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.
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?