Intentionally landing on public roads

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Mr.Metro
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Intentionally landing on public roads

#1 Post by Mr.Metro » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:39 am

Hi,

I recently retired the commercial world of flying and finished building myself a kitfox 7. Having allot of fun :)

I have landed it on my brothers farm a few times North East of Edmonton. He usually goes out and mows me a nice strip and then drives it with his truck to give me a good report before I arrive. Last time I was out there, I was discussing with one of his neighbours who said a few farms down there was a guy with an ultralight who just runs it off and back from the range road in front of his house....

I am wondering if this would be legal? It is a rarely used road, with no power lines on either side and usually favouring the wind.

I have tried to find the answer, but have not had much luck. I asked the local RCMP officer out there, and he said he has never seen planes taking off from the range road, but was unsure of if that would be legal as well. Said if the CARS allowed it, he wouldn’t be giving me any hassle over doing it.

Just wondering if anyone is able to help answer this?


Thanks!
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#2 Post by photofly » Sat Sep 22, 2018 11:53 am

I don't think there's anything in the CARs about it, as long as the "built-up area" rules don't apply (602.12, 602.13).

I imagine provincial traffic legislation might have something to say, for instance, I note that Alberta's Traffic Safety Act includes an aircraft under the definition of a "motor vehicle".
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#3 Post by Mr.Metro » Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:17 pm

Here is the definition from the Alberta traffic safety act;

“motor vehicle” means
(i) a vehicle propelled by any power other than muscular power, or
(ii) a moped,
but does not include a bicycle, a power bicycle, an aircraft, an implement of husbandry or a motor vehicle that runs only on rails;


Looks like an airplane is not a motor vehicle
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#4 Post by photofly » Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:30 pm

Oops...I misread that! thanks.
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#5 Post by mmm..bacon » Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:40 pm

But then you'd have to read the full MVA to read if it specifically prohibits aircraft operation. The definition given mentions bicycles and implements of husbandry - and while bikes might be scarce in rural Alberta, I don't think that tractors are, and you see them on the roads all of the time..

The other method would be (to paraphrase Ralph Klein) "Land, Taxi off, and shut up!"
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#6 Post by Bede » Sat Sep 22, 2018 6:22 pm

The Ontario highway traffic act specifically prohibits this unless the OPP blocks off traffic and a CPL says it's safe. There's a good chance that the Alberta version of the HTA is similar.

https://www.ontario.ca/laws/statute/90h08#BK283
S. 187

Also, I've heard of a case where TC sanctioned a pilot under 602.01 for this even though it's not in the CAR's.
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#7 Post by Posthumane » Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:42 pm

I've read through a number of the regulations under the Alberta Traffic Safety Act, and they don't mention aircraft specifically except where it states that the "Motor vehicle" definition excludes aircraft. They regulate pretty much anything else that can be on a road (pedestrians, animals, trailers, "implements of husbandry," and even air cushion vehicles) but oddly leave aircraft out.

In any case, while it's not a "motor vehicle" under the act, an aircraft on the ground would be a "vehicle" and is subject to restrictions placed on vehicles. Off-highway vehicles are only allowed to cross roads using the shortest route possible and not drive on them. Air cushion vehicles are prohibited on roads altogether. All vehicles are subject to dimensional limitations and aircraft would generally exceed the width limitation.

So if you do decide to take off from a road, make sure you're not caught as there are a number of regulations you could be fined/charged against.
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#8 Post by aeroncasuperchief » Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:10 pm

Most A/C are SLIGHTLY beyond the maximum width allowance without an escort/permit. I do not recall seeing an A/C with turn signals, running and brake lights either. I have landed on MANY roads and even the TCH. Once, I landed near Marathon on the TCH and a officer ( ex-comm pilot ) came out and ok'd the take-off after the highway was closed ( I was a comm pilot/ AME also ) Have a GOOD reason to land ,,,,,,
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#9 Post by dogone » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:05 pm

Here in sask dusters use the roads and secondary highways all the time. I land and taxi up to the local restaurant. NEVER had issues. Just one cop stopped to chat. If an airplane is a problem on a road then what is a combine or three ( up to 40 ft wide) doing on the same road?
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#10 Post by digits_ » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:37 pm

dogone wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:05 pm
I land and taxi up to the local restaurant.
Do you fit in the drive-through?
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#11 Post by JULIETTE » Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:57 pm

aeroncasuperchief wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 8:10 pm
Most A/C are SLIGHTLY beyond the maximum width allowance without an escort/permit. I do not recall seeing an A/C with turn signals, running and brake lights either.
The vehicle equipment regulations of Alberta clearly state;

Turn signal lamps
21(1) This section applies to a motor vehicle manufactured on or after January 1, 1971.

