On The Fly

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A student pilot got a very graphic demonstration of the dangers of wake turbulence at Seattle’s Boeing Field a couple of weeks ago. According to the NTSB, the student was on final for Runway 13L in a Cessna 172 when Boeing’s modified 747 Large Cargo Freighter passed it on final to Runway 13R. A nine-knot crosswind blew the 633,000-pound freighter’s wake turbulence over the 1,800-pound Cessna. The instructor on board was able to recover from the resulting upset with 150 feet to spare…

The pilot of a Piper Saratoga lined up for takeoff on the wrong runway at Lexington Airport a couple of weeks ago. According to WFIE TV , the aircraft was cleared to use the 7,000-foot main runway but the pilot mistakenly headed for the 3,500-foot GA strip that Comair Flight 5191 used before it crashed. Although the Saratoga would likely have had room to spare on the GA runway, controllers noticed the Saratoga pilot’s error and directed the aircraft to the assigned runway…

The FAA says it doesn’t currently support a plan by a Florida community to shorten the main runway at Witham Field. Martin County commissioners recently voted to tear up 460 feet of runway in a bid to cut noise problems. The FAA says it can’t support anything that will affect the safety or utility of the airport, but it’s giving the community a month to gather more information to make its case.