Golf Carts or other Vehicles used on the Ramp
In the last 12 months we have had two reportable accidents that involved property damage when using golf carts during special events put on by our organizations.
Neither of these incidents caused excessive damage but they do call attention to hazards that we should be aware of when operating any vehicle on or around our hangar and airport ramp. One incident involved a golf cart rolling away when unattended and hitting a fuel truck and the other involved a golf cart being used to haul tent poles after an event. The tent poles were wider than the golf cart and when driving close to a vehicle parked with its door open the poles hung up on the car’s open door damaging the door.
These are both minor accidents but having two similar accidents in a year is unusual. These two incidents along with a couple of questions I have received concerning who can or should operate a vehicle on the ramp makes me want to issue another Safety Bulletin on this subject.
Quite a few of our units have assorted vehicles that they use on a regular basis around their hangar or during special events put on by the units. These can include aircraft tugs, golf carts, fork lifts, utility vehicles and historic military vehicles, along with personal vehicles used to haul trailers (PX, Aircraft Cockpit, or utility) used during events. It is the unit’s responsibility to ensure that any members operating these vehicles are licensed drivers who have been checked out and approved to operate these specific types of vehicles on the ramp. (This includes Cadets who have a current driver’s licenses if they have been checked out and approved for vehicle operation by the unit.)
Whenever any types of vehicles are used on the ramp in close proximity to aircraft it is a good idea to chock the wheels whenever they are left unattended, even when the brakes are set.
If you are using a golf cart to haul cargo around it is recommended that you buy a rear seat flip cargo deck conversion kit. When you have a rear seat or cargo deck on your golf cart, you should also install heavy duty rear springs on the golf.