And it has been established that aircraft are not motor vehicles.
Posthumane wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:42 pm
In any case, while it's not a "motor vehicle" under the act, an aircraft on the ground would be a "vehicle" and is subject to restrictions placed on vehicles. Off-highway vehicles are only allowed to cross roads using the shortest route possible and not drive on them. Air cushion vehicles are prohibited on roads altogether. All vehicles are subject to dimensional limitations and aircraft would generally exceed the width limitation.

So if you do decide to take off from a road, make sure you're not caught as there are a number of regulations you could be fined/charged against.
A motor bike, OHV, air cusion vehicle, etc would all still be a motor vehicle because they are propelled by something other than muscle power. So they must follow the rules. The Act specifically says airplanes are not motor vehicles, so I am not seeing how any highway regulations would apply to them. The regulations are not for “vehicles” but are for “motor vehicles”

I have worked at many airports, and rarely have I seen Transport out there. I am assuming they are less likely to drive to some farm to investigate issues. They can not fine/penalize you without an investigation and unless you are truly doing something dangerous, I don’t see them making a fuss.

I have personally had people call Transport with my registration. Being dumb and flying too low. All I got was a letter saying “there was a complaint” and not to let it happen again. I would assume if Landing safely on this road was an issue, you would get the same. In my opinion, I don’t think there is any regulatory issue with you landing on a Range Road so it is probably just a moot point worrying about it anyways.
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#12 Post by AirFrame » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:24 am

In Canada, the CARs boil down to: You can land anywhere you like as long as you don't piss anyone off.

That includes:
- Local residents - damage their crops/grass/etc? --> pissed off
- Local constabulary - local bylaws prohibit it? --> pissed off
- etc.

So... don't piss anyone off.
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#13 Post by Posthumane » Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:48 am

JULIETTE wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 10:57 pm

A motor bike, OHV, air cusion vehicle, etc would all still be a motor vehicle because they are propelled by something other than muscle power. So they must follow the rules. The Act specifically says airplanes are not motor vehicles, so I am not seeing how any highway regulations would apply to them. The regulations are not for “vehicles” but are for “motor vehicles”
Incorrect. The regulations under the Alberta Traffic Safety Act regulate the use of all vehicles, not just motor vehicles. The terms "vehicle" and "motor vehicle" are defined because certain clauses apply to just motor vehicles and certain apply to other vehicles. For example, the Vehicle Equipment Regulation (AR 122/2009) defines the requirements for cars, busses, implements of husbandry, trailers, bicycles, power-bicycles, motorcycles, etc. Not all of these are motor vehicles, only some of them are.

The Alberta Traffic Safety Act defines a vehicle as:
“vehicle” means a device in, on or by which a person or
thing may be transported or drawn and includes a
combination of vehicles but does not include a mobility
aid.
Pretty much anything that can move under its own power but is not a "motor vehicle" is considered an Off-Highway Vehicle. The definition of an Off Highway Vehicle under the act includes:
(ix) any other means of transportation that is propelled by
any power other than muscular power or wind,
but does not include
(x) motor boats, or
(xi) any other vehicle exempted from being an off-
highway vehicle by regulation;
Perhaps there is a higher level regulation that states Aircraft are not considered Off-highway vehicles, so feel free to correct me.

Anyway, I'm not saying it can't be done, or even that it shouldn't be done. The reason I looked these up is because it's something I wanted to do as well. The rules do not say "thou shalt not land on a road", but they also don't say "you may land on a road." Most of the time if you're not interfering with anybody, probably nobody would have an issue with it. But there are regulations in place that could be used against you if do something to piss someone off. If you read through the regulations, there are many things that people do on a daily basis that are in contravention of them, but they don't get fined because for the most part nobody cares or even knows.
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#14 Post by Adam Oke » Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:24 am

Some of the best spray strips I've operated off of were roads. A little narrow, but this is why your instructors tell you to keep it on the centre line!

Image

Logging roads are nice too. They require a slightly different skill set.

Image

Image

I have a buddy that parks his Cherokee in his barn. His runway is the road in front of his house. There is only one powerline to go under, but aside from that it's a really nice strip!
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#15 Post by C.W.E. » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:05 pm

Some of the best spray strips I've operated off of were roads. A little narrow, but this is why your instructors tell you to keep it on the centre line!
Same here, roads were excellent runways and they saved time flying to airports to reload.
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#16 Post by dogone » Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:12 pm

Dusters rule! A narrow country road with even a shallow ditch does focus the mind. Makes the home strip ridiculously wide.
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#17 Post by aeroncasuperchief » Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:51 pm

