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Avoid These 10 Mistakes During Taxi

There's a lot that can go wrong on the ground. Don't make these mistakes as you taxi to the runway...

1) Failing To Clear All Intersections

Especially at busy airports, make sure to clear all intersecting taxiways ahead and to the sides of your aircraft.

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2) Not Having The Taxi Diagram Ready

Keep your taxi diagram out for situational awareness. It also makes things much easier if you're given a new taxi route..


3) Programming Your Route During Taxi

Avoid programming your route as you taxi, even if it's a re-route from what you originally programmed. Find a place to stop, then go heads-down.


4) Heads-Down Taxiing

Simply put, avoid being heads-down during taxi. It could be for almost anything: looking at your iPad, checking en-route conditions, or even just reaching for something out of your bag.


5) Forgetting to Brief Your Taxi Route

Before you move, brief your taxi route and all hotspots. Try tracing your taxi route with the "highlight" feature on your ForeFlight or Jeppesen EFB.

6) Read Back ALL Hold-Short Or Crossing Instructions

When reading back taxi clearances, you must read back all hold-short or crossing restrictions. Do your best to copy down the instructions for busy airports and don't be afraid to ask for clarification if you're confused.

Swayne Martin

7) Do You Remember Wind Corrections?

The application of elevator/aileron crosswind taxi corrections helps to minimize the weathervaning tendency, and ultimately results in making the airplane easier to maneuver on the ground.


8) If You Get Lost, Stop

The last thing you want is to create a traffic conflict on the ground at a busy airport. If you get lost or confused, stop and ask for clarification. If you need a progressive taxi from ATC, request one.

Corey Komarec

9) How Fast Is Too Fast?

The FAA recommends taxiing at a speed similar to a "brisk walk." Take things slow in busy ramp areas and as you speed up on longer taxi routes, don't rush, especially at night and when taxiway lighting is poor. Slow down near runway crossings to verify it's clear in both directions.

10) Use Your Taxi Light As A Movement Signal

Most airlines and corporate flight crews use their taxi light to signal aircraft movements. If you're going to stop or give way to other traffic moving on the ground, flip your taxi light off.


What other mistakes should pilots avoid during taxi? Tell us in the comments below.

Swayne Martin

Swayne is an editor at Boldmethod, certified flight instructor, and an Embraer 145 First Officer for a regional airline. He graduated as an aviation major from the University of North Dakota in 2018, holds a PIC Type Rating for Cessna Citation Jets (CE-525), and is a former pilot for Mokulele Airlines. He's the author of articles, quizzes and lists on Boldmethod every week. You can reach Swayne at, and follow his flying adventures on his YouTube Channel.

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