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Collision alert!



 
 
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  #1  
Old August 16th 06, 02:02 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Greg Copeland[_1_]
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Posts: 54
Default Collision alert!

"Collision alert! Collision alert! Collision alert!"

Needless to say, I doubled my scan to see if the voice on the radio was
talking to me. I didn't see anything but continue to scan until I heard
more. I had never heard this before, so I was curious as to the situation
in which some poor pilot had found himself.

Having spent most of my brief flying life in '80K, I was relieved to hear
the voice come back with, "'95X, collision alert! NORDOR traffic at 11 to
12 'o clock, traveling west bound, at 3600 feet! You have traffic at
your 11 to 12 'o clock and we do not have radio contact!" It only took
some fraction of a second to recall that I was, in fact, in '95X; a plane
I had only flown three times before. It was also at this time I finally
spotted the other plane. Sure enough, he's at my altitude and we were
converging to a single point in space; me south bound and him west bound.

The flight had started some 20 minutes or so earlier from KDTO. This
flight was my madian flight into class bravo as a private pilot. My wife
and youngest son were both on board. Both of which are fairly new to
flying in spam cans. Needless to say I carried a little trepidation
flying into class bravo, knowing full well high expectations follow such a
privilege. The trepidation came from both the lack of experience on my
part but also the desire to not have my family experience any loss of
confidence in their pilot; in the event I stumble handling the demands of
class bravo.

I promptly jumped on the assigned heading and altitude given to me by
Dallas Departure. I was flying along at 3500 feet on a heading of 170.
Several traffic advisories had been given and the usual "contact" or "no
joy" banter went back and forth. I was content and continued to stay on
heading, hold my altitude, and work the radios. I was happy and so were
my passengers.

"Collision alert! Collision alert! Collision alert!"

Having finally spotted the aircraft and realizing I was not flying '80K,
whos callsign had become second nature to me, I replied back on the radio.
We still had some time to react without acting rashly. After all, I
didn't want to upset the "cargo".

"95X, I have contact." Not wanting to compound the situation in the event
other traffic was near I asked if they wanted me to climb or descend.
"Your prerogative." I started to climb with full throttle and even
traded some airspeed for altitude. "95X, climbing to 4500", was my reply.
Had I to do it over again, I would would have descended. As I climed, the
nose obscured the view of the other aircraft. Not wanting to worsen
things with confusing signals (climbing...no wait...descending), I
decided to stick with my climb.

As I leveled off, it became clear the other aircraft had decided to climb
too. Needless to say, when I lowered the nose, I wasn't pleased to see
the other aircraft had followed me up to 4500 feet. In fact, now, we were
really getting close and I was starting to get a little concerned. We
were still converging and the other aircraft was noticeably larger now.
Uncomfortably larger now.

This time, I did not bother with the radio. I decided I would alter my
course to pass behind the other aircraft. Simple solution. Only, as soon
as I finished rolling into my new course, the other aircraft started to
turn toward us. I mean straight, head-on, same altitude, toward us! Now,
once again, I was very surprised. Without delay, I altered course once
again. This time, altering course to the right via a 20-25 degree bank.
I figured, if need be, I still had time to sharpen the bank angle.
Surely this guy has seen us and he'll do the same.

At this point, we're less than a mile away and he's still flying head on.
Just as I start to push forward to dive and begin a steep turn, the other
plane finally begins his turn to his right. I shallow my turn just
slightly so I can maintain visual contact as long as possible. I'd
estimate at our closest point, we were less than half mile away. Once I
lost sight of him behind me, I resumed my assigned course. "95X,
descending to 3500. Can you confirm the NORDO's position? He's flying very
erratic and I no longer have visual."

"95X, we have him at your six. He is following you to 3500." Needless to
say, I'm now wondering if this guy is trying to commit suicide with an air
to air. Almost a full minute later (well, I'm sure it wasn't...but
seemed like...) and glued to the radio, "95X, the plane has resume his
course to the west. He is no longer on your six."

The rest of the flight went like clock work. The hand-offs to Waco
Approach, Houston Approach, and finally KDWH were both painless and
professional by all parties involved. Even the landing went well.
Unfortunately, because of the bank angles, and angles of aircraft in the
turns, we never were able to get the tail number of the idiot flying
NORDO, in class bravo.

