9 Votes (4.78 Average) and 3,223 Views  

Daher-Socata TBM-900 — - Having accidentally turned on to the vehicle perimeter roadway instead of on to Taxiway Charlie, this TBM9 has been ordered to Stop - Stop - Stop by the ground controller. Simultaneously with the ground controller's transmission, the pilot was radioing to the controller asking why there were four traffic cones and a person with a camera on Charlie. The person with the camera (me) stepped a couple of feet away from the edge of the vehicle road surface and snapped this photo while the ground controller explained to the pilot that he was not on Taxiway Charlie as had been instructed and then instructed him to turn around and go back to the entry point (visible just above the wings) and taxi on to Charlie (which is on the right edge of this photo).
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Daher-Socata TBM-900 —

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Having accidentally turned on to the vehicle perimeter roadway instead of on to Taxiway Charlie, this TBM9 has been ordered to Stop - Stop - Stop by the ground controller. Simultaneously with the ground controller's transmission, the pilot was radioing to the controller asking why there were four traffic cones and a person with a camera on Charlie. The person with the camera (me) stepped a couple of feet away from the edge of the vehicle road surface and snapped this photo while the ground controller explained to the pilot that he was not on Taxiway Charlie as had been instructed and then instructed him to turn around and go back to the entry point (visible just above the wings) and taxi on to Charlie (which is on the right edge of this photo).

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Gary SchenauerPhoto Uploader
I had heard the ground controller give instructions for the Socata to taxi from the ramp on to Charlie, turn right, and taxi on Charlie to 16L, and then to hold short of 16L. I could hear it getting closer behind me but I was facing north watching for an inbound freighter so I did not know the Socata was taxiing right toward me until I heard a sudden flurry of radio transmissions and looked over my shoulder. I heard the ground controller direct the Socata pilot to Stop - Stop - Stop and then the pilot radioing the controller. By the time I looked behind me, the Socata had stopped and that was when I distinctly heard the pilot asking about "the person with the camera" on Taxiway Charlie. I was NOT "on Charlie" but I knew exactly who he was referring to. I wasn't even standing on the pavement of the perimeter road but I was only a foot or so off of it so I moved a few feet further away from the road and then clicked this pic.
The pilot's inadvertent turn on to the road instead of the taxiway is actually somewhat understandable. The runway and taxiway lights had blinked off for the day only a few seconds before the pilot began to taxi off the ramp. And at RNO, Charlie Taxiway is doglegged at both ends. (One of the doglegs is visible in the background of this photo.) It just so happens that the vehicle roadway comes rather close to aligning perfectly with the doglegs at either end so a pilot who is unfamiliar with the layout can, in semidark circumstances, mistake the vehicle road for Charlie. Of course, taxiway directional signs and identifiers are prominently posted but that sign in the background was probably misunderstood by the Socata pilot. In any event, I scooted my butt well away from the road, the ground controller got the pilot turned around and safely on to Charlie, and all was well. The pilot and I even exchanged friendly waves as he went by - on Charlie. lol
Dwight Hartje
Very interesting shot of an unusual event for sure, Gray! With the dogleg taxiway and vehicle road, I can see where the confusion might have come from. It is however, still a good reminder of why we always pay full 360º attention when on an active airfield. Thanks for sharing this pic and story and have an excellent day!
Darryl Sarno
Great catch of an interesting and unusual event Gary!
Greg Byington
That's a great shot and a cool story, Gary!
Tom Vance
5 Photog awards for this! I guess the ground radar finked him out pretty quick...and I understand..maybe they ought to reset the taxiway lights for 20+ mins for visibility in the AM...you would have had to really "duck" on this one....LOL!

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