Emergency Runways has launched EmergencyRunways.com for private pilots looking for a place to land in the event of an emergency.
“The idea for the emergency runway website came to me about a year ago,” said Craig Maiman, an electrical engineer and glider pilot. “I thought why not use the power of the Internet to build a database of some reasonable places to land in the event of an emergency? If you’re in a situation where the engine goes out, anything to improve your odds is good. Having someplace to land that’s already vetted by other pilots is helpful – especially if you’re in the clouds or at night. You want to swing probability in your direction as much as possible.”
Once pilots register with a user name, password and email address, they can mark up a Google Map of places they’ve noticed – perhaps while flying or even while driving around – that would make good emergency runways. It may be a strip of highway without power lines, a smooth, flat field, or an abandoned airstrip – anything that would give a pilot a viable option if the power fails, Maiman said. They also can rate the landing sites on a scale of A+ to C+ and add comments.
Pilot posting is anonymous, Maiman said, noting “the more pilots that contribute, the higher quality and more comprehensive the database will be.”
The database will be freely downloadable with the hope that GPS manufacturers will incorporate them into their systems, he added. A pilot would then be able to indicate to the system that “the power’s failed, find me the nearest and best place to land – gliding distance” and the location would appear on the GPS display, he said.
For more information: EmergencyRunways.com.