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Aeroplane Landing Areas (ala's)


Guest DWB
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I've been looking into this a bit following some recent events as well as hearing some comments with regards my own strip over time. I don't class my strip as an ALA per se`, but yes it is where I land & anyone who wishes to may after requesting permission & a thorough explanation of the complexities on the understanding it is their (the pilot's) decision to ultimately land or not. So technically I guess it is an ALA.

 

I downloaded CAAP 91-1(1) Guidlines for Aeroplane Landing Areas & the first thing to note under the heading IMPORTANT inter alia is:

 

The information in this publication is advisory only. There is no legal requirement to observe the details setout in this publication.

Further in the PURPOSE of the Document it states:

 

Civil Aviation Regulation 92 (1) states that: “An aircraft shall not land at, or take-off from, any place unless: ...(d) the place....is suitable for use as an aerodrome for the purposes of the landing and taking-off of aircraft; and, having regard to all the circumstances of the proposed landing or take-off (including the prevailing weather conditions), the aircraft can land at, or take-off from, the place in safety.”Regulation 92 (1) does not specify the method of determining which “circumstances”, other than the prevailing weather conditions, should be considered in any particular case. These matters are the responsibility of the pilot in command and, in some circumstances, are shared with the aircraft operator.

Underlining, Italicization & Bolding by myself.I have & I'm sure many others have seen ALA's that do not comply with the Guidelines & some are even marked on Air Services maps as airfields.

 

I will be interested in any comments...............

 

 

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some are even marked on Air Services maps as airfields.

And to reply to my own post by way of example - Don't anyone ever try landing on the ALA marked on maps at Merriwa NSW (if you can find it from the air) REASON - There is a fence across the middle of it for starters the property owner told me............ And yes over a year ago I advised the mapping section.

 

 

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Guest David C

I did find Merriwa on the WAC chart , however , as you say it is unusable due to the fence crossing the runway . We were discussing a similar scenario a fre weeks ago at The Oaks . The consensus was that in the case of WAC charts , even current ones could be 10 years old from date of issue ! .. Obviously with such a timeframe between issue and current dates , there may well be significant changes ... Why are these charts left unmodified ? ... I don't know , but as you say , you made notifications over a year ago and still nothing has been done to reissue these maps ..

 

Dave C

 

 

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Dex

 

I have a "paddock" at my place I use. Just because it is mowed and has a wind sock means naught. Invitation only. The extract below clearly states that the rules some are quoteing are in fact not rules but only guidlines and "in most cases" a pilot that "(a) has sound piloting skills; and

 

(b) displays sound airmanship." can take off or land safely. Here is the link: http://www.casa.gov.au/download/caaps/ops/92_1.pdf

 

These guidelines set out factors that

 

may be used to determine the suitability

 

of a place for the landing and taking-off

 

of aeroplanes. Experience has shown

 

that, in most cases, application of these

 

guidelines will enable a take-off or

 

landing to be completed safely, provided

 

that the pilot in command:

 

(a) has sound piloting skills; and

 

(b) displays sound airmanship.

 

Cheers Scotty

 

 

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Guest DavidH10
Apart from using the current issue of the WAC there are hand amendments required to be done and these are published regularly in the AIP supplement.

That's all well and good, David, but one would expect that airfields that don't exist are removed at the next issue of the map. This issue affects VNCs as well.

The fact that we aren't allowed to fly on outdated maps and they are updated every 6 months (at least VTC / VNC anyway), one would expect that changes occurring in the prior period would be updated.

 

 

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From the guide:

 

"PURPOSE

 

Civil Aviation Regulation 92 (1) states that: “An aircraft shall not land at, or take-off from, any place unless: ...(d) the place....is suitable for use as an aerodrome for the purposes of the landing and taking-off of aircraft; and, having regard to all the circumstances of the proposed landing or take-off (including the prevailing weather conditions), the aircraft can land at, or take-off from, the place in safety.” Regulation 92 (1) does not specify the method of determining which “circumstances”, other than the prevailing weather conditions, should be considered in any particular case. These matters are the responsibility of the pilot in command and, in some circumstances, are shared with the aircraft operator.

