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Thread: It's Ramp Check season in Alaska

  1. #1
    cubflier's Avatar
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    It's Ramp Check season in Alaska

    Although word is getting around, the FAA with Troopers in tow are making rounds at all the local airports from Anchorage to Talkeetna. It's not a bad time to look in the wallet and your aircraft to make sure you have your paper stuff together in case you get a courtesy inspection.

    Jerry
    If it looks smooth...it might be

    If it looks rough...it is!!
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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    They were at birchwood today and a few days ago. They show up early in the morning like 7 ish. Gone by lunch.... or so it seems.


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    They checked me last Friday, there were 2 and were just doing training. So I unloaded on them about someone stealing gas out of my airplane on the gravel strip. They gave me the standard governmental answer said it wasn't there problem. Also turned out a bunch of my neighbors had there gas stolen too
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    hotrod180's Avatar
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    "We're the FAA & we're here to help you."
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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    I suppose it's a little like a cop sitting on the side of the freeway. No intention or expectation of writing a ticket but the presence makes all the drivers behave.

    I get that commercial operators with a tight schedule (always running behind) get annoyed by the interruption. I've got no heartburn with it myself. My own ramp experiences have been friendly and uneventful.

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    Never had one outside an airline environment. Feds come by my hangar regularly, never ask to see anything.

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    Cub Special Ed's Avatar
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    I had to go in to see the fellas at the Rapid City FSDO last week after Wiley made off with my airworthiness certificate. I will have to say them folks treated me well and timely. You have to remember, like most law enforcement folks, their bosses (i.e. fed, state, & local govmts) use them as a revenue gerating arm.
    "There are 3 kinds of men. The one that learns by reading. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves." Will Rogers

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    There was one season when all Inspectors were required to meet a “quota” of ramp checks, in Fairbanks, at least.

    I got ramp checked so many times that summer it was ridiculous. I finally asked one of the “good” Inspectors what was going on. His response was: “You’re Flying a Public Aircraft. If we find something, we can’t actually do anything about it.....no harm, no foul.” So I asked him to pass on to other Inspectors that they should ASK me if I have time for a ramp check. From then on, they did. If I was busy I’d say nope, and they’d leave. If not, we’d do the dance. Most times, I think they counted it either way.

    None of them took more than ten minutes in any case....filling squares.

    There was one exception, but that story is for another day.

    MTV

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    I once got ramped checked, at Merrill, twice in the same afternoon by the same inspector. Must have been a slow day.
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    wireweinie's Avatar
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    You just make friends easy.

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    cubflier's Avatar
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    Does anyone have a thorough knowledge of what the FAA can and can't do in a ramp check?

    A specific question of mine is are they allowed on my lease property? I'm talking the actual property and not about going inside my hangar.

    Jerry
    If it looks smooth...it might be

    If it looks rough...it is!!

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    flyrite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cubflier View Post
    Does anyone have a thorough knowledge of what the FAA can and can't do in a ramp check?

    A specific question of mine is are they allowed on my lease property? I'm talking the actual property and not about going inside my hangar.

    Jerry

    I believe were I trying to be confrontational, I would not allow them on MY property. Or as has been done on a public airport where a pilot was confronted with a a check, He told them he didn’t have time and went a waited them out.
    https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/...of-ramp-checks
    Last edited by flyrite; 09-02-2019 at 02:27 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cubflier View Post
    Does anyone have a thorough knowledge of what the FAA can and can't do in a ramp check?

    A specific question of mine is are they allowed on my lease property? I'm talking the actual property and not about going inside my hangar.

    Jerry
    Extend that question to include private airports. I'm not at all concerned with ramp checks but I do wonder about the rules of engagement.

  14. #14
    flyrite's Avatar
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    Might find some answers in this old thread
    https://www.supercub.org/forum/showt...Can-you-say-no

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    cubflier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyrite View Post
    I believe were I trying to be confrontational, I would not allow them on MY property. Or as has been done on a public airport where a pilot was confronted with a a check, He told them he didn’t have time and went a waited them out.
    https://www.aopa.org/news-and-media/...of-ramp-checks
    It has nothing with being confrontational. It has everything to with understanding your rights. I have read chapter 56 and all the AOPA stuff that I can find and can't find out where limitations are placed on inspectors as to property access. I would assume it's covered by other legal authority. With regards to lease property access this is something I was told by another pilot and I do not think that this is correct.

