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From the Desk of the Chief

From the Desk of the Chief

Jesse Gamueda, Chief Pilot WVFC jesse@wvfc.org

 

San Carlos safety update!

The lazy days of summer are upon us.  The smell of BBQ abounds, the days are longer and as aviators, we are itching to get back in the air!

This is a more serious article where I am going to need to step away from pleasant summer thoughts and inform you of some serious matters surrounding our San Carlos club. 

Vehicle Pedestrian Deviations have become an issue with the club!  It appears that we have been involved in two of these incidents, which according to the FAA is two too many!

So to remediate our membership and flight instructor cadre, the staff at WVFC has had to take some steps so that these incidents never happen again.

This means changing our new membership forms and quizzes to include questions regarding “Positive Control of Guests” as well as sending out information to our flight instructor cadre.  Also, San Carlos airport operations would like us to send out basic information about what has occurred and how we as a club will move forward to change our policies.  The article this month is one of those steps that we are taking in helping to change our culture at the airport.

So to explain in detail what happened, the incidents involved members of our club losing control of their guests.  Meaning that guests of the WVFC members were allowed on the airport and crossed the line!  Literally!  The guests crossed into a movement area where no one is allowed to be.  This was pedestrian traffic.  And because they were guests of members, and unescorted this raises many red flags with the FAA, San Carlos Airport, and WVFC management.

To remedy this situation I’ve included a few charts and diagrams provided to us from San Carlos airport operations that detail exactly where these boundaries are and where we are allowed to be with our guests. 

But before I begin that explanation, I am going to regale you with some very important information regarding your guests.  WHENEVER you bring a guest onto the airport property, guests MUST REMAIN WITH YOU AT ALL TIMES!  This is nonnegotiable and if your guests are found without you, then your right to fly at WVFC may be suspended or revoked.  This is the main point that the FAA wants us to address.   Again, to reiterate, under no circumstances are your guests to be allowed on the airport unescorted!  This means they cannot be without you!  I am including airport diagrams that will be available to peruse at the San Carlos Club.

So that you know exactly where you can and cannot walk on the airport premises, I’ve included some diagrams to help you understand this.


On the diagram above, you will notice where WVFC is located and where we are allowed to walk as members with our guests escorted.  Under further scrutiny you’ll find that we are not allowed onto any taxiways as a pedestrian or with a car/vehicle.  This includes Juliet, Kilo, Lima and Mike taxiways or runways.

If you cannot see it in detail on this diagram, I’ve included another on the next page.  Movement into this area in an aircraft is not allowed without a clearance either.  That’s a given.  So before leaving the non movement area, just request a taxi clearance from KSQL ground.  Movement areas, so that we are clear, are those areas where we need permission to “move” to, I.E. taxiways and runways. 

Another issue that I am going to address is gate access codes.  These codes are for MEMBERS ONLY! Under no circumstances are you to share gate codes with your guests!  They are for you alone as a member. Both of these incidents would have been prevented if the guests would not have been given a gate code!



On the diagram above you will notice that taxiways Juliet, Kilo, Lima and Mike, you are not allowed any entry under any circumstance by foot, car or aircraft unless you have a clearance specifically from tower!  And clearance is only going to be allowed to aircraft.  Never are you allowed to cross these areas with a car or on foot!  Let’s make that clear!  No cars or pedestrian traffic on the taxiways or runways!  This includes the chevron areas at the end of the runway! 

All of the WVFC aircraft are located on the Juliet parking at the San Carlos airport.  My intent here is not to be a buzz kill, but rather to inform you of the areas of the airport that WVFC currently has access to, which is a segue into the next point.  Airport access is not a right for WVFC members and can be revoked at any time from numerous agencies including the FAA, San Carlos Airport Authority or WVFC management.  It is a privilege bestowed unto all the businesses at the airport. 

In closing, often times I am the bearer of bad news.  But this is not bad news, we are providing you with the tools that you need to make more informed and educated decisions when dealing with your guests at the San Carlos airport.  Empowerment is a huge gift in life.  When we are informed of those things that we are allowed to do and walk the line accordingly, we are blessed with a flying club that allows us all to proceed with our dream of flying and introducing others to this fantastic opportunity.  This article is being written so that you take your guests with confidence on a trip that most individuals just don’t get the chance to be part of. 

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