Overrun!

December 4, 2008 by Bruce Landsberg

Triangles mark end of touchdown zone at ANP.

In the December issue of AOPA Pilot I wrote about Southwest Airlines B737 sliding off the end of Runway 31C at Chicago’s Midway airport. It was a one in a million sequence of events and pointed up significant holes in the system despite a phenomenal safety record. In GA, though, we have aircraft crashing with some regularity off short runways.

John Cutcher, who’s a pilot examiner at the Baltimore FSDO and based at Lee airport (ANP) in Annapolis, MD came up with a clever idea that would mark the end of the first third of the runway. You’ll recall what your first CFI told you about always landing in the first third. The runway here is 2,500 long but only 2,170 feet are available for landing. With obstacles and a 4 degree approach path one needs to be on speed and altitude. And Annapolis has had more than it’s share of accidents – usually with transients.

A different marking scheme at Potomac MD, (VKX).

So, we’re told to land in the first third but it’s not marked in any way. John persuaded the management at ANP to paint a triangle at the appropriate point. See the picture. Not on the ground and braking by the time the triangle marks pass? Go around.

John’s proposal is to make this a standard marking on all runways less than 3,000 feet. I like the idea. What do you think?

Bruce Landsberg
President, AOPA Foundation

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58 Responses to “Overrun!”

  1. Jim McCord Says:

    Bruce,

    I’ve noticed several runways that have a “1/2″ sign at the midpoint of the runway. This might be a less expensive, and easier to see (especially if you’ve got the nose up in the flare as it goes by), alternative. While 1/2 is a bit more than 1/3, if you are not on the runway and slowing, or in the air and climbing, that is a good point to abort. Although the suggestion was for runways less than 3000′ (and implied for use as a landing aid), it would be nice to have something that helped for takeoffs as well, and at high density altitude airports (ref the Santa Rosa NM accident this summer), so maybe it should be adjusted based on summer time density altitude equivalent length of sea level 3000′.

    Final point: I’m not keen on additional costs (for me or airports) or regulations, so will continue to do my part in training my students to land properly :-)

  2. James S. Simon, M.D. Says:

    How about a sequence of pulsing lights similar to ILS but on the sides of the runway that ends when the 1/3 runs out, In the case of the Southwest accident at Midway the snow would cover the runway markings.
    Jim Simon, M.D.
    Senior Ame
    Instrument rated since 1968

  3. James S. Simon, M.D. Says:

    great concept to work out

  4. Aaron Carr Says:

    As a manager of a small (3456′ x 30′) airport I think this is a great idea. I also agree with previous comments that a sign or flashing lights might be better. However, smaller airports usually come with smaller budgets. We may not be able to afford signs or lights but we certainly have paint. Again – great idea.

  5. Dale Armstrong Says:

    Great idea except here in Minnesota where the runway may be covered or at least obscured by other white stuff for a large part of the year. A sign or light at 800 feet then a second at 1000 feet may be cheaper and eaiser for the pilot as well as the airport manager.

  6. Don Kollar Says:

    Maybe I’m misinterpreting what I believe is meant by the “triangle” on the runway. If it is what I think I’m seeing, it seems to me that this a rather expensive attempt to do what a wide line painted across the runway at the appropriate point would do. That would save paint and labor costs and be equally effective. Variations of the “line” such as color and physical characteristics (dashed/slanted etc) could be used to differentiate it from other “markers”.

  7. Valerie Vaughn Says:

    Many airports have a windsock or taxi turn off at midfield that can be used as a go/no go decision point for take offs or landings. A quick look at an approach plate or airport layout will verify what features you have to work with.

    My guess is pilots that think about these things aren’t the ones that are overrunning runways.

  8. Dave Howard Says:

    As an instructor, I already teach my students that if they can’t touch-down in the first 1/3 they must go-around. So far simply being aware of that requirement has been sufficient. I think everyone smart enough to get a pilot’s license is also smart enough to visualize 1/3 runway length. Still, additional markings would be helpful, but should be left to the discression of airport management as to what specific markings would be most cost-effective and appropriate.

    I think a combination or signs and paint as appropriate for the particular runway would be excellent, but I am hesitant to let the FAA make any particular markings madatory. (just what we need – more rules that increase costs) A notation could be made in the A/FD, J-Aid, Flight Guide, etc. as to what specific markings indicate the 1st 1/3 of the runway.

