Short Final: An Abundance Of Caution


From IFR Magazine reader Ashok Joshi:

Taxiing to depart for our home in New Hampshire after picking my wife up at New York JFK Airport in my Bonanza, I was in line between a pair of Southwest Boeing 737s. As we waited for clearance to cross Runway 13/31, the ground controller said, “Southwest 123 cleared to cross Runway 13/31 on Echo. Bonanza 3680 Romeo, taxi to holding line; caution jet wash.”

After clearing me to cross the runway a minute later, ground control instructed the second 737, “Southwest 456, taxi to the holding line; caution prop wash.”


  1. As high stress levels a JFK controller position can be, it’s good to hear that at least one has a way to help relieve that stress.

  2. You people of all trades flying in the US have no right to complain about anything! Picking your wife in your Bonanza from JFK??? Here in Europe we’re sometimes lucky to be allowed on a grass strip. Picking my wife at Brussels, Heathrow, or Frankfurt in my SR20? First they’ll probably shoot me, then possibly arrest me, then fine me, then send the thousand-euro landing fee invoice, then shoot me again for good measure. Then hand me over to the plethora of eco-terrorists who are regularly disrupting air transport, for not having used my bicycle to pick up my wife and kids.

    You’re so damn lucky! Keep it that way, folks.

    • Your point highlights the dangers of the movement in the us to pay for more & more “services” on a use fee basis, like flying in Europe: “i don’t use that, so i don’t want to pay taxes for it.” Roadways, public transportation, boat ramps, etc.

      Last winter holiday one of the big carriers offered the excuse of “too many small planes” using up airspace slots at a major Florida hub as their late excuse. Imagine that if that keeps up, we’ll be taxed off their runway.

      • Years of flying in and out of east coast high density airports daily, the scariest place of all is HPN. Bizjets, Manhattan helicopters, airliners, and squadrons of student pilots, mostly foreign, with only the barest grasp of the English language, their ATC controllers deserve combat pay.

        • Been HPN based for nearly 35 years, and an active CFI there. We’re proud of our HPN tower ATC and they are great to work with. The mix of traffic is daunting for them and for us. But, I gotta say, it’s not a place with “mostly foreign” student pilots, they are few and far between. Most of our students are high-dollar individuals and otherwise speaking English as a first language…they may be flummoxed at times, but it’s not due to a lack of proficiency in English. A few, maybe, but “mostly”? Nah, not in my time at HPN. Lots more airports, in the SW and California, may have that problem, but not here.

          • I fly into HPN regularly as a 135 guy and have rarely seen any helicopters. I was instructing there in 2001 and it was challenging some days being sequenced with the bizjet and airline traffic, but the tower staff was quite accommodating. As far as foreign students, they always seemed to come from FRG across LI Sound.

    • Had the same thought. No physical threats here 😉 but single landing in Vienna would cost you several hundred Euros as the minimum fees are designed to deter the small fry.

  3. I flew in and out of JFK airport for TWA for over 30 years in many different airplanes and the controllers there a some of the best in the industry! They work really hard and do a fantastic job!

  4. Again Canada leads the way.
    We have landing fees at all the major airports.
    Just don’t pay them,,,, they have no real recourse against private aircraft.
    I have never paid a landing fee yet,, no intention to.
    One rebelious Canadian,,, Eh?

    • I used to fly to Calgary from California in my Twin Comanche and I would pay the NavCanada fees. One quarter when I knew that I had not been in Canada I received a bill for someone who went to Edmonton reporting my N number. I protested, but the NavCanada billing people were very aggressive. I still declined to pay, and they told me that they would impound my aircraft if I didn’t pay.
      I haven’t flown into Canadian airspace since.

    • This happened a while ago, so perhaps the reader misremembered the airline affiliation.