Other basic, risk-mitigation strategies include setting up anticipated navigation and communications frequencies before you taxi, copying clearances from air traffic control, maintaining a sterile cockpit during critical phases of flight, and using proper taxi procedures including appropriate taxi speeds.
4. Prevent Taxi Confusion
Now that you made it through the course, don’t trip up at the finish line. You’re better than that!
Taxi confusion most commonly occurs when a pilot is taxiing at an unfamiliar airport. Low-visibility conditions increase the potential for confusion. Request progressive taxi instructions when taxiing at a controlled airport. Progressive taxi instructions are an excellent mitigation strategy to ensure compliance with taxi clearances and avoid runway incursions. Have access to the airport diagram when taxiing; it’s the same diagram used during your preflight planning.
Also pay attention to any “hot spots” on airport diagrams, which highlight complex runway/taxiway configurations and can help prevent confusion at these locations. Make the use of airport diagrams a standard operating procedure to prevent getting disqualified from the game for prematurely crossing a line.
Taxi "hot spots" are circled in brown on airport diagrams.
5. Ensure Situational Awareness
Make sure you know what is going on around you at all times, and that starts during your preflight planning. If you reframe your situational awareness to cover all phases of flight, you are more likely to reduce pilot errors.
“Be keenly aware of what’s happening around you,” explains ASI Kevin Clover, the FAASTeam operations team lead. “Mix that together with your life experience and all you’ve learned about aviation. Then, take appropriate action to keep things safe. Or, in short: Perceive, Process, Perform.”
To help perceive the airspace around you better, add a little technology to your arsenal. The use of ADS-B offers real-time precision and shared situational awareness. Free traffic, weather, and flight information are available on Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) In receivers that can receive UAT broadcasts. These services are available across the nation to aircraft owners who equip with ADS-B In.