Short Final: Turtle


I was doing traffic pattern work in a Citabria on a Friday afternoon at a busy, towered, Class D airport. Meanwhile, the business jet traffic was picking up, and the tower controller was doing an admirable job working our touch and goes in between the jet arrivals and departures.

Lear123 (just departed): KXYZ Tower, be advised there is a large turtle on Runway 17, about two‑thirds of the way down from the numbers.

KXYZ Tower: Lear123, thanks for turtle report. Contact departure on 123.8.

KXYZ Tower: KXYZ traffic, be advised there is a large turtle on the west edge of Runway 17 at about 6,000 feet. We are monitoring his position.

Citabria 34NM: KXYZ Tower, 34NM is midfield downwind for another touch and go.

KXYZ Tower: 34NM, did you hear the turtle NOTAM?

Citabria 34NM: Roger that, but we don’t have him on TCAS, Turtle Collision Avoidance System.

KXYZ Tower: Citabria 34NM, you might want to avoid using too much runway on this one, although the turtle is likely no factor, he’s much faster than you are. Cleared touch and go Runway 17.

Grant Haddix
Katy, TX