    I personally like the idea of double edge lines for the entire 1st 1/3 with attractive young women waving lighted signs.

  9. Ed Chromczak Says:

    Great idea; I wonder if a “marked” windsock on the left side of the runway marking the first 1/3 of each runway would work and it would serve two functions?

  10. Kenneth Rivard Says:

    Dear Sir
    The biggest thing I see as a pilot and instructor is the lack of pilots and instructors to not land on the first part of any runway.
    They get lazy landing on long runways and when presented with a short runway cannot cope with it.
    I flew Super cubs and B-737 in Alaska for years and did not have the luxury to land long.
    A short runway or a long it should not make any difference.
    Just learn to land in the first third. or less.
    It takes a little work .
    Regards

  11. ronald rowland Says:

    granted that annapolis uses more paint to define the first 1/3 but it is more easily seem from the air than those “tiny” triangles. Why not make them BIGGER if one wants to really inform pilots. Can not see that these triangles will be much help in poor visibility. Annapolis may cost more to paint but is superior as concerns informative marking.
    ,

  12. Steve Kriner Says:

    The accident at Midway was mostly due to a delayed application of reverse thrust and poor weather not failure to touch down in the first third of the runway. I think more effort should be made by instructors to teach pilots to land on the numbers and to practice at small airports. There is a college associated flight school at my home base that utilizes Piper Archers. They routinely use our 10500 ft. runway instead of the other less busy 3800 ft parallel. When they do come over to the small one they often are landing long. My instructor constantly had me landing at 1100 ft runways with dire consequences at each end. Density altitude, weight and balance, go arounds, approach and departure performance were firmly implanted in my mind by this type of training.

  13. Andy Durbin Says:

    I wonder if you actually looked at the picture to see what markiing were depicted. I see no triangle but I do see other non standard markings.

    Why doesn’t the marked zone start at the threshold? That is the start of the first third.

  14. Andy Durbin Says:

    Sorry too early in the morning, I missed the first picture. Comment still stands about the second one though.

  15. Rick Sheppe Says:

    While the concept of “the first third of the runway” is quite useful for landings, I disagree that using the same concept (“the last third”) in discussions of overruns, with or without markings, is helpful.

    For a landing pilot, the last third of a short runway is more attention-grabbing than the last third of a long runway.

    Landing performance, like takeoff performance, should be discussed in absolute terms, not length ratios. If you want to mark the far end of your runway, do it according to absolute distances to the bitter end, not by fractions.

  16. Jim Dulin Says:

    I believe any kind of marking that gets the pilots attention outside the aircraft is helpful. Takeoff and landing is a ground reference maneuver. That means groundspeed is more important than airspeed (other than enough to fly) and groundspeed is apparent outside the aircraft not inside.

    I teach mostly crop dusting students who normally have 1500 feet total to work with. We use the brisk walk apparent rate of closure on all landings and we stay in ground effect until Vy on takeoff. This guarantees zoom reserve over the obstacle on takeoff and lack of zoom reserve on landing. Extra zoom, like .3 extra, is the real problem on landing. Wolfgang said the experienced pilot used the “stall down”. My crop dusting students are not allowed to use the airspeed indicator or takeoff or landing. In our work it is considered an attractive nuisance.

    Until we admit that contact flying requires different skills and judgements than instrument flying we will continue to have takeoff, landing, and go around problems. Contact flying is an art not a science. We have dumbed it up with airspeed indicators and computers.

  17. Richard T. Newman Says:

    For several years I tried to get KPAE to put distance markers on the East runway such as this, to facilitate training by instructors. The answer was that they could not put non-standard markings on or near runways. My idea was to teach my students non standard landings to facilitate emergency operations.

    I like this out of the box thinking but a representative of the FSDO has a whole lot more “juice” than Joe CFI does.

  18. jack ward Says:

    Kudos to first john c. Then bruce l. For bringing the first third issue up in the first place ! Responder comments were great too. Check out the rwy displacements at HLM michigan. I was a cfi at HLM back in 73 and 74. Here is how my mentor cfi’s kept people from touching down to far down the rwy. After trying various methods, including asking the students and transients,here is what we came up with, low tech,cheap, all weather and quick.remember a stich in time saves 8 or 9. We used a set of orange cones”think vertical” in today world how about a pair of those football endzone touchdown markers “think vertical” the fifty dollar 15 minute low tech solution. I continue to teach at 59 and have instructed my son’s to consider that hallowed realestate between the threshold and wherever you set up the cones or endzone markers (get it,END ZONE) as the aircraft carriers deck ! Now get out there and save some lives !

