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Thread: Faa acknowledges turf operations

  1. #41
    mvivion's Avatar
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    And, welcome to the real world, as we know it.

    Every airport I’ve ever been around was more or less a fiefdom, operating within FAA guidelines, mostly, but making most of these kinds of decisions themselves.

    Notice the operative term in the AC: airports MAY….

    If you or someone can’t convince airport management this is a good idea, the FAA will have nothing to do with it.

    But, doesn’t mean you can’t keep working that direction. Get yourself elected/appointed to the airport commission/board, etc.

    Nobody said this stuff is going to be easy….or make sense.

    MTV
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  2. #42
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Remember also, if the FAA doesn't have any $$$ invested in the airport, they have no say in how it operates. It would be the responsibility of the airport owner whether it be a municipal ownership or privately owned open to the public. Your local State aeronautics may have some say. At least that's the way it is here in my State.
    N1PA
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  3. #43
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    Hmmm. At my local airport i began landing on a abandoned taxiway that the asphalt had been removed. The city crew then started mowing it for me. Now i hear the area cub pilots reporting “short final 17 left grass strip” just like i do….


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  4. #44
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    My home airport is KHCR, renowned as one of the most disliked in the USA, but we have a great airport manager and he set up a parallel grass strip marked by cones several years ago. He is super GA Friendly, loves taildraggers, always bring guests in to show them my build progress. Our city council is really great…. If only we did not have the noose of the local FBO around our necks with the ridiculous fuel prices.
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  5. #45
    WWhunter's Avatar
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    After reading all these posts, I sure count myself lucky that I have chiseled out a stirp on my own property. While I still keep a plane in town at the local airport (uncontrolled), it seems like this state (Minnesota) is much more accomadating in general to TW type aircraft than many places. But then northern MN is predominantly TW types it seems. Floats, Skis or Big tires are the name of the game here.

    Good luck to all you fellow pilots trying to improve other areas of the country to be more open to our type of aircraft. With the boom of back country type planes and flying, maybe things will improve.
    Don't take life too seriously ... no one gets out alive!
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  6. #46
    courierguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mvivion View Post
    You and your Manager are misconstruing the point of the AC. The point is not to suggest development of another "runway". This AC change is simply addressing operations in an unprepared area WITHIN the safety area of an existing runway. Essentially, these areas may require zero "preparation" and minimal maintenance. Here in Bozeman, pilots often land adjacent to runway 3/21. You are truly on your own there, though, since the airport does zero maintenance there, other than mowing alongside the runway, which they do for all runways. But, nobody "prepared" the area for grass operations, nobody monitors it, and there is NO "designated" landing area. You land wherever you like, as long as it's adjacent that runway.

    This area is in fact kind of rough, unless you're running big tires, and there are some culverts out there. There is NO prep, only mowing, and the point is, as the admonition of the Tower suggests, landing there is at your own risk. Don't expect a "runway", cause there isn't one there.

    And, in fact, BZN has a very nice turf runway. So, why do some folks land "off airport" within the airport? To significantly reduce taxi distance, which can be harder on Bushwheels than landing.



    What your Manager is talking about is DEVELOPING a dedicated grass/unpaved runway, which is an entirely different subject, and has nothing to do with this AC. Someone should point this out to him.

    MTV
    Afton WY has (so it seems, I've never used it) a nicely maintained grass strip to the west of the main runway, but it is, as you say, too far to taxi after landing there, if one is headed to the Aviat gate. I've been landing the turf between the runway and taxiway on the north end for years, if anyone has even noticed, nobody cares.

    An my strip, I once had a group of pilots all land on the county gravel road behind my place, due to a x wind, and I had to tell them "if you can't handle my strip in a x wind, keep on flying." I don't need some busybody seeing it and complaining about planes on a county road. It took a while before they realized I was dead serious!

    My strip made the big time recently, (https://www.flyingmag.com/americas-shortest-runways/) yeah it's short but I know plenty of other private strips much more difficult, but not on the charts, mine is. Maule pilot Greg wins that contest, followed by Hal Stockman's, which would give Greg pause, as his wing span isn't 29' like the S-7 Hal flies....yeah, it's that tight.
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  7. #47

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    As this change to the AC is new. When the time comes for anyone that was able to use this change for good, please share your story. I look forward to hearing how the change has helped someone make a difference.
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  8. #48
    mvivion's Avatar
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    Frankly, this didn’t change much, if anything. The Airports folks in FAA have been discussing this for a long time. They were well aware that these kinds of operations happen in places. Basically, this is simply an acknowledgement that people land off the runway but within the runway safety area, and that the practice does not constitute a safety issue.

    The fact is that airport managements MAY view this as a good thing. But I seriously doubt this is going to change the minds of many folks in management who are opposed.

    This is not a “You can do this”. From the FAA. It’s more of an “We really don’t care”.

    I too hope that more airport managers get on board with allowing this sort of thing. But, the fear of liability is pretty potent, unfortunately.

    The key will be getting airport management to “We really don’t care”. This AC may help, but it’ll take a lot of work by US to make it happen. And likely some frustration.

    MTV
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  9. #49
    hotrod180's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by skywagon8a View Post
    Remember also, if the FAA doesn't have any $$$ invested in the airport, they have no say in how it operates. It would be the responsibility of the airport owner whether it be a municipal ownership or privately owned open to the public. Your local State aeronautics may have some say. At least that's the way it is here in my State.
    While it's true that FAA has a huge amount of oversight on federally funded airports,
    I believe they have some oversight re safe operations even on non-funded airports.
    In any event, my airport is a funded airport,
    & I'd bet that most of the public airports that people here are based at have also received at least some funding.
    From a recent GA News article about this AC:

    There is a process — it is the FAA after all — to go through before turf operations can be authorized at an airport in which this AC is applicable.

    • The airport owner must request that a turf operations area be established.
    • The local FSDO must ensure that operations in the proposed area can take place safely in order to issue an approval.

    I’ll take the turf — General Aviation News
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  10. #50
    skywagon8a's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotrod180 View Post
    While it's true that FAA has a huge amount of oversight on federally funded airports,
    I believe they have some oversight re safe operations even on non-funded airports.
    In any event, my airport is a funded airport,
    & I'd bet that most of the public airports that people here are based at have also received at least some funding.
    From a recent GA News article about this AC:

    There is a process — it is the FAA after all — to go through before turf operations can be authorized at an airport in which this AC is applicable.

    • The airport owner must request that a turf operations area be established.
    • The local FSDO must ensure that operations in the proposed area can take place safely in order to issue an approval.

    I’ll take the turf — General Aviation News
    Perhaps that is true in Washington, here in Mass it is not. If a pilot operates in a careless and reckless manner on the ground creating trouble, then the FAA may show up. But as to how the airport is laid out, whether it is grass or hard, lighted or not, the FAA has no say. The only say I have seen is their allowing it to be charted. I say this from having been the owner of two privately owned commercial open to the public airports. A land port for 40 years and a seaplane base for 52+ years. I've only ever dealt with the State aeronautics commission.
    N1PA
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