2.6 miles W to cross over to an E downwind to slow down and fly a Boeing sized pattern? 2.6 (or even 2.4) miles "out" isn't really in the pattern yet. I'd have done the same as Greg did. I will say that IMHO the Bonanza driver was an idiot for landing over the top without even a brief radio discussion to the guy on the ground; that's just plain stupid.

Just my opinion of course.
John Bixby
RV-8 QB sn 82030 - 1st flight Nov 2006
1850 hrs
Houston, TX
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Old 12-27-2013, 06:23 PM
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n5lp n5lp is offline
fugio ergo sum
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Carlsbad, NM
Posts: 1,912

Originally Posted by NASA515 View Post
...I called her and told her I didn't appreciate her "following me" by cutting me out of the pattern - to which she replied with a giggle "Sorry about that."

Bob Bogash
At least she was on the radio. I had a little conversation with a package carrier twin Cessna pilot yesterday after I saw him on a long straight in final when I was on base. I had to break off to avoid him.

On the ground I informed him in person that his transmitter was not working. Oh, isn't the frequency xxxx? Well as a matter of fact it isn't. I wonder how long he had been flying this route daily while picking some random wrong frequency?

Always important to look around even at a low traffic airport in the boondocks.
Larry Pardue
Carlsbad, NM

RV-6 N441LP Flying
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