People on the ramp

You’ve just started the engine and you are about to go through your pre-taxi checklist. Then you spot a child running towards your plane.

What do you do?!

If you took more than about 3 seconds to decide, then you were too slow.

Most airport ramps are empty of people but this isn’t always the case. A non-pilot child or adult could wander out of a hangar, or away from another plane in which they were a passenger.

Perhaps you will be asked to fly at an event where people are just on the other side of some plastic tape strung between cones.

People can access the ramp where your plane is so always be prepared.

By thinking about these sorts of issues in advance you will not need to waste precious seconds deciding what the best course of action is. If anyone approaches your running airplane on the ramp, pull the mixture!

If you really have your wits about you, go ahead and pull the prop and throttle back as well.

Yes, this might be bad for your avionics system, but there are pilots out there who have watched somebody go through their prop and they have to live with that memory the rest of their lives.

The disc of the propellor is invisible when it is running and there are stories of pilots or experienced ramp agents walking right into them because they were distracted.

Please be safe and pray for the families and victims who have been hurt by airplanes as well as the pilots involved.