May 2013 Issue

Aiming To Please

Sighting the correct runway at the last moment isn’t time for a steep turn. It’s a signal for us to go around.

Anyone who’s spent much time using a personal airplane for transportation has—at least once—found themselves disoriented when maneuvering to land at an unfamiliar airport. Among the challenges can be picking out the right runway, especially if there are multiple choices. Operations into strange-to-us airports can generate lots of confusion. That’s especially true when the runway configuration isn’t what we’re used to. An example might involve someone accustomed to a single runway who suddenly must cope with intersecting pavement, or where two runway thresholds are adjacent to each other, even though they’re oriented approximately 90 degrees apart.

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