  19. Robert Brann Says:

    Yes. Definately an aid to awareness on landing.
    A good idea for short runways.

  20. John D. Ballard Says:

    I like the ideal. I’m a retired military pilot and was use to the runway distance marking the military uses. with out that marking the ideal you have is a good way to tell the first third. I think it should be used on all runway not just the 3000ft ones. John D. Ballard

  21. Larry Martinez Says:

    The marking triangles are great. But, if it is done it should be standardized. These markings are for transient pilots and if every ariport has different ways of marking, it will serve no purpose. The pilots based there should already know where 1/3 is.

  22. Paul Buller Says:

    I like the idea of marking the first third of the runway. I think a colored stripe (orange?) across the runway with a sign at each end of the stripe. The signs would be located adjacent to the runway edge and just high enough to be seen when there is snow covering the ground. The signs could be marked with FIRST 1/3 on the landing side of the sign and LAST 1/3 on the back side. That way aircraft taking off or attempting to stop would have a idea of how much runway is left. This is similar to the military type distance remaining markers. Lighting the sign would be nice too for night operations, if power is available at the 1/3 position. Probably not necessary for runways over 5000′.

  23. James Butler Says:

    I would much rather see a line every 1000 feet than a 1/3rd or other fraction. That’s information that doesn’t change from airport to airport. Also many small airports in the South are not paved and do not have electric power close to the runway for lights, so a chalk line or sign is about all you could expect.

  24. David Says:

    It sounds like a new idiot light where professionalism is needed. Do your preflight planning, use a facility directory, and learn how to land a plane. Landing distance is variable by POH, weight, weather, surface condition, etc. so I would think that a 1/3 marker is just as likely to mislead as clarify. What is helpful are absolute distance information. 1,000 feet remaining, 2,000 feet remaining, etc. If you’ve done your calculations, you know what you need for the landing roll. As far as method, a vertical sign and/or lighting seems better due to potential obscuration by snow etc. This approach is also consistent with existing systems that support bigger aircraft into which people often transition.

  25. Tom Teetor Says:

    Hi Bruce-

    Great idea. Perhaps should become a FAA standard.

    Tom

  26. Michael A. Argentieri Says:

    Good idea. However, We at Argen Aviation, Inc have a solution that is in the cockpit for the pilot to recognize where the aircraft will land.
    It is called “Target Landing Aid” Check our web page: http://www.argenav.com.
    Understranding that the aircraft is always moving in the direction of the relatrive wind, a projected target is aligned with the relative wind, and projects onto the runway. The pilot maintaines the projected target at the landing zone by adjusting the power settings to always land within the first 1/4 of the runway. Essentially a heads-up display, on board VAVI to land on any , and all runways. Arggen Aviation, Inc.

  27. John Borden Says:

    Hello Bruce. I like your idea of marking short runways especially when
    there is not much in the way of glide slope guidance. I own a 414 and
    fly into ANP about once a year. You definitely need to stay on the
    numbers on your approach. The paddle vasies help some, but it still is a short field. The idea of on the ground and brakes by the triangle would be a good
    reference especially with the trees at the end of 30. Hope your idea goes
    through and the next time I’m at ANP I’ll look for the triangle !

  28. Bruce Liddel Says:

    I recall that Lucky Charles Lindbergh put up a marker on his famous transoceanic departure runway in New Jersey, and if not airborne by then he would abort his takeoff. As we all probably know – he didn’t abort, even after passing that marker. Few of us today are as safety obsessed as he was. So, one could ask “what’s the point of additional markers”?

    We are required by FAR to assimilate all available information prior to flight, so we are supposed to know what we are doing when we are landing. Then again, “all available” is hopelessly ambiguous, and is designed to foster a punitive FAA bureaucracy rather than any measure of real safety.

    Still, runway distance markers have real merit. Not everyone gets to land at their intended airport every time. To paraphrase a popular expression about the reality of life: “excrement occurs”.

    I would prefer to see absolute distance markers to end of runway, rather than fractional markers, because in an emergency I may not know the actual runway length, or I may have had to land long to avoid transient obstacles or perhaps snow or ice.

    When the FAA gets around to this issue, I’m sure they will dictate that the distance units be meters instead of feet, but that’s another battle entirely.

