Wednesday 22 May 2013 07:20 UTC
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After a pleasant day flying returned to base. On flaring the aircraft to land spotted two adults with dogs standing in the long grass at the side of the runway. The wing tips are not far from the edge of the runway. The involuntary twitch on the stick to avoid them resulted in a one wheel touch down before applying power to regain control for a go around. Second time they had cleared off so an uneventful landing.
The runway is on an old RAF base and there are signs warning of an active runway but because it is only used infrequently I presume the dog walkers ignored the notices.
I did not see them until almost too late, they must have seen me coming and assumed that they would be O.K. if they were just of the runway.
Apart from the successful outcome, I could have completely lost control and crashed or could have hit them with possible fatal results.
Either way I could have had months of anguish and legal proceedings because warnings were ignored by the walkers.
Although authorised to use the runway I am not the owner and do not think it likely that security fencing could be installed.
Other than being more aware in future of possible pedestrians on or near runway not sure if there is anything else that could be done.
Perhaps I should consider fitting a loud horn or Public Address system to the plane so that I could shout at them.
Our strip is leased from the farmer upon whose land it is situated: It is completely unsecurable due to open fields and lack of hedgerows and over the years we've had numerous incursions despite two large notices reminding the public that it is an active airstrip.
We have had unathorised parascenders, kite boarders, kite (big) fliers, mini-bikers, ATC riders , a horserider who insisted her partner owned the strip(he doesn't), fallow deer, asbestos fly tippers, but the closest I have ever come to meeting my maker was at the hands of a dogwalker who had parked her 4 x 4 just to one side of the midpoint of the strip while she walked the dog.
Just as I was on the point of touching down, with the stall warner blaring I noticed the dog ( a beefy black labrador) escape from the owner 20 yards ahead. It ran full tilt across the strip in front of me and I must admit I momentarily closed my eyes for the impact.
It didn't come: I stopped and turned to see the dog being bundled into the 4 x 4 and despite hefty throttle to back track to the point of the 4 x 4 the owner legged it and I didn't get the number.
Prolly just as well as I might well have been tempted to behave badly.................
How it missed me/the prop/the undercarriage I'll never know.
Primum non nocere..
Being aware of possible runway incursions on a strip that isnt fenced or monitored is pretty vital. Would it also be wise to perform a low pass in case theres something on the approach/runway that wasnt there last time? How often does it get inspected?
CPL IMC FI (A) and registering 9 on the bolometer.
On final to unnatended Cottonwood, Arizona, a large dog bolted across the runway in front of me and dissapeared to left field. "Oh well", I thought, "he's gone now" and continued.
Approaching the flare, the kids that (I now realised) had been chasing the dog appeared from a close in housing subdivision and dashed across the runway without even giving me a second look. Doubtless they are used to just missing aircraft. You never know what's coming next!
Rather than going around and risking meeting them coming back again, I powered up to fly well past their crossing point and landed long on the seemingly endless runway, only to be surprised how much braking effort I needed to stop before the end.
Oh No It Isn't, not if the bush strip is in Queensland - you also need to look out for those velociraptor thingies, cassowaries they're called.
I haven't actually seen one on a runway, but I have seen one a few hundred metres down the track leading from the road to the runway.
At Lahore the locals often use the runway of the flying club field as a playground. On my first landing there, before I got used to it, as I was landing--i asked my instructor--wing co. choudray-ex pakistan airforce--"what about those kids on the runway."Reply imprinted on my mind was "dont worry , land the bl**DY THING. "
As we were having tea and tiffin after the flight , I asked about accidents due to people on the runway-well said Anthony , "3 were killed last year", It"S a different world.
Ref the point about a horn--i"ve often thought an airhorn would be a good idea, since a stude on a x country almost taxied into my stationary plane as I was about to start up. He was so releived to have completed part 1 of his x country that his brain seemed to switch off.
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