    Other issues are access to the inside of your aircraft. It states in chapter 56 that FAA may not board an aircraft without your knowledge. Some of the articles I have read use the word permission instead of knowledge. Here is an example. https://studentpilotnews.com/2013/08...w-your-rights/

    Knowing your rights is something I take as an individual responsibility.

    Jerry
    If it looks smooth...it might be

    If it looks rough...it is!!
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    flyrite's Avatar
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    Would assume this below applies to private property as well as aircraft itself!



    As it pertains to Private pilots and so-called "ramp checks," the Fourth Amendment means that an FAAInspector does not have the right to board or enter your private property(your aircraft) unless he has a search warrant.
    Oct 9, 2013

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    All the FAA regulations are just that, regulations under Title 14 of the code of federal regulations. They are not LAWS in the same sense as the criminal code. They are issued by an administrative agency that is part of the Executive branch of the Federal Government. Under Administrative Law, unlike criminal law, you have no presumption of innocence. That does not negate those rights affirmed under the Bill of Rights. All FAA inspectors are supposed to identify themselves, and can’t use entrapment methods to get you. If there is someone unknown around your airplane you should do 3 things, 1. Close the airplane (or hangar) door. 2. Ask if they are with the FAA. And finally if they respond yes, 3. Shut your mouth!

    You have the right to remain silent. They can’t inspect your property without either your permission, or a warrant. Once the door is closed, they can look around the outside and look in the windows, but they can’t trespass and open doors or inspection panels. Most FAA violations are prosecuted based on statements made by the defendant. Self incrimination is the biggest issue with any enforcement case. If they press the issue, just respond that you will be happy to answer any questions when your attorney is present. If you ever get from the tower “call us when you get on the ground” DON’T, just by calling you have incriminated yourself!

    As far as your airplane, the most they can do is hang a “condition tag” on it that says something like “ if you operate this aircraft, you may be in violation of 14 CFR”. They have no power to “ground” the airplane. They can only issue a letter of investigation if they see a possible violation, or if someone else sees and reports a possible violation. In truth, it is very hard for them to even move forward with a letter of investigation unless you admit you did something wrong.

    I’m not a lawyer, and this is not legal advise. Consult an attorney for any legal issues.


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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    As far as your airplane, the most they can do is hang a “condition tag” on it that says something like “ if you operate this aircraft, you may be in violation of 14 CFR”. They have no power to “ground” the airplane. ..
    they used to come out to naknek and red tag airplanes...... laughably ones that obviously hadn't flown in decades and were missing parts... or sunk into the ground it had been so long since they moved.... ernie tagged one of ours, for a crack he could see in a brake shoe, like they do by the rivets... except he couldn't figure out what to call it....

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    How many of you have had an enforcement action result from a ramp check or know someone who has? Myself? Nada.

    On the provide permission thing? I have no motivation to deny it and I'd be much more concerned with a PO'd FAA guy with a warrant than a brief visit that usually turns into talk about cool airplane mods, fishing spots, and the like. I have strangers stop and ask to see my planes and that doesn't bother me. The FAA guys are no more threatening than passer-by pilots. If an FAA guy wants inside my hangar? He'd better bring beer.
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    BC12D-4-85's Avatar
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    I keep waiting for them to visit. I need a new CO detector card and they sometimes have them. Checking a 78 year old plane is always interesting.

    Gary
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    www.SkupTech.com mike mcs repair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    ..If an FAA guy wants inside my hangar? He'd better bring beer.
    I've seen FAA guys witness what was an accident, and say, "i'm not on the clock, and I'm drinking beer..."

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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post

    There was one exception, but that story is for another day.

    MTV
    You can't get there from here. You have to go over yonder and start from there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC12D-4-85 View Post
    I keep waiting for them to visit. I need a new CO detector card and they sometimes have them. Checking a 78 year old plane is always interesting.

