Replace Wooden Chocks with Rubber Chocks
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 10:16AM
John L. Enticknap and Ron R. Jackson, ABSG in FBO Best Practices, FBO Best Practices, Ramp Accidents, SOPs, chocks, rubber chocks, wing walkers, wooden chocks

Chuck your wooden chocks.

Wooden chocks can slip or slide when forces are applied, and an aircraft can lurch forward or backward and pose a danger to people and property.

Instead, invest in rubber chocks. Yes, they cost a little more, but with so many aircraft movements involving expensive aircraft, an investment in rubber chocks can help you diminish risk, lower your exposure to accidents and possibly reduce your insurance premiums.

Remember, ramp accidents are a $10 billion-a-year worldwide problem. With the cost of an aircraft ramp accident averaging $275,000 per occurrence, wise FBOs review their standard operating procedures (SOPs) with an eye toward mitigating risk.

The goal would be to eliminate all accidents and injuries and drive incident rates to a level approaching zero. The process of achieving that goal involves creating a safety culture where the mindset does not leave anything to chance.

With this in mind, ditching your wooden chocks is a very simple way to start. Use them for kindling the next time you fire up the grill for a wienie roast.

We also recommend that wing walkers hand-carry rubber chocks and be trained to use them to prevent roll in the event an aircraft breaks away from the tow vehicle. We know of several incidents when this has happened and have photos that show the catastrophic results.

Best Practices

The following are abbreviated standard operating procedures (SOPs) based on industry best practices for chocking aircraft. If you would like copy of the expanded versions, please contact us at our email addresses listed below.

  1. Proper chocking is based on size and type of aircraft, according to NATA Safety 1st best practices.
  2. All aircraft on ramp shall be properly secured to prevent uncontrollable movement.
  3. Rubber chocks are required for use on all aircraft on the ramp and in hangars.
  4. Place rubber chocks so that they do not rest directly on the tire.
  5. While on the ramp, all aircraft should be chocked on both mains and the nose wheel.
  6. All aircraft stored in hangars should be chocked on both mains.

In addition, it is industry best practice to chock all ground service equipment (GSE) whether in use on the ramp, in the hangar or in storage. In a future blog post, we will discuss in more detail the chocking of GSE equipment.

Please leave any comments you have about this blog post below. If you have any questions, please give us a call or send us an email:, 404-867-5518;, 972-979-6566.


John Enticknap has more than 35 years of aviation fueling and FBO services industry experience and is an IS-BAH Accredited auditor. Ron Jackson is co-founder of Aviation Business Strategies Group and president of The Jackson Group, a PR agency specializing in FBO marketing and customer service training. Visit the biography page or for more background.


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