The National Transportation Safety Board has issued Safety Alert 071-17, to highlight the potential hazards associated with conducting intersection takeoffs and the need for general aviation pilots to use all the runway available to them for takeoff.
It also has posted a video (below) to accompany the safety alert.
Intersection takeoffs — where only a portion of the runway is used for takeoff instead of using the entire length — are a common practice for general aviation pilots to save time.
However, pilots may not fully understand the potential risks associated with conducting intersection takeoffs, NTSB officials said, noting the agency investigated at least 10 accidents between 2000 and 2015 in which pilots were attempting intersection takeoffs.
By reducing the amount of runway used during takeoff, pilots have less runway available to them in the event of a system or engine malfunction during takeoff, to abort the takeoff, or to perform an emergency landing. This increases the risk of injury, death, and aircraft damage, NTSB officials warn.
The safety alert emphasizes the need for pilots to:
- Know their airplane’s takeoff and landing performance limitations;
- Not feel obligated to accept an intersection takeoff if offered by air traffic control;
- Use all available runway length to increase the margin of safety.
The NTSB has also posted a new video along with the safety alert:
Some good points but I think the money spent to make this should have been concentrated towards “fuel exhaustion” accidents which far outnumber all others.
Deane, you might want to visit the NTSB website and look for the annual compilation of “defining events”. You’ll find that fuel issues are a tiny factor in aircraft accidents compared to accident sequences that begin with inflight loss of control and ‘system malfunction- powerplant’. Unfortunately, powerplant faliures on takeoff result in a disproportionate number of accidents, and fatalities.
I looked it up and you are correct. I stand corrected!
I do still stand by my statement that “I think the money spent to make this should have been concentrated towards “fuel exhaustion” accidents” and my reasoning is this: Even though loss of control in flight, system malfunction (powerplant), loss of control – ground and abnormal runway contact all account for more GA accidents than “fuel related”, they all may be caused by something that is beyond the pilots control, whereas fuel exhaustion is directly related to the pilot and can be just about eliminated.
There is NEVER any excuse not to use an entire runway. Likewise no one should land before after after the touchdown zone even if the runway is 14k feet long and you are in a Cessna 172. Laziness and expediency do not belong in a cockpit.
Rol Murrow says
I often land long on a long runway at certain busy airports. I fly a 172 equipped for backcountry flying and can land in a short distance. At airport where the first taxiway is quite a distance beyond the touchdown zone I just request permission and land long, and then taxi up to the taxiway and clear the runway, thus minimizing my time on the runway. Folks including controllers seem to appreciate it when one does not linger on the runway.
Dale L. Weir says
The original article is about departures and it would be a rare event for me to depart with runway behind.
One size does not necessarily fit for landings. I never attempt to land beyond the point where a successful go around can be made. At my home airport I often land my J-3 mid-field to the North. My C-170B always in the landing zone. Go around capability is not the same for both aircraft.
I have landed my C-170B at Edwards AFB and it was midfield with a Constellation on short final behind me.
With good stick and rudder skills a pilot should be able to land and exit the runway at the taxiway they chose as long as a go-around is assured.
Michael Lessard says
I am a CFII, MEI, and FAASTeam Lead Rep. I train my students at Bangor International Airport (KBGR) in Bangor Maine. Our runway is 11,400 feet long. The GA terminal is close to the south end of the runway, so when operating on runway 15 it is nearly two miles to taxi. ATC almost always offers intersection takeoffs. I have always trained my students to use the full length of the runway for all takeoffs at any airport, and this is my practice when flying myself. This has multiple benefits. This airport is big enough that high winds often develop. Taxi conditions almost always vary from one location to another on the airport. Wind direction and velocity can change, mechanical turbulence varies, and there are other elements such as jet blast from transport category aircraft and other effects. There are also varying uphill and downhill surfaces. All of that said, the time spent taxiing in challenging conditions results in ongoing training and practice opportunities for my students.
Accident data clearly indicates a good percentage of accidents occur during the takeoff phase of the flight. An engine failure during a high power, low airspeed configuration with a lot of right rudder, and close to the ground carries a high potential for a stall/spin accident. Almost all of those are fatal. How could that risk possibly be worth a few extra minutes of your time doing the one thing that you like the best (being at the controls of an airplane)? If anyone is ever in that much of a rush to get airborne, they seriously need to attend a few WINGs seminars on risk management to gain insights that they may not be thinking of. Let’s slow down and enjoy the smell of the jet fuel. Enjoy every moment in your airplane. And remember the old saying. “There are two things in aviation that you can never have too much of. Runway ahead of you and altitude below you”.
Rob Blue says
I’ve only done one, at KTOL in my Beech Sierra… the runway is 10,599′ long and I used half of it. I’d do it again. What I wouldn’t do again that day is taking off into nearly 30kt gusting winds.