    Gary
    That's the first thing I ask them for! Bring trinkets..
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    misguided advice

    As a FAA air traffic controller at a Center I must say, you most definitely are not incriminating yourself by calling us if you are asked to. Most of the time we want to educate and that's about it, obviously there are pilot deviations that go further, but we aren't the FSDO. If you screwed up bad enough to warrant a "please give us a call" maybe you should be careful with your answers as the line will probably be recorded, but it takes a pretty big mistake for it to go anywhere past us needing a statement. Most of us on here are just bombing around VFR and having fun, when part 121 carriers have pilot deviations and loss of separation happens, sure, you might want to have a lawyer when you call. Your mileage may vary, but I encourage all pilots to take tours and call their local control facilities, it helps knowing the other side of it. My 2 cents.

    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    All the FAA regulations are just that, regulations under Title 14 of the code of federal regulations. They are not LAWS in the same sense as the criminal code. They are issued by an administrative agency that is part of the Executive branch of the Federal Government. Under Administrative Law, unlike criminal law, you have no presumption of innocence. That does not negate those rights affirmed under the Bill of Rights. All FAA inspectors are supposed to identify themselves, and can’t use entrapment methods to get you. If there is someone unknown around your airplane you should do 3 things, 1. Close the airplane (or hangar) door. 2. Ask if they are with the FAA. And finally if they respond yes, 3. Shut your mouth!

    You have the right to remain silent. They can’t inspect your property without either your permission, or a warrant. Once the door is closed, they can look around the outside and look in the windows, but they can’t trespass and open doors or inspection panels. Most FAA violations are prosecuted based on statements made by the defendant. Self incrimination is the biggest issue with any enforcement case. If they press the issue, just respond that you will be happy to answer any questions when your attorney is present. If you ever get from the tower “call us when you get on the ground” DON’T, just by calling you have incriminated yourself!

    As far as your airplane, the most they can do is hang a “condition tag” on it that says something like “ if you operate this aircraft, you may be in violation of 14 CFR”. They have no power to “ground” the airplane. They can only issue a letter of investigation if they see a possible violation, or if someone else sees and reports a possible violation. In truth, it is very hard for them to even move forward with a letter of investigation unless you admit you did something wrong.

    I’m not a lawyer, and this is not legal advise. Consult an attorney for any legal issues.


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    TVATIVAK71's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stewartb View Post
    How many of you have had an enforcement action result from a ramp check or know someone who has? Myself? Nada.

    On the provide permission thing? I have no motivation to deny it and I'd be much more concerned with a PO'd FAA guy with a warrant than a brief visit that usually turns into talk about cool airplane mods, fishing spots, and the like. I have strangers stop and ask to see my planes and that doesn't bother me. The FAA guys are no more threatening than passer-by pilots. If an FAA guy wants inside my hangar? He'd better bring beer.
    In my years of flying I can count the number of times (personal flying) I’ve been ramped. I watched a couple of private individuals years back in DLG get ramped that threw a big stink and I had to laugh cause doing just that raised sh@#loads of red flags. The inspector kindly told one to have a airworthiness cert reissued and the other to get a medical. That was it. I get the fact that some of us don’t want ANY encroachment from any law dog types and I can’t blame one for whatever reason that might be.
    Many years ago though there was an ANC FSDO inspector that would fly his plane out to the Nushagak during King season and literally wait in the bushes and ramp ANY individual and operator. Wearing a fishing vest and hip boots approach you then and then sling his badge on a lanyard out pull a video camera out and go to work. Caused lots of pilots to avoid Portage Creek.LOL Rumor was that he got Alaska Airlines to change their FOM to accommodate bearded inspectors in the cockpit when one of our Captains booted him off the jumpseat for having a full beard. FOM said needed to be clean shaven for O2 mask to seal properly (urban legend).
    I could care less about being ramped/route checked on my free time or at my 121 carrier. Unless they are being jerks. Nothing to hide.....anymore.LOL
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    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TVATIVAK71 View Post
    ..... Unless they are being jerks. Nothing to hide.....anymore.LOL
    That is when the fun starts. It is possible to turn those jerks around into being your best bud with them actually kissing your behind forever after. Over the years I have managed to get a few of them wrapped around my little finger.
    N1PA

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    Cub Special Ed's Avatar
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    While i have never been ramp checked (knock on wood) I have been in their offices a couple times. My observation would be that they are usualy chin deep in paper work in their little holes and ramp check days would be a fun day at the airport for them and they would be in a fairly good mood.

