DESPITE HNL CONSTRUCTION, GENERAL AVIATION (GA) NEEDS RESUME ITS SOLID PERFORMANCE! Except for a Runway Incursion spike in the Third Quarter of Fiscal 2021, GA has performed well at HNL for several years, but this quarter there have been numerous HNL Runway Incursions (RIs) including Wrong-Surface Landings (WSLs). Most RIs occurred after a correct pilot readback -or even multiple correct readbacks-and several had a CFI aboard. The 2021 RI spike occurred when many pilots returned to flying after a long period of inactivity during Covid. This SPIKE is concurrent with major HNL construction and runway closures.
**Here's a great Wrong Surface Landing-prevention video (featuring HNL-specific issues), please cut & paste if necessary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5II-s_j35cI . in any case, if you haven’t been to HNL recently, we strongly recommend a session with a CFI before flying at HNL. Here are three suggestions to sharpen your focus:
FIRST: IF YOU ARE A CFI, ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT YOU ARE THE PILOT IN COMMAND FIRST AND A CFI SECOND...and that is a distant second. YOUR ABSOLUTE #1 PRIORITY IS SAFE OPERATION OF THE AIRCRAFT – PERIOD. There's always time to debrief after a flight, but if you or your student commit an RI it is YOUR responsibility! (Note, this vital note is Item #1 in bold CAPS at the request of HCF!)
SECOND: DON'T JUST READ BACK INSTRUCTIONS, VISUALIZE EXACTLY WHAT YOU NEED TO DO BEFORE YOU LAND OR TAXI; Have a positive understanding of your landing clearance or obtain landing clearance confirmation; never cross a hold line unless you are certain you are cleared to do so; and always provide your aircraft call sign every time you accept a controller's instruction.
THIRD: DON'T LAND OR TAXI - UNLESS YOU ARE POSITIVE OF YOUR CLEARANCE. BEFORE LANDING, CONFIRM YOUR CLEARANCE; IF UNSURE OF YOUR POSITION WHILE TAXIING, STOP MOVING IMMEDIATELY- HCF would much(!) rather repeat a clearance or provide Progressive Taxi Instructions than have you commit a Wrong Surface Landing or Runway Incursion. Another HCF note: “(We need to stress that while incidents can happen to anyone…those not familiar with HNL (should) double or even triple check (Airport status) PRIOR to planning a flight to HNL.”
** Please review this brief video on HNL-specific hold-line issues to keep you away from Runway Incursions. (Again, please cut-&-paste if necessary): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OzwZvJPcGIs
Some years back, HNL had the most RIs in the nation for three straight years. Although mostly low-risk 'Category D' RIs, that record was absolutely unacceptable (...as my former boss reminded me on more than a few occasions). Our recent issues are concurrent with major HNL construction that’s resulted in clearances and instructions that may be contrary to normal experience, but whatever the reason, the current pilot deviation rate is likewise unacceptable. GA has performed well at HNL except for the 2021 issue and the current pilot-deviation spike. We’ll discuss HNL RIs in greater detail at our Quarterly Pilot Controller Forums but for now remember and use the three suggestions above, watch the videos and do get some HNL flight time with a CFI if you haven’t been flying at HNL.
We're all in this together; RIs are a BIG Deal and to solve the problem, the FAA Western Pacific Runway Safety Team produced the videos (links above) that illustrate HNL challenges and provide risk-mitigation strategies. HCF and the HNL FAASTeam are collaborating with outreach efforts including, but not limited to Pilot-Controller forums and LRSAT meetings. For now, we need to get this message out and do better; as a first step, please forward this notice to just two other Hawaii pilots.
As ever, bring nothing less than your A-Game to HNL. Mahalo nui loa!
POC Kristyn Oki, Support Manager, HCF; (808) 840-6255; [email protected]