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6 Answers

Runway Length

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General Aviation

In the airport and facilities directory (A/FD) and on the section charts, dose the runway length shown include the distance of a displaced threshold?

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6 Answers



  1. Kris Kortokrax on Jun 24, 2013

    Total distance is listed. Since there might be differing displacements at either end of the same runway, the displacements are listed in the A/F D. Subtracting the displacement from the total distance will yield available distance.

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  2. Andrew on Jun 24, 2013

    Really? I am still learning but I would think, at first glance, that the total USEABLE runway space of the longest runway available would be on the charts and A/FD. This would keep things simpler for the pilot.

    Say some emergency came up, loss of engine power, the pilot would only have to look at the sectional charts and land the plane. Now it appears, I still have to drag out more paper work and a calculator to see if I have enough runway to safely land. (being a little over dramatic here)

    Thanks for the comment.

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  3. Kris Kortokrax on Jun 25, 2013

    If you have a loss of power, you’ll land regardless of the runway available, providing there is a runway within gliding distance.

    It is quite unlikely that you are flying an airplane which could not use most any runway in the country.

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  4. Andrew on Jun 25, 2013

    Cool. Thanks.

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  5. Bob Watson on Jun 25, 2013

    Unless you’re really high, if your only engine stops, your best bet is to look out the window for a runway, not a sectional chart. As part of your normal flying routine, you should always be looking out the window for suitable landing fields, just in case. Instrument flying makes this a bit harder to do, unless you fly courses that stay near highways and fields. That might not always be the shortest route, but in my experience, it rarely adds more than 10-15 minutes to the trip, while adding a lot of peace-of-mind.

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  6. Andrew on Jun 25, 2013

    Ok? I think we are straying from the orginal question.

    An emergency landing was only an EXAMPLE where the pilot would have to QUICKLY find another place to land and have the runway to do it safely. There are thousands of variables that we could add to this problem. Size of plane, weight, weather, type of runway surface, failure to plan for alternate airport enroute to destination, etc etc etc.

    But this question is finished.

    ANSWER: The charts and A/FD show the runway at its TOTAL length. From grass at one end to grass at the other. BUT, the pilot has to “drill down” (read) into the A/FD to be sure that the length printed on either the charts, books or whatever, is the USEABLE length avaiable to safely land the aircraft.

    One airport I know of has 700 feet threshold and under that 700 feet is a tunnel for automobiles. If something REALLY REALLY HEAVY (worse case scenario), were to land on that spot, it might brake the tunnel or even brake through (again…..worse case senario and mabye not even probable…no need to respond)

    This is all a mute point because any responsable pilot has one or more alternate airports in his flight plan. Either written down or just in his head. But ALL of the airports he has chosen should be thoroughly checked before walking to the plane.

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