Of Prop Strikes And Other Mischief


Prop strikes are more common than most pilots realize. Depending on the circumstance, they don’t have to be reported to the NTSB if damage is not considered substantial. But if you have ever had to pay for a new prop or an engine tear-down, there is no way on earth you’d consider a prop strike minor. They are to be avoided.

Common objects props encounter off pavement include tiedown anchors, runway and taxiway markers, fence posts, cinder blocks, lawn chairs, beer coolers—basically stuff that generally isn’t allowed on runways or taxiways at an attended airport.

And as if that weren’t enough, the surface on which we’re landing, taking off and taxiing isn’t uniform. In fact, it can be downright treacherous, changing even between frequent visits. The grass can grow, trees can fall, obstacles can shift position. It’s up to you to know where the bad spots are, or where they can be. And as the pilot of the Piper shown at right may have discovered, it can be a long walk home, too.


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