Landing at eagle plains Yt in my Nordo C-120 was interesting. Gusty crosswinds and rain and the potholes filled with water, I taxied in to the service station ( not the runway that doubles as the highway some 10 km north) to get fuel and a bite to eat. I get congratulated for a good landing as I try to hide my shivering caused not by the cold but the crazy landing. After fuelling up at the bowser with other car and truck traffic, I am off to Tuk,,,, the take-off was just as interesting with lifting the wings to clear sign posts and a GATE and a turning take-off in gusty cross-winds with rain and Potholes again,,,,, Thankfully, I had no issues with vehicular traffic ,,,,,,,, Maybe next time I shall tell the story of a landing on the Mackenzie
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#18 Post by valleyboy » Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:47 am

It's like speeding. You are only guilty if you get caught. John Law is the least of your concerns. In this day of high and I hear this spring a jump of almost 20% insurance is where your concern should be. First I doubt if general aviation aircraft are covered landing off strip. Unless you are prepared to lie and claim an emergency you might be left holding the bag. I'm not sure if low on fuel is a valid excuse.
The "breach of promise clause" is part of the "off strip" operator world which covers aircraft for landing on unprepared strips. People will argue float planes do it all the time but will an insurance company, who are always your best buddy, see that reasoning. It's worth a phone call to your broker.

Off strip is a lot of fun and in my youth, armed with a J3 90 HP there was't a place in southern ontario I didn't land, roads, fields and farm strips. Many times behind country restaurants for coffee and a sandwich and even the odd gas station for fuel when airports were scarce. I think landing pretty much anywhere is a blast. You just need to eliminate the surprises and if by chance your insurance is void, do you rust your skills?
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#19 Post by Flyboy19803 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 1:42 pm

Our family has been using the rural road for 40 years, my dad and now myself. Mostly Ag flying but have landed a 172 and a Mooney. We’re located SE of Edmonton around the Camrose area. We have never had an issue. And the County Cop lived down the road from us as well. One thing my dad said. “Son, runways end. Roads never end”
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#20 Post by N181CS » Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:58 pm

So far as I read the COPA information on their flight with Provincial and Municipal authorities neither the province or municipality can make a law regarding the core of aviation. Take off and landing being a core of aviation. Not saying it's legal or not but they can't stop you from using a lake or other property.
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#21 Post by Bede » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:01 am

N181CS wrote:
Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:58 pm
So far as I read the COPA information on their flight with Provincial and Municipal authorities neither the province or municipality can make a law regarding the core of aviation. Take off and landing being a core of aviation. Not saying it's legal or not but they can't stop you from using a lake or other property.
I think that you're taking a simplistic approach to a complex feature of Canadian constitutional law. Without writing the pages required to give proper treatment of this subject, I should point out that s. 92 of our Constitution gives provinces the authority to make such laws. Your comment alludes to the doctrine of interjurisdictional immunity (IJI), which requires "impairment" in addition to something being "at the core of the federal competency", though IJI would be the incorrect doctrine to apply in this case.
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#22 Post by N181CS » Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:42 am

Very over simplified for sure. This is av Canadian I'm not here to prove I have the biggest brain or waste my time looking to quote statutes and links. I would say it could be an impairment to airborne application and I'm sure some other areas of aviation as well. I could live in the sticks but not be close to an airport or a lake... anyway as you said over simplified. To be honest though you would rather there be a PO for it rather then a TC or Criminal violation as if a Provincial Offence exists they have to prove why they should not use the lowest form of punishment and it gives the judge more options to no totally toast your life and career.
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#23 Post by photofly » Thu Oct 11, 2018 7:52 am

Pith and substance, people. Pith and substance.

Per Wikipedia article on same:

“Thus, if a statute is found in substance to relate to a topic within the competence of the legislature, it should be held to be intra vires even though it might incidentally trench on topics not within its legislative competence. The extent of the encroachment on matters beyond its competence may be an element in determining whether the legislation is colourable: whether in the guise of making a law on a matter within its competence, the legislature is, in truth, making a law on a subject beyond its competence. However, where that is not the position, the fact of encroachment does not affect the vires of the law even as regards the area of encroachment.”

Now try to argue that who uses roads and for what purpose isn’t the competence of the provincial government.
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#24 Post by N181CS » Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:56 am

How about landing and taking off in a Provincial park? Or within city limits? That argument could be used in a lot of cases. It's a public right of way and society is built around those right of ways, plus I'll be charged with trespassing if I don't use those right of ways to go from A to B. As long as its not a dnager to the public and posses no real hazard I feel it's acceptable. But hey that's my opinion and this is not a show your work assignment to prove how you got to your thought process. I'm cool with others interpretation of the rules this is just mine.
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Re: Intentionally landing on public roads

#25 Post by photofly » Thu Oct 11, 2018 9:03 am

Landing and taking off in city limits is governed by CAR 602.13. Provincial regulation wouldn’t apply.
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