    When I was on final one time with a CAP 182 tower told a md11 to hold short for landing traffic (me). They pulled in to position while i was on short final so i broke right and went aound. I then heard tower tell them to call tower on the phone when they land. Bet it wasn't exchanging pleasantries.

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    mvivion's Avatar
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    Last time I was asked (ordered?) to call tower after landing, I spoke with the local (contract) ATC Chief. He explained to me that if I were to use a different runway for my departures in future, they (ATC) could get me out much quicker with no hold. He explained the flow of traffic, and all this made sense. I’ve almost exclusively used this little “secret” since, when departing.

    He didn’t have to make that effort, but it made operations smoother for both of us.

    MTV
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgapilot View Post
    ….All FAA inspectors are supposed to identify themselves, and can’t use entrapment methods to get you. If there is someone unknown around your airplane you should do 3 things, 1. Close the airplane (or hangar) door. 2. Ask if they are with the FAA. And finally if they respond yes, 3. Shut your mouth! ….
    Couple years ago, my mechanic buddy was talking to a guy in his hangar when I wandered in.
    He introduced me to the guy, his name rang a bell but I wasn't sure, so I asked "are you an FAA guy?"
    He replied "maybe".
    Found out later he was the FSDO's new maintenance inspector for our area.
    I thought that was a BS way to respond.
    Saw him a few years later at an aviation show,
    he was the only guy (of many) manning the FAA booths that wasn't wearing a name tag.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!
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    flyrite's Avatar
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    Been ramp checked more times than I got fingers over the years at IAC contests. Generally good experience with most, But , As with anything, depends on the person doing it! A few bad experiences will forever put a bad taste in your mouth.
    Have seen some really piss poor bureaucracy demonstrated a few times. Once at a contest in the N.E. After watching the way they were behaving with others , I refused them and this was after passing tech inspection by the IAC which is more detailed. Kinda pissed the one with attitude off. Eventually he left and life continued.

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    algonquin's Avatar
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    I’ve seen it go both ways, but generally the inspectors just want to check boxes that they did there job with a min. Of paperwork and lingering problems that would come back to them. I don't look for anything like field approvals to get done but on the other hand I don’t see any of them looking too deep to hang anyone anymore. I guess you have to take the good with the bad.

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    Earlier this summer my private pilot daughter did an intersection take off and turned right onto the runway instead of turning left-i.e. she took off on in the wrong direction (or wrong runway.). There was no conflicting traffic and almost no wind. She was in the Super Legend, so she didn’t use much pavement.

    The tower told her to call. She called and they got her personal information.

    She then called her flight instructor. He suggested completing and logging remedial ground school on airport signage and radio clearances. She filed a NASA report and completed the ground school.

    Two and a half months later, the FAA called. The FAA rep emailed her the pilot’s bill of rights and told her to call back after reading it. Based on the third hand advice of a former FAA inspector, my daughter emailed the NASA receipt and the logbook entry. She called the rep and laid it out in the table owning up to her mistake (contrary to my instincts). The rep had her put it in writing. The rep decided to end it there. The end result was “counseling” with no further enforcement action. The rep was nice and professional throughout the interaction.

    According to the FAA rep, her taking immediate action with a CFI played a big part in his decision. As a former criminal lawyer, I don’t know how I feel about the process. I am very pleased with the result, but it seems odd to have to confess in hopes of getting leniency. My daughter made a mistake. Nobody was in danger. We reached the right result, but she went through a lot stress and uncertainty getting there.

    No moral here, just one person’s recent experience with the FAA.
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    SJ's Avatar
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    I once complained to a guy I worked for that "we are paying these folks good money, why can't they act like professionals?". His response was, "We are not dealing with professionals, we are dealing with people". I've always remembered that odd exchange whenever I encounter someone in a position of authority or judgement, and that somewhere behind that badge on a lanyard is a person - and that is what I need to stay tuned in to.

