Crossing the line

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

“If you cross the line, you’ve crossed the line” (FAA runway safety initiative launched). How true, but it more often occurs after landing and not completely clearing the runway. Just because your seat in the cockpit is across the hold short line doesn’t mean you are “clear of the runway.”

I once witnessed a Boeing 757, at a major US airport, stop with over 50 feet of the aircraft still across the hold short line. A DC-10 then took off on that runway, missing the tail of the offending 757 by a too-close margin. I called this to the tower, but they didn’t seem to understand the problem. When I called on the phone later, the tower controller still could not see a problem.

This is not the only time I have seen this occur with large aircraft and I see it happening often with light aircraft today.

ED DICKMAN, via e-mail

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