 

These guidelines set out factors that may be used to determine the suitability of a place for the landing and taking-off of aeroplanes. Experience has shown that, in most cases, application of these guidelines will enable a take-off or landing to be completed safely, provided that the pilot in command:

 

(a) has sound piloting skills; and

 

(b) displays sound airmanship. "

 

As Scotty has said, the ALA Guidelines is just that, the regulation is quoted above (Regulation 92 (1)).

 

But check your aircraft insurance, most standard policies exclude claims arising from accidents at non ALAs unless you have added them to your policy. This is more relevant to aircraft you hire and then use at a non ALA to land and takeoff. Have an accident there and you may find you are not covered.

 

'One way' strips are definitely not included in standard policies and you would have difficulty complying with Regulation 92 (1) unless you could prove you had the necessary experience and competency. AG pilots obviously have a higher level of competency and lots more horsepower for one way strips, remember there is NO go around option on a 'One way' strip.

 

P.S most ALAs are privately owned and obtaining permission is completely relevant otherwise you are trespassing. Also not getting permission denies the ability to check the current condition ... flying into an ALA at which you have no idea of the condition probably finds you fowl of the regulations, in particular 92 (1) above in any case.

 

Remember the pilot is always responsible for the safe operation of his / her aircraft.

 

 

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Guest DavidH10
AG pilots obviously have a higher level of competency and lots more horsepower for one way strips, remember there is NO go around option on a one way strip....

I must edit up some footage of AG aircraft operating in and out of YYWG. It demonstrates why you need clear transitional surfaces at a low angle. People joke that in fact it isn't the aircraft climbing, but the curvature of the Earth dropping away below them as they pick their way between the trees. ;)

 

 

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Please do David, That would be great to watch.

 

One factor that AG pilots have over us is that they can jettison their cargo in a few seconds if they realy get in too much trouble ... maybe we should fit ejection seats to the PAX side, we could get away with that after all our aircraft are placarded "ride at your own risk ...." ...:p

 

 

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I decided yesterday to re-submit to ASA the details I outlined above re Merriwa ALA. Well, I just received a phone call from ASA & they are going to remove it from all references, VNC03, ERSA ALA list etc. The very obliging lady there looked into it & noted that it was listed as closed in the AOPA Airfields publication. She said they do rely heavily on input from pilots with regards this information. Seems my notification of over a year ago got lost in cyberspace, the ether, whatever, but she said I couldn't blame her because she didn't work there then. Maybe therein lies another story............. Main thing - We have SUCCESS!

 

 

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Dex and Scotty, you have covered the prescriptive regulations.

 

The other aspect is public liability, and there are a few rural cases, such as where a person enters your property and breaks his ankle by slipping down a post hole hidden by grass, etc.

 

The thing you didn't mention is what warning does a person get if he makes a forced landing, or precautionary landing, perhaps in very misty weather where it is not practical to get permission, and discover the complexities of the strip.

 

A pilot who meet the reasonable intelligence test, could expect to land under these circumstances if a paddock has a mown strip and a windsock, so you would have a duty of care to provide a warning of the obstacles. This could be in the form of large orange balls on the power lines (yes I know, red tape and cost). Practically the best way may be Crosses on the strip when it is not in use by someone whop has been briefed etc.

 

This is well worthwhile spending a couple of hundred dollars with a PL lawyer getting advice.

 

 

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total waste of money Dex and Scotty.....if an aviator is in an emergency situation..she/he can do whatever they like to resolve the situation....the powerlines are their problem not yours. ....(unless u have a big sign saying'feel free to land here, no hazards to aircraft', visible from above.

 

 

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I agree CFI. Turbo I know where you are coming from BUT I don't agree. I advise any one who enquires about landing here, at the time, of the strip length, condition, hazards (powerlines, usual X-wind effects, sink over the creek just before threshold), location of windsock. Then armed with that information you as PIC must make the ultimate call. I expect nothing more when I land at other farm strips in that I will make the judgement call at the time. PIC has to determine whether their skill set & aircraft capabilities make them capable of performing a safe landing/take off. End of story. As for a precautionary/forced/emergency landing, well hello, we make the best of the bad deal dealt. One can land in a clear paddock, that might ultimately conceal rabbit warrens everywhere or knowing that my X plane requires 800 metres to pull up I can see a strip that looks about 600 metres long so I might decide to wash off a lot of pace on on an obviously presumed reasonable surface & use the fence at the end as an arrestor of soughts. These are the decisions that true PIC's in my opinion have to be prepared to make. There's no hand holding when it comes to this stuff.

