A good pilot is always learning -- how many times have you heard
this old standard throughout your flying career? There is no truer
statement in all of flying (well, with the possible exception of
"there are no old, bold pilots.") It's part of what makes aviation
so exciting for all of us... just when you think you've seen it
all, along comes a scenario you've never imagined.
Aero-News has called upon the expertise of Thomas P. Turner,
master CFI and all-around-good-guy, to bring our readers -- and us
-- daily tips to improve our skills as aviators, and as
representatives of the flying community. Some of them, you may have
heard before... but for each of us, there will also be something we
might never have considered before, or something that didn't
"stick" the way it should have the first time we memorized it for
the practical test.
It is our unabashed goal that "Aero-Tips" will help our readers
become better, safer pilots -- as well as introducing our
ground-bound readers to the concepts and principles that keep those
strange aluminum-and-composite contraptions in the air... and allow
them to soar magnificently through it.
Look for our daily Aero-Tips segments, coming each day to you
through the Aero-News Network. Suggestions for future Aero-Tips are
always welcome, as are additions or discussion of each day's tips.
Remember... when it comes to being good pilots, we're all in this
Recently there were two separate incidents, at widely separated
airports, of on-runway aircraft collisions involving piston
aircraft at non-towered airports. Although it may not have been a
factor in either collision, it’s important that pilots
properly transmit their location on the airport. One incorrectly
reported item I see a lot at my local, fairly busy general aviation
airport is the report of being “clear of the
The FAA’s Pilot/Controller Glossary tells us precisely
what’s meant the phrase “clear of the
- An aircraft exiting or crossing a runway is “clear of the
runway” when all parts of the aircraft are beyond the runway
edge and (at a tower-controlled field) there is no ATC restriction
to its continued movement beyond the applicable holding position
- A taxiing aircraft approaching a runway is “clear of the
runway” when all parts of the aircraft are held short of the
runway’s hold-short line.
It also warns us that pilots and controllers shall exercise good
judgment to ensure that adequate separation exists between all
aircraft on runways and taxiways at airports with inadequate runway
edge lines or holding position markings.
Aero-tip of the day: Don’t radio that
you’re “clear of the runway” unless you really
are. We don’t need to trade any more paint (or worse) between