Fear of Taxiing

Over the last few months I’ve developed what I will call a fear of taxiing and it is interfering with my flying – you typically can’t fly if you can’t taxi to the runway! Here’s the problem (as I seem to see it). This (old) satellite image from Google shows the parking ramp at the FBO we use and the taxiway to 28L (and keep heading east to get to 28R); the pinkish line shows where the taxiway starts, everything south of that line is a non-movement area.

The parking area is busy, my club alone has 20+ planes in that area, and there is just the one way in and out. Planes typically have to yield but there’s very few places to “pull over” and, since its a non-movement area there’s no organisation to the chaos.

Recently I’ve been finding reasons to cancel flights – the parking ramp will be too busy, the plane I have booked is all the way at the end of the line, what if I meet someone coming down on my way out etc. All things that never used to bother me. So I cancel and then I haven’t flown for a month, now I’m worried that the crosswind might be too much since its been a month… so I cancel again and next time I wonder if I’m able to land in any condition so I cancel….

To combat this I’ve booked a couple of flights with my CFI, we’ll get my landing confidence back up, we’ll also re-check me out in the Archer (in preparation for the Arrow arriving in May), and we’ll talk about ways to mitigate my taxi fears. I don’t intend to let my licence go to waste but I need to get over this irrational fear.

1 thought on “Fear of Taxiing”

  1. Good reaction ! Flying with your instructor will put you back on track. What you can also do to prevent this in the future is to use more radio. Even if it is not a controlle area, why not say your intentions, and ask the others if there seem to be any conflict ?

    I learned to fly on a controlled (for us, read towered) airport and my first flights to non-controlled ones made me nervous. I had once a close encounter with someone in a tail-dragger who did not go where he said…

    Simple radio calls à la “Nxxx – South part of the ramp, taxiing to ABC..” should help to solve your problem… don’t you think so ?

    My two cents…

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