I can't help but wonder if they will bother to try to track the idiot down
and hold him accountable.


Greg

Ads
  #2  
Old August 16th 06, 02:05 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Emily[_1_]
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Posts: 632
Default Collision alert!

Greg Copeland wrote:
snip

I can't help but wonder if they will bother to try to track the idiot down
and hold him accountable.


You never know. I knew a guy in college who blundered right through
Indy's airspace, apparently oblivious to the fact that he was even IN an
airplane. Approach watched him land at UMP then called the FBO on the
field and told them to tell the next guy to walk in to call them. So
yeah, sometimes they do.
  #3  
Old August 16th 06, 02:49 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Ron Natalie
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Posts: 1,175
Default Collision alert!

Greg Copeland:
I promptly jumped on the assigned heading and altitude given to me by
Dallas Departure. I was flying along at 3500 feet on a heading of 170.
Several traffic advisories had been given and the usual "contact" or "no
joy" banter went back and forth. I was content and continued to stay on
heading, hold my altitude, and work the radios. I was happy and so were
my passengers.


The proper terminology is "NEGATIVE CONTACT" or "TRAFFIC IN SIGHT"
"Contact" is wrong and so is "No Joy." Banter is not conducive
to effective communcations.



This time, I did not bother with the radio.


Very good. Avigate, Navigate, Communicate (or the corollary: "It's
Bernoulli not Marconi that makes it fly). Your duty in visual
conditions is to avoid the other aircraft regardless of what services
you are receiving from ATC.
  #4  
Old August 16th 06, 03:30 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Peter R.
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Posts: 1,045
Default Collision alert!

Greg Copeland wrote:

"Collision alert! Collision alert! Collision alert!"


The AIM has a section on reporting near mid-air collisions. Would this
incident qualify?

--
Peter
  #5  
Old August 16th 06, 03:53 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Emily[_1_]
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Posts: 632
Default Collision alert!

Peter R. wrote:
Greg Copeland wrote:

"Collision alert! Collision alert! Collision alert!"


The AIM has a section on reporting near mid-air collisions. Would this
incident qualify?

He could always fill out a ASRS form...
  #6  
Old August 16th 06, 04:02 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Larry Dighera
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Posts: 3,843
Default Collision alert!

On Tue, 15 Aug 2006 20:02:06 -0500, Greg Copeland
wrote in :

I was relieved to hear the voice come back with, "'95X, collision alert!
NORDOR traffic at 11 to 12 'o clock, traveling west bound, at 3600 feet!

I finally spotted the other plane. Sure enough, he's at my altitude and we were
converging to a single point in space; me south bound and him west bound.


If he was less than 3,000' AGL, he was in compliance with the
hemispherical regulation, and being on your left, he had the
right-of-way.

The flight had started some 20 minutes or so earlier from KDTO.


KDTO elevation: 642 ft.

I promptly jumped on the assigned heading and altitude given to me by
Dallas Departure. I was flying along at 3500 feet on a heading of 170.

"95X, I have contact." Not wanting to compound the situation in the event
other traffic was near I asked if they wanted me to climb or descend.
"Your prerogative."


Of course the Pilot In Command has not only the prerogative, but the
responsibility to avoid the conflicting traffic in the way he feels is
safest; don't expect ATC to assume that responsibility.

http://www.faa.gov/ATpubs/ATC/Chp2/atc0201.html#2-1-6
3. Once the alert is issued, it is solely the pilot's prerogative
to determine what course of action, if any, will be taken.

However, FAA Order 7110.65 does instruct controllers to offer a course
of action:

b. Aircraft Conflict/Mode C Intruder Alert.
Immediately issue/initiate an alert to an aircraft if you
are aware of another aircraft at an altitude which you
believe places them in unsafe proximity. If feasible,
offer the pilot an alternate course of action.

I started to climb with full throttle and even
traded some airspeed for altitude. "95X, climbing to 4500", was my reply.
Had I to do it over again, I would would have descended. As I climed, the
nose obscured the view of the other aircraft. Not wanting to worsen
things with confusing signals (climbing...no wait...descending), I
decided to stick with my climb.