 

 

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Guest DavidH10
Please do David, That would be great to watch.One factor that AG pilots have over us is that they can jettison their cargo in a few seconds if they realy get in too much trouble ... maybe we should fit ejection seats to the PAX side, we could get away with that after all our aircraft are placarded "ride at your own risk ...." ...:p

Done. Here's two fully loaded take-offs. The second one actually is below the transition surface.

 

 

 

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"I agree CFI. Turbo I know where you are coming from BUT I don't agree. I advise any one who enquires about landing here, at the time, of the strip length, condition, hazards (powerlines, usual X-wind effects, sink over the creek just before threshold), location of windsock. Then armed with that information you as PIC must make the ultimate call. I expect nothing more when I land at other farm strips in that I will make the judgement call at the time. PIC has to determine whether their skill set & aircraft capabilities make them capable of performing a safe landing/take off. End of story.

 

"there are As for a precautionary/forced/emergency landing, well hello, we make the best of the bad deal dealt. One can land in a clear paddock, that might ultimately conceal rabbit warrens everywhere or knowing that my X plane requires 800 metres to pull up I can see a strip that looks about 600 metres long so I might decide to wash off a lot of pace on on an obviously presumed reasonable surface & use the fence at the end as an arrestor of soughts. These are the decisions that true PIC's in my opinion have to be prepared to make. There's no hand holding when it comes to this stuff."

 

CFI put it back to front.

 

A PIC CAN do what he wants, and there are no issues that I can see down to your "End of Story"

 

You've exercised your duty of care by explaining the obstacles to a professional, qualified, pilot capable of absorbing your warnings of the issues and avoiding trouble by reacting to them.

 

The next part, where an unknown pilot see an airstrip and decides to land uninvited is where it would be a good idea to drop into a Maurice Blackburn, Slater & Gordon etc office, just to see what obligations you have. Rabbit burrows are a natural phenomenon, power lines over the top of an airstrip could be argued to be unexpected.

 

 

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Hey David, was that a hot day? I reckon the adrenalin would be working but then again, doing it day in day out you'd know what was going on but Murphy doesn't give him much to play with. Enjoyed it, thanks.

 

 

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power lines over the top of an airstrip could be argued to be unexpected.

Wrong - EVERY Pilot (well should've been) instructed in regards to precautionary/forced landings to be ever vigilant in their lookout for power lines, regardless of where they are landing, paddock or strip.

I'm not giving any more money to lawyers after 2 divorces thank you very much.

 

 

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Guest DavidH10
Hey David, was that a hot day? I reckon the adrenalin would be working but then again, doing it day in day out you'd know what was going on but Murphy doesn't give him much to play with. Enjoyed it, thanks.

The temperature at 15:00 was 21 degrees on the 7th October, last. The second clip was taken at 17:11. The first clip was a different day. From memory, we had a lot of rain around that time and the aircraft was spraying crops against Rust and other fungal issues.

Those pilots are amazing to watch. Land, taxi off the runway to the area where the chemical truck is located, then spin the aircraft around and back up to the truck for another load. (prop pitch is reversible). They are loaded and off again in a couple of minutes at the most.

 

We find them very professional with radio calls and general airmanship.

 

 

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Nice footage David, shows good skill, he just holds the aircraft at the right attitude and waits for the speed to build to lift off, no attempts to haul off, just a nice guaranteed acceleration with that kerosine burner ... wait long enough and she will lift off. She certainly looked heavy. I love watching those boys work, they have to be good or they wouldn't still be doing it.

 

Having said that there have been some tragedies. A rural neighbour in the same locality as my small property lost his 21 year old son (only child) in a terrible AG accident many years ago now ... heart braking it was .. ever vigilant or forever at peace.

 

 

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Wrong - EVERY Pilot (well should've been) instructed in regards to precautionary/forced landings to be ever vigilant in their lookout for power lines, regardless of where they are landing, paddock or strip.I'm not giving any more money to lawyers after 2 divorces thank you very much.

Some people don't like using condoms either, but it's the consequences we are trying to guard against.

 

This explains some of the basics

 

http://www.publicliability.net.au/2010/09/25/what-is-public-liability/

 

 

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