Senator lands on closed runway, departs on taxiway . . .


Washington Post story


What an amazing display of bad judgment and unbelievable ego! What a pompous ass this guy is. Just decide to ignore the closed runway rather than go to another airport. Too bad the FAA will never do a freaking thing about this guy.


Oh oh, FAA now investigating!!!


No doubt landing on a closed runway is a violation, however, it IS legal to land/depart on a taxiway, nothing in the FARs prohibit it.

I recall an Aviation Safety article awhile back that spoke of the legality of landing on taxiways claiming in certain (rare) instances landing on a taxiway may be a better alternative than the runway should the wind be favoring it at an airport have a single runway.


91.13 :wink: should you have a perfectly useable runway to land or takeoff from “short of an emergency”.

Xwinds that bad? Find another airport to land at.


Oh Allen, I should have anticipated a rebuttal from you. Where does it explicitly state a landing on a taxiway is prohibited? Here is FAR 91.13 verbatim:

"Sec. 91.13- Careless or reckless operation.

a. Aircraft operations for the purpose of air navigation. No person may operate an aircraft in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another.

b. Aircraft operations other than for the purpose of air navigation. No person may operate an aircraft, other than for the purpose of air navigation, on any part of the surface of an airport used by aircraft for air commerce (including areas used by those aircraft for receiving or discharging persons or cargo), in a careless or reckless manner so as to endanger the life or property of another."

If you’re interested and I can find it, I’ll post the title of the article. I’d post the article itself, although I’m not keen on breaking any copyrights here…

**Edited for spelling error


You are right there is nothing to prohibit you from landing on a taxiway when you have an available runway. I never said otherwise.

Take note of the last sentence which I am trying to subtely point out to you. You want to land on a taxiway when there is a wide open runway, be my guest, not my ticket on the line if and when someone like airport personnel complains.

Like I said earlier, Xwind not enough justification to land on a taxiway when all my training says divert to another airport with a runway that fits the wind conditions. Enough said.


The nice thing about FAA regulations…they are purposefully ambigious.

The worst thing about FAA regulations…they are purposefully ambigious.

The reason being, it gives FAA investigators enough leeway for any situation. While it may not explicitly say you can or can not use a taxiway to takeoff or land, it would not be a hard case to say it was careless or reckless under the aforementioned regulation.


More likely to be a combination of 91.13 and 91.103.

“Each pilot in command shall, before beginning a flight, become familiar with all information concerning that flight…”

It goes on to specify knowledge of runway lengths and aircraft runway requirements. I’m guessing the FAA will take issue with his planning a flight to an airport with closed runways. Also, I’d be interested in seeing the NOTAMs for the time of the flight.


Me too…

One thing for sure as demo’d in my own video I did almost a year ago at the decision on landing on a taxiway shouldn’t be taken lightly even with the NOTAM posted as such in the beginning of the video.

5:40 minutes in, good demonstration on why a pilot needs to get their NOTAMS.

I did this so I could get “real world” experience on landing on narrow strips. With the wide stance of the Sundowner, not much real estate between the wheels and the edge of the pavement.