As I leveled off, it became clear the other aircraft had decided to climb
too. Needless to say, when I lowered the nose, I wasn't pleased to see
the other aircraft had followed me up to 4500 feet. In fact, now, we were
really getting close and I was starting to get a little concerned.


4,500' would be an appropriate altitude for a westbound VFR aircraft.

This time, I did not bother with the radio. I decided I would alter my
course to pass behind the other aircraft.


So you made a turn to the left toward the conflicting traffic.

Simple solution. Only, as soon
as I finished rolling into my new course, the other aircraft started to
turn toward us. I mean straight, head-on, same altitude, toward us! Now,
once again, I was very surprised. Without delay, I altered course once
again. This time, altering course to the right via a 20-25 degree bank.
I figured, if need be, I still had time to sharpen the bank angle.
Surely this guy has seen us and he'll do the same.


That would be in compliance with FAR Sec. 91.115 (c):


http://www.airweb.faa.gov/Regulatory...A?OpenDocument
c) Approaching head-on. When aircraft, or an aircraft and a
vessel, are approaching head-on, or nearly so, each shall alter
its course to the right to keep well clear.

At this point, we're less than a mile away and he's still flying head on.
Just as I start to push forward to dive and begin a steep turn, the other
plane finally begins his turn to his right.


The other pilot must have finally spotted you wing-up.

I shallow my turn just
slightly so I can maintain visual contact as long as possible. I'd
estimate at our closest point, we were less than half mile away. Once I
lost sight of him behind me, I resumed my assigned course. "95X,
descending to 3500. Can you confirm the NORDO's position? He's flying very
erratic and I no longer have visual."

"95X, we have him at your six. He is following you to 3500."
"95X, the plane has resume his course to the west. He is no longer on your six."

I can't help but wonder if they will bother to try to track the idiot down
and hold him accountable.


What do you feel the other pilot did wrong?

Did you have your landing lights lit?

Operation Lights On
http://www.faa.gov/ATpubs/AIM/Chap4/aim0403.html#4-3-23
4-3-23. Use of Aircraft Lights
. The FAA has a voluntary pilot safety program, Operation Lights
On, to enhance the see-and-avoid concept. Pilots are encouraged to
turn on their landing lights during takeoff; i.e., either after
takeoff clearance has been received or when beginning takeoff
roll. Pilots are further encouraged to turn on their landing
lights when operating below 10,000 feet, day or night, especially
when operating within 10 miles of any airport, or in conditions of
reduced visibility and in areas where flocks of birds may be
expected, i.e., coastal areas, lake areas, around refuse dumps,
etc. Although turning on aircraft lights does enhance the
see-and-avoid concept, pilots should not become complacent about
keeping a sharp lookout for other aircraft. Not all aircraft are
equipped with lights and some pilots may not have their lights
turned on. Aircraft manufacturer's recommendations for operation
of landing lights and electrical systems should be observed.


http://www.faa.gov/ATpubs/AIM/Chap7/aim0706.html#7-6-3
7-6-3. Near Midair Collision Reporting

a. Purpose and Data Uses. The primary purpose of the Near Midair
Collision (NMAC) Reporting Program is to provide information for
use in enhancing the safety and efficiency of the National
Airspace System. Data obtained from NMAC reports are used by the
FAA to improve the quality of FAA services to users and to develop
programs, policies, and procedures aimed at the reduction of NMAC
occurrences. All NMAC reports are thoroughly investigated by
Flight Standards Facilities in coordination with Air Traffic
Facilities. Data from these investigations are transmitted to FAA
Headquarters in Washington, DC, where they are compiled and
analyzed, and where safety programs and recommendations are
developed.

b. Definition. A near midair collision is defined as an incident
associated with the operation of an aircraft in which a
possibility of collision occurs as a result of proximity of less
than 500 feet to another aircraft, or a report is received from a
pilot or a flight crew member stating that a collision hazard
existed between two or more aircraft.

c. Reporting Responsibility. It is the responsibility of the pilot
and/or flight crew to determine whether a near midair collision
did actually occur and, if so, to initiate a NMAC report. Be
specific, as ATC will not interpret a casual remark to mean that a
NMAC is being reported. The pilot should state "I wish to report a
near midair collision."

d. Where to File Reports. Pilots and/or flight crew members
involved in NMAC occurrences are urged to report each incident
immediately:

1. By radio or telephone to the nearest FAA ATC facility or FSS.

2. In writing, in lieu of the above, to the nearest Flight
Standards District Office (FSDO).

e. Items to be Reported.

