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Planning Your Taxi

Source: www.pilotworkshop.com/tips/taxi_planning_diagram.htm, Featuring John Krug

Subscriber Question:

"For me, the most difficult thing in aviation is to taxi confidently around unfamiliar and large, complex tower controlled airports. Especially after landing; you're busy taxiing off a runway (recently assigned) onto a taxiway (just seen) and may not know exactly where the FBO is that you want to go to. This is more complicated at night where visibility is limited. What advice can you offer to ease this process?" - Anonymous

John:

"Airline pilots always brief not only the approach, but the landing and taxi routes as well. We can do the same as GA pilots.

When going to an unfamiliar, large or complex airport, I print out the airport diagram in full size (8 ½ X 11) while doing the flight planning.

You should know your destination on the field – FBO or parking area - and be able to figure out the most probable active runway based on the wind forecast. Plan which taxiway you will exit the runway and a logical route to the destination. Mark it out with a colored highlighter.

ATC may change the runway or taxiway exit at the last minute, but at least you will have figured out the basic route.

Ask for progressive taxi instructions BEFORE you get in trouble. ATC would rather spoon-feed the instructions than have you commit a runway incursion.

Also, make sure you take some simple steps to prepare your aircraft. Make sure the windshield is clean, landing lights are working and covers are clean. Bugs and dirt on a landing light cover or windshield can cause glare and difficulty seeing at night."