    It's worked pretty good so far...

    sj
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    ------------------------------------------
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    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lasater View Post
    ….She called the rep and laid it out in the table owning up to her mistake (contrary to my instincts). The rep had her put it in writing. The rep decided to end it there. The end result was “counseling” with no further enforcement action. The rep was nice and professional throughout the interaction. …..
    The first instinct is denial, kinda like telling the cop you weren't speeding after he nails you with the radar gun,
    but often honesty is the best policy.
    I think a lot of time people aren't looking to dish out punishment,
    they just want you to own up to your mistake & hopefully learn from it.
    I bet your daughter never forgets this one!
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  35. #35
    flyrite's Avatar
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    We are not talking about ramp check encounters now ,but just encounters with the FAA in general.
    A few years back construction was taking place at an airport, moving the runway lights inward from 150’ to 100’ . The runway had been open for 2 weeks while it was going on, planes were taking off and landing within 25’ of workers.
    One day they closed the runway by sandbagging an X on the ends , They blew off! A pilot did his daily take off as he had for the days before. The supervisor of the work crew filed a complaint, the pilot went to Atlanta to contest it. At the hearing the bureaucrats agreed With the pilot that it was the work crews fault for the infraction.
    The Problem arose when in the course of the interaction the pilot trying to be as honest as he could admitted that he did not check the notams prior to taking off. Even though the AWAS was down at the airport and had been for two days. At that point the bureaucrats sealed the deal and said that the pilot admitted to not doing all he could as an airman to ensure a safe flight for that day and Violated him with a 90 day suspension, Said they would do him a favor and make it retroactive back to the original infraction date. Cost him his license for 30 days!
    The pilot learned that you NEVER NEVER EVER admit to anything, educate yourself bout the issues and fight. They are not trying to be fair or even establish who’s at fault....They are only trying to establish if a pilot broke a Reg. as THEY INTERPRET IT!
    I know there are exceptions to every rule, But there’s a reason AOPA counsels don’t admit anything and is usually better to not even respond till you have the infraction they think you breached in writing.
    It’s been the pilots experience, When a person spends years working in an environment that is as broken as the FAA is , It tends to screw with that persons ability to act with the reasonable encounter we would all desire to have!
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  36. #36
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flyrite View Post
    …..One day they closed the runway by sandbagging an X on the ends , They blew off! A pilot did his daily take off as he had for the days before. The supervisor of the work crew filed a complaint, the pilot went to Atlanta to contest it. At the hearing the bureaucrats agreed With the pilot that it was the work crews fault for the infraction. The Problem arose when in the course of the interaction the pilot trying to be as honest as he could admitted that he did not check the notams prior to taking off. Even though the AWAS was down at the airport and had been for two days....
    Was there a "runway closed" NOTAM?
    Although I rarely check notams unless I think there's a specific reason to,
    I admit I would be at fault if I landed on a closed runway- X'd out or not.
    (actually done it a couple times, at a Podunk airport-
    but luckily no harm / no foul, so no violation).

    I'm curious what the AWOS has to do with a NOTAM or even with the runway being closed.
    I once suggested to an airport manager that they add the recent CTAF change to their AWOS announcement-
    he told me that FAA told him that the AWOS is for weather information only.
    Seemed dumb to both of us, but he said that's what he was told.
    Cessna Skywagon-- accept no substitute!

  37. #37
    flyrite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    Was there a "runway closed" NOTAM?
    Although I rarely check notams unless I think there's a specific reason to,
    I admit I would be at fault if I landed on a closed runway- X'd out or not.
    (actually done it a couple times, at a Podunk airport-
    but luckily no harm / no foul, so no violation).

    I'm curious what the AWOS has to do with a NOTAM or even with the runway being closed.
    I once suggested to an airport manager that they add the recent CTAF change to their AWOS announcement-
    he told me that FAA told him that the AWOS is for weather information only.
    Seemed dumb to both of us, but he said that's what he was told.
    Anything going on at our airport has been included as remarks at the end of the awas report by the manager. May not be a requirement but, Runway mantaince, Airshow closings, anything they think is of a “Notice to an Airman “ Been that way for years!.
    But as your convo with the FAA demonstrates....They ain’t bout mak’n cents ! Or I wouldn’t have lost my ticket .

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