1. Date and time (UTC) of incident.

2. Location of incident and altitude.

3. Identification and type of reporting aircraft, aircrew
destination, name and home base of pilot.

4. Identification and type of other aircraft, aircrew destination,
name and home base of pilot.

5. Type of flight plans; station altimeter setting used.

6. Detailed weather conditions at altitude or flight level.

7. Approximate courses of both aircraft: indicate if one or both
aircraft were climbing or descending.

8. Reported separation in distance at first sighting, proximity at
closest point horizontally and vertically, and length of time in
sight prior to evasive action.

9. Degree of evasive action taken, if any (from both aircraft, if
possible).

10. Injuries, if any.

f. Investigation. The FSDO in whose area the incident occurred is
responsible for the investigation and reporting of NMACs.

g. Existing radar, communication, and weather data will be
examined in the conduct of the investigation. When possible, all
cockpit crew members will be interviewed regarding factors
involving the NMAC incident. Air traffic controllers will be
interviewed in cases where one or more of the involved aircraft
was provided ATC service. Both flight and ATC procedures will be
evaluated. When the investigation reveals a violation of an FAA
regulation, enforcement action will be pursued.

  #7  
Old August 16th 06, 04:13 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Alan Gerber
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Posts: 104
Default Collision alert!

Larry Dighera wrote:
If he was less than 3,000' AGL, he was in compliance with the
hemispherical regulation, and being on your left, he had the
right-of-way.


That doesn't sound right, er, correct. Wouldn't the aircraft on the right
have the right of way?

4,500' would be an appropriate altitude for a westbound VFR aircraft.


Yes, except the OP was at an altitude assigned by Departure in the Class B
airspace.

What do you feel the other pilot did wrong?


Fly NORDO in Class B airspace?

.... Alan

--
Alan Gerber
gerber AT panix DOT com

  #8  
Old August 16th 06, 04:50 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Jim Logajan
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Posts: 1,958
Default Collision alert!

Alan Gerber wrote:
Larry Dighera wrote:
If he was less than 3,000' AGL, he was in compliance with the
hemispherical regulation, and being on your left, he had the
right-of-way.


That doesn't sound right, er, correct. Wouldn't the aircraft on the
right have the right of way?


That was my understanding too, and that's what the FARs say:

91.113(d): "Converging. When aircraft of the same category are converging
at approximately the same altitude (except head-on, or nearly so), the
aircraft to the other's right has the right-of-way."
  #9  
Old August 16th 06, 05:09 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
tjd
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Posts: 41
Default Collision alert!

Larry Dighera wrote:
If he was less than 3,000' AGL, he was in compliance with the
hemispherical regulation, and being on your left, he had the
right-of-way.


that's backwards, the OP had the right of way:

91.113 (d) Converging. When aircraft of the same category are
converging at approximately the same altitude (except head-on, or
nearly so), the aircraft to the other's right has the right-of-way.

From the story, it sounds like both pilots saw each other and both were

trying to take evasive action, but they kept getting unlucky and making
corresponding maneuvers. So, it's not clear if the guy violated any
right of way rules. Was he definitely in class B without a clearance?
~20min, assuming ~40nm south of KDTO looks like you could be clear or
under the 4000MSL shelf at that point?

I don't mean to sound like I'm defending the guy, especially without
knowing all the details - just something to consider... And as someone
pointed out to me when I posted about my own near miss, the "miss" part
is WAY more important than "right" or "wrong".

todd.

  #10  
Old August 16th 06, 08:49 AM posted to rec.aviation.piloting
Dave S
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Posts: 406
Default Collision alert!

Alan Gerber wrote:

Fly NORDO in Class B airspace?

... Alan


I'm guessing that Regional Approach "misused" the term to indicate
traffic that was NOT in radio contact with them. Wether the intruder HAD
a radio or not, the net effect was the same in this scenario.

Dave
 




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