Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Hazards on the Taxi

I'm taxiing into the ramp of a familiar FBO. There's a local airline/charter outfit that flies out of here and I have to run the gauntlet between their ranks of parked airplanes to get to where I'm going. Today there's an additional obstacle. Someone is washing one of their airplanes and a hose stretches from the hangar across my path.

I weigh the possibilities. Probably I can taxi over it with no harm to anything, save a momentary interruption in water pressure for the guy washing the plane.  But there's a possibility, as when taxiing in the vicinity of any rope, that it could be picked up by one of my propellers and turned into a flail of destruction. I've never seen this, and I haven't spoken to anyone it happened to. In fact I can't even remember when I first learned it, but deep in my memories is a flight instructor telling me not to taxi over ropes because they could get caught in the propeller. Before passing on this wisdom I did a little googling to find a student whose instructor learned this the hard way. That's one student who will remember the time and place of the instruction as well as the knowledge.  I can envision the knowledge spreading out around them in ripples as they recount the tale.

So a hose is like a rope. It is however secured to a tap at one end and in someone's hand at the other, so not quite as threatening. But I can shut down and haul the airplane the rest of the way by hand. I put on the brakes. The guy with the hose also knows that airplanes shouldn't taxi over such things. He picks up the hose and crosses back towards the tap with it, leaving the aisle clear for me to taxi through.

Hoses aside, this ramp has more FOD on it than it used to. The pavement is not in great shape and after shutdown I find metal objects--screws and washers--on the ramp. Not impressed. I shut down and do all the piloty post flight things and then after I walk away can't remember turning off the master and mags. I turn around go back and check. Everything is off.

The problem is that now the chief pilot knows not only my every screw up, but even my every almost could have been, thought I screwed up but didn't. And chews me out for it. Oh well, I get to keep my job.


Majroj said...

Didn't get that last paragraph. You got in trouble for due diligence?

FOD may not be itself and in each instance dangerous, but the mindset allowing it is.

I'm certain the ramp-rat wash guy was very thankful you didn't turn his hose connectors into brass ovals for him by running over them

Aviatrix said...

I'm my own chief pilot now, so the CP always finds out about my screw-ups, even if they didn't happen.