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FAA Safety Team: Wrong Surfaces, and You

Wrong Surfaces, and You
Notice Number: NOTC0006

A wrong surface event occurs when an aircraft lands or departs, or tries to land or depart, on the wrong runway or on a taxiway. It also occurs when an aircraft lands or tries to land at the wrong airport. In 2019, there were 480 wrong surface events. Over 80 percent of those involved general aviation pilots.

Reducing this risk is one of the FAA’s top priorities. We need your help!

Please consider these best practices when interacting with your students, applicants, peers, and mentors:

* Familiarize pilots with Chart Supplements, Airport Diagrams, NOTAMs, and other preflight resources.
Use the FAA’s From the Flight Deck videos!
Work the videos into Airman Certification Standards tasks, such as Private Pilot ACS Task D, Cross-Country Flight Planning.

* Share techniques to verify correct runway alignment, like magnetic compass orientation, referencing underlying instrument approach courses, mnemonic devices, etc.

*Discourage overreliance on technology. Electronic Flight Bags and moving map displays are intended to increase pilot situational awareness and safety. Take appropriate action when technology is compensating for skill or is a distraction.

* Encourage runway safety checks on short final, including verification of the correct runway, and ensuring that no vehicles or aircraft are present.

* Strictly enforce a go-around policy when there is any doubt of making a safe landing on the correct surface.

For more information or resources, check out SAFO 17010.

Fly Safe,

Nick DeLotell

FAA Commercial Operations Branch

(609) 485-9500