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So the other day I was getting checked out at a local FBO, after returning to the ramp, instructor told me to taxi between two parked (tied-down aircraft). It was a tight squeeze but I taxied at about 1 MPH and I looked at left wing while instructor kept an eye on right wing. I really didn't think anything of it. Note, access to the other side of the line was blocked off by some vehicles so we couldn't taxi in from the back, hence cutting between two parked aircraft. However, we could have shut down on the front and pushed the aircraft back into its parking spot.

However, about 5 minutes later, a car drove up to us as we were securing the aircraft. It was the owner of one of the aircraft that we taxied next to. He spoke to the instructor, I didn't hear exactly what he said, but it was something about not taxing so close to his aircraft. Personally, I have no problem, pushing the airplane back into its spot, but it got me thinking about what regulation if any is implicated here.

I looked, and didn't find anything. So my question is whether there are any FAA, airport or other regulations or rules that prevent a small aircraft from taxiing between two parked aircraft on the ramp? I don't think there is any legal authority prohibiting taxiing between aircraft, or how many feet you must keep from a parked aircraft.

This reminds me of the aviation joke:

Aircraft Squawk - Left main almost needs to be replaced.

A&P Response - Almost replaced left main.

In this case:

Aircraft owner - You almost hit my airplane.

Me - You're welcome.

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  • $\begingroup$ I don't believe there is any regulation for this on the FAA side. Just look at how close airliners get while taxiing around gates/push-back. Airlines may have company policies or airports may have policies, but that would be too broad to answer here (and you are asking about GA or small aircraft). $\endgroup$ – Ron Beyer Aug 22 '18 at 20:38
  • $\begingroup$ How about "careless or reckless such as to endanger the life or property of another", or however exactly the regulation goes? Though I would argue you were likely neither careless nor reckless, but rather aware of the danger and taking appropriate steps to mitigate it, assuming of course that really nothing got damaged or hit. But next time, yeah, I'd suggest considering to just move the aircraft by hand power instead... $\endgroup$ – a CVn Aug 22 '18 at 21:16
  • $\begingroup$ @MichaelKjörling I agree that is the only possible one that might apply. Although, like you said, with power at idle, riding the brakes at a crawl probably doesn't meet the level of careless or reckless. :) $\endgroup$ – Devil07 Aug 22 '18 at 21:19
  • $\begingroup$ Also, I think it was an airplane that usually lives in a hanger; it was shinier than the tie-down riffraff. $\endgroup$ – Devil07 Aug 22 '18 at 21:22
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There isn't any such regulation. That part of the airport is a "non movement area" (if you want a reference). Of course, you want to be a good neighbor, and not toss rocks, etc. I usually push my airplane into parking, and pull it out before engine start. But that is just me.

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  • $\begingroup$ I totally agree! I rent so usually all of the aircraft in and around the rental aircraft are the FBO's aircraft, and they don't have a problem with us starting up on the line. Personally, I usually taxi to the parking spot and push back unless its clear. However, I can also understand that instructors who are doing this 5-6 times a day are in a bit of a hurry and want to taxi through into their spot. But Its definitely a "being a good neighbor" issue more than a regulatory one. $\endgroup$ – Devil07 Aug 22 '18 at 21:16

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