  29. John Inkling Says:

    If a Boeing 737 touches down in the first third of a 2000 ft. runway, it will still run off the end. If a Piper Cub lands in the last 1/8 of a 10,000 ft runway, it will have plenty of runway to stop safely.

    Are there really pilots who don’t know whether they are landing with enough runway? If there are, I doubt yet another runway marking would penetrate their flawed decision making process.

  30. Jim Truscello Says:

    My first reaction to that photo was, “Wow, that’s Lee?”. What happened to all the planes? When my flying club was based there in the mid to late 90′s, all that grass area was covered with tied down planes. It seems like a sad commentary on GA.

    Anyway, I don’t think people are seeing the small triangles in the photo at the end of the Photoshopped(?) highlighted area.

  31. Serge P. Joskow Says:

    Great idea! Simple, not expensive, and should improve pilot situational awareness during this, most critical, phase of flight without adding distractions.

    To expand on this great thought, (unfortunately by adding some additional cost), for night operations, one runway marking light at the 1/3 point a different color? (Say, Amber)?

  32. Jonathan Neal Says:

    I think it’s a great idea and should be standardized into one recognizable marking and taught in ground school. It would be especially great for transient pilots not familiar with an airport and would be one more step in enhancing safety.

  33. Kevin Says:

    Nice idea, but can’t see exactly how big it is on the runway. Too much paint on the runway where the wheels go would cause braking problems during wet weather, and also slow snow/ice melt in the winter if white paint were used on black surfaced runways. If they can’t touch down in the first third, they may not be on center, either. I like the side markers I’ve see here. Maybe construction cones, marked in 3 colors, one ring for each “third” to make it different from marking a gopher hole or drain… not a budget buster if the mowing guys hit them either.

  34. Dave Taylor Says:

    Valerie Vaughn had a VERY valid comment in that “My guess is pilots that think about these things AREN’T the ones that are overrunning runways.”

    I agree. If you’ve passed your checkride and you can see better than Stevie Wonder, you SHOULD BE ABLE TO ACCURATELY ESTIMATE the 1st third. If you’re a lazy/dangerous pilot, this triangle/light won’t mean ANYTHING to you because you won’t have read up on it, because you simply don’t care. Therefore, said lazy pilot probably won’t mind conducting a poor approach, coming in high and fast and eventually floating off the end of the runway, triangles lights and all.

    Complacency and lack of professionalism is the issue here. I teach my students to land at some of the shortest paved/unpaved public airports in Oregon and Washington, and if they cant CONSISTENTLY touch down within the Practical Test Standards they’ll need to pass their checkride, they simply don’t get signed off to go for their ride. It never takes more than a few flights to hone. It’s MY liability, and THEIR life, and I’m routinely thanked for my take on the subject.

    My solution: Build a better pilot instead of giving runways more inane markings.

    Safe flights to all ~ Dave Taylor

  35. A.Gl. Sandercock Says:

    This all sounds good, and as you can see by the comments, not really alll that simple. I have been a pilot examiner for 19 years (CFI much longer). ALL any pilot needs to do to make GOOD landings and touch down at a PLANNED point is: CONTROL your glide and CONTROL your speed through out the approach! If I want to land ON the numbers; I aim short (in the grass) so that if I DID NOT “round-out” adn “flare” I would “land” short of the runway; but my round out/flare uses up that last bit of distance and “bleeds” off the last of my airspeed. Only Navy pilkots land without a “round out-flare” type of landing. (I know, some Sea Plane driver is going to say NOT SO, ie a glassy water landing. Point is “CONTROL” here.

  36. Joe Platt Says:

    Distance remaining is far more meaningful than fractional divisions. Many major runways have centerline lighting color coded to indicate this. Single figure boards (units of 1,000′) alongside the runway work well for small airports and are nor expensive.

  37. Jim Curns Says:

    I have a grass private strip. Sometimes people “drop in” without asking for permission or runway info. Imagine that! For them it would be a very good idea, provided a good cost effective, well….cheap way that is universally understood could be used. I like the cone idea a lot. Altho, I am also the mower guy who will have to keep moving them, I would do so.

    So what does the final one third marker look like if it’s another cone representing the “third” from the oposite end.? For now I might put out some cones with a smilley at the first cone, frowney at the second and upsidedowny for the end.

  38. Tim Brown Says:

    This is a great idea. Not only can it be used for landing, but also for takeoffs.
    If I do not have half of the liftoff speed by the first third of the runway, I will abort the takeoff. I know some use the first quarter for the decision to abort the takeoff. At high elvation airports (6,000+) and short fields, the triangles would reduce accidents.

  39. Richard Warner Says:

    I believe that some variation of this concept would be very good. A variation of John’s concept that works in my mind is this: break the runway into thirds and then identify the thirds with two solid-white, easily-seen, runway-wide, specialy-oriented triangles like this:
    |____________________| It works from either direction, serves any runway, is so obvious to even non-pilots that it could be considered ‘user friendly,’ and could serve as both a take-off and a landing aid.

  40. bill swickard Says:

    Having seen the results of pilots not trained to land on the numbers, I think this is a great idea. A better Idea is to train pilots to land at the beginning of the runway (unless there is a good reason not to), but that does take time for a new pilot. For runways longer than 3000 feet, I still think it is a good idea since many pilots learn on longer runways and often get sloppy with landing short because there is so much room. Then they attempt landing at a short runway still believing there is plenty of room they touch down mid-field. The visual cue will make the view of the runway look standard at any airport they may try.

  41. Dunham Airport Says:

    I have a private 2800ft grass strip that is lighted. I use highway construction barrels at midfield. It makes a good go-no go point. It makes landing less intimidating cause you can see the barrels well in your peripheral vision. This place is quiet busy with 20+ aircraft and all the folks that use the field really like the mid-field barrels.

  42. DavidHeberling Says:

    Just as the SWA pilots did not fully understand how the computer determined their landing performance, most pilots find the performance charts in most small GA aircraft to difficult to use. The POH in my airplane is the size of a Jepp binder. This makes the chart to small to be useable, especially for older eyes. I blew mine up to 8×10 to make it easier to read. I agree with some of the previous comments…do your homework before you land.

  43. Steven Oxman Says:

    I fly in and out of Lee Airport, the airport that has John’s triangles painted on the runway. I like the yellow triangles, I would love to see many runways have them, maybe up to 4000′ (instead of the 3000′ mentioned. Very nice of Bruce to publicize this “new” runway marking convention.
    Steven Oxman
    N12711 BE35 K

  44. George Says:

    A distraction
    I would have no use for it
    My home field is very short, grass
    I always land as short as I can, everywhere, regardless of runway length.
    Concentrating on the landing, I would make no use of this
    A distraction

  45. John Dinger Says:

    I get the feeling that a lot of heavily experienced pilots are not overly fond of additional markings. Inexperienced ones, like myself, appreciate any available aid toward better airmanship that I can get. Maybe after 500 or 1,000 hours it won’t matter as much any more and my landings will all be greasers in the first third.
    Right now, give me barrels, cones, triangles and lights whatever it takes, and i’ll do my best until experience takes over.

  46. John Schubert Says:

    I’m with Joe Platt. “Distance Remaining” is the important measurement.

    The well-understood red distance remaining signs (“3″ for “3,000 feet) used at commercial airports could be used at small GA airports. This would have the huge advantage of not introducing a new marking and then trying to teach people to interpret it. Cheap, easy, quick, uniform, widely understood, no new invention required.

    (Regarding cheap — at Sporty’s, most standard signs are $26, and custom signs are $50. If these became widely used, I’m sure Sporty’s would make them a standard sign.)

    I’d like to see these red signs very widely used. Whether you’re landing a Cub on a 1500-foot strip or a Gulfstream on a 4,000-foot strip, they’re valuable. It’s ironic that they’re most often seen on two-mile-long runways where they’re less often needed.

  47. Jack Silva Says:

    Personally as a CFII, I think everyone is missing the point here. Better pilot training is the key, I have a method of teaching my students an approach right down to the numbers, and if they don’t hit the numbers, they don’t go much past them. With airspeed under control my students will never have this problem. I teach them every airport is the same if you fly this way. Some approaches may be steeper because of obsticale’s however but the result is the same, resulting in a landing close to the numbers. Just because your an Airline pilot, that doesn’t mean you did not slip by being taught this type of approach. Better training is the key, and forget the first third of the runway idea, I used to fly out of a 1900 foot runway daily and a guy used to fly a twin Beech out of there and stop with not problem. Try landing at the end of the first third of a runway like this and your going to be really hard pressed to stop without going off the end. By using this simple approach poceduire I used to fly my Bonanza in and out of this 1900 foot strip day and night without runway lights. Most of the locals did.

  48. steve austin Says:

    Great idea. Simple but very effective.

  49. chase reid Says:

    I’ve always remembered a comment by my first instructor at FYV: “Two things of no use to a pilot are the air above you and the runway behind you.”

  50. David Says:

    In the future, when some sort of autoland on the numbers is a standard feature in GA, people will still be trying to figure out how to get hurried, lazy or overly confident pilots to check the weather and notams, have appropriate charts, and do a complete pre-flight. Have any ideas for that?

  51. Andy Crane Says:

    Another good idea that will create so much additional bureaucracy not to mention another tool to decrease skills. Lawsuits filed by pilots and/or their heirs
    because some idiot landed long on a runway without the 1/3 markers, lawsuits because they hit the 1/3 marker with the wrong weight and balance or the wrong allowance for that aircraft’s performance numbers. You should have been able to demonstrate the ability land within the 1st third of the runway on your check ride and you should have improved that skill over time. We don’t need markers.

  52. David Andersen Says:

    I don’t really understand what’s magical about touching down in the first third of the runway. None of the airplanes I’ve ever flown reference that in their performance data, nor does it guarantee enough runway remaining to stop the airplane safely, even if “the book” does consider the runway long enough for your airplane. If “the book” has us touching down at the 800-ft point from over a 50-ft obstacle, why accept the 1000-ft point with no obstacle?

    I think it would be far more appropriate to teach pilots how to relate their own performance to that of the AFM, and make appropriate determinations as to the point they need to be firmly on the ground based on that. I also think this is one area where we fail as instructors. In my opinion, every takeoff and landing in training should be computed, and actual performance compared to the theoretical. This would give pilots a solid basis both for determining the suitability of a particular runway, as well as how to determine whether they’re touching down within the performance-required distance instead of an arbitrary fraction of the runway that’s really meaningless.

  53. Andrew Walton Says:

    My first solo was out of a 2400′ strip with 60′ trees 10 feet from the threshold and 40′ trees on the other end.

    We regularly trained students to fly there and used two sets of cones as the land/go-around decision point. If you weren’t down by the first set of cones, you went around. Period.

  54. Cary Alburn Says:

    I worry about adding complexity to a really pretty simple situation, and I agree that less bureaucratic nonsense and better training are the solutions, not markers that vary from airport to airport. We tend to tolerate mediocrity in ourselves and in others, and there’s no place for mediocrity on a short strip. While a mediocre pilot can get away with it on a long runway, he/she needs to practice and become proficient before landing on a shorter strip.

    Years ago, I regularly flew a 172 into a private strip at Sundance, WY, which was 2100′ long, sloped, and at 5000′ elev. While not a big deal to any back country pilot, it was challenging enough to me early in my flying career that before leaving for it, I would do a series of landings at my home airport (LAR) using the 1000′ markers as my “runway”. Later as I accumulated experience, that prep was less necessary, and I had no trouble putting higher performance airplanes into it (T210, Mooney 231), using less than half the runway before having to add a little power just to taxi to the parking area.

    The key to any short field operation is the same key to good landings in any environment, airspeed control. Practicing every landing as if it is on a short field, using proper airspeed control (remember 1.3 Vso?), then the real short fields won’t be an issue.

    Cary

  55. Jim Diehl Says:

    I also fly out of Lee Airport in Annapolis and look forward to hearing John and AOPA talk about this visualization effort next month. Last June, I completed the Colorado Pilots Assocation Mountain Flying Course flying out of the highest airports in the United Stated. CPA teaches a “75/50″ for takeoffs where density altitude (runway length) may cause a problem. Identify the mid-point of the runway. If you have not reached 75 percent of takeoff speed by the mid-point, then abort the take-off. This concept gives us a single-engine takeoff decision speed, related to runway length. It works at sea-level fields too!

  56. David Wartofsky Says:

    People sometimes ask why I put ‘Field Carrier Landing Practice’ FCLP aircraft markings on my runway.

    Here are some of my reasons:

    1. Its so familiar to most of our Potomac pilots, it makes them feel more at home.

    2. Last time I did a touch and go on a carrier in the Chesapeake in my Cessna Skymaster, a lot of people got pissed off.

    3. I like the idea of Flight Service having to explain it to everyone who calls.

    4. Every pilot wonders if they could land on a carrier; so at Potomac, they can actually try.

    5. Just to have some fun!

    6 All of the above.

    David Wartofsky

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