GA Mid-Air

JEP

Malko In Charge
Staff member
just browsing and came across this:

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** Report created 11/24/2008 Record 26 **
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IDENTIFICATION
Regis#: 121DL Make/Model: PA28 Description: PA-28 CHEROKEE, ARROW, WARRIOR, ACHER, D
Date: 11/23/2008 Time: 1352

Event Type: Incident Highest Injury: None Mid Air: Y Missing: N
Damage: Unknown

LOCATION
City: WINTER HAVEN State: FL Country: US

DESCRIPTION
N121DL, A PIPER PA28 AIRCRAFT WINGTIP, STRUCK THE UNDERSIDE OF ANOTHER
AIRCRAFT, N4396W, A BEECH BE35, WHILE AT 2000 FEET 5 MILES FROM THE
AIRPORT, NO INJURIES REPORTED, BOTH AIRCRAFT LANDED WITHOUT INCIDENT,
WINTER HAVEN, FL

INJURY DATA Total Fatal: 0
# Crew: 1 Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:
# Pass: 0 Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:
# Grnd: Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:

WEATHER: NOT REPORTED

OTHER DATA
Activity: Pleasure Phase: Unknown Operation: OTHER


FAA FSDO: ORLANDO, FL (SO15) Entry date: 11/24/2008


While close to the airport, it wasn't in the traffic pattern. I hope they cleaned the seats after it happened.

<----trying to understand how that happens and realizing how close they came to buying the farm. Seeing it was a wingtip, could lead one to believe they may have noticed a little too late and were taking evasive action. :eek:
 

Itchy

Well-Known Member
I've had two really close calls over the years.
One, a guy was overflying the field at an uncontrolled field in a baron. I was on a downwind, looked up and saw his belly. So close I noticed the stains behind the rivets. Probably less than 20 feet. That one *really* ticked me off, he was not on unicom either. Just kept on going, I doubt he ever saw me (in a be18) right below him.
Another, crossing over a bridge in the corridor in NY. Head on comes a piper, we both roll slightly right, and passed each other. I could tell what the dude was wearing.
 

Murdoughnut

Well sized member
just browsing and came across this:


While close to the airport, it wasn't in the traffic pattern. I hope they cleaned the seats after it happened.

<----trying to understand how that happens and realizing how close they came to buying the farm. Seeing it was a wingtip, could lead one to believe they may have noticed a little too late and were taking evasive action. :eek:
Having flown out of Winter Haven a few times, it doesn't surprise me at all. The only thing that surprises me is that it didn't happen at the field. I had a near mid-air there while doing some multi-training. That corridor between Tampa and Orlando is crazy dangerous if you're not scanning. The instructor had my attention focused on the panel as he was explaining something, and we had someone pass about 100 yards or so in front and just below us.

While sitting on the ramp at Winter Haven, I twice saw aircraft enter the pattern one right above the other, oblivious to eachother's position. There's a lot of old farts out there either flying without radios, or with a huge sense of "I got here first" entitlement. Either way, I swore I'd never fly through there without ATC looking over my shoulder again.
 

BCTAv8r

Well-Known Member
The scary thing to me as a student pilot is that most of you have experienced these near mid-airs. Which means that it's only a matter of time before it is my turn to experience it.
 

Murdoughnut

Well sized member
The scary thing to me as a student pilot is that most of you have experienced these near mid-airs. Which means that it's only a matter of time before it is my turn to experience it.
There are ways to reduce your chances - focus on your external scan and be vigilant about it. Always get flight following on cross countries if you can. And I know there are many who will disagree with me on this point, but if you're coming into a non-controlled field, and no one is on CTAF, and you can't see anyone around the field - if you're in a spot to make a straight in, do it. Most mid-airs occur in the pattern when you're making turns and don't have good visual reference. As long as I'm not going to disrupt the pattern, I prefer a straight in approach that allows me to see the entire pattern on my way in.
 
R

Roger, Roger

Guest
My scariest experience was a couple weeks ago, maneuvering with a student a few miles from a non-towered airport. I, for some reason, was actually listening to CTAF for that airport in addition to our practice area frequency. I heard someone call inbound to one of the airports from our direction, at our altitude. I looked out the rear window of the 172 and distinctly saw a Beech Baron-ish plane coming straight down our 6 o'clock. I dove and turned, and we both went on our way-he was flying into the sun so I'm not even sure if he ever saw us. Heard him later and my ID was wrong, it was actually a Travel Air. Needless to say, I now make sure to monitor the local airports' CTAFs when in the practice area.
 

Matt13C

Well-Known Member
I have had a few in my short time in the air, a good scan and monitoring the CTAF are your best options when close to an uncontrolled airport and always expect the unexpected.

Flying out of an uncontrolled field, announce taking active 5, then announce departing 5, it was a slow day and I wanted to be sure if there was any inbound traffic they would know where i was. As I am turning crosswind a hear a guy also announce entering crosswind. I quickly level the plane and start looking as I announce my position. I fly a sligtly extended crosswind, not knowing where this guy is and not getting any help from him. I turn down wind hoping to avoid having him run up my tail, I announce, and just as I begin my turn, wouldnt you know it he says he is turning down wind also. PAY ATTENTION!! At this point I look inside and see him, much closer than I would like to see a plane in the air, so I say i will do a right 360 for spacing. I do not think he feels he did anything wrong or even knew the danger he put us both in. I dont even think he was listening to CTAF, just announcing, total lack of situation awareness. I learned my lesson though, if something like that happenes again I will just keep flying straight ahead and exit the situation.

The other one involved a CAP plane. I was flying down wind and there was a foreign student in the pattern. He announced turning final twice and both times he was 2 miles. So as i am scanning and not seeing him I see a CAP plane coming straight for me, unanounced. I guess he felt flying the pattern was to much work so instead he cut straight across where the turn to base would be and headed for the runway. In the process forced me to dive and turn to the right, not a great feeling when you are under 1000 agl.

Luckily the only damage was to my underware and the few dollars it cost to buy a few new pairs.
 

BCTAv8r

Well-Known Member
A lot of times after announcing my position in the local practice area and not hearing anything for a couple of minutes I'll ask if anyone else is in the area. It seems like people very seldom announce their position, while I do it once every 2 minutes (yeah, kinda paranoid).
 

Crockrocket94

Well-Known Member
You probably do not want to fly around the TIX-SUA area if you are worried about other aircraft.

There are some 10 flightschools with alot of planes in that area.

Just keep your head up and make sure someone if not both are always watching and make sure you clear left or right before turning. Keep a mindful eye on IFR approach paths and be aware of VOR Airways. Keep in mind the shore is like a highway in the sky. In addition, do not follow i95 north or south as many VFR pilots use it to navigate.

Good Luck :)
 

ftyflyboy

Well-Known Member
if you're coming into a non-controlled field, and no one is on CTAF, and you can't see anyone around the field - if you're in a spot to make a straight in, do it.
I'm really hope you just missed putting the sarcasm on this statement. 45 to the down wind, scan the pattern, make a standard entry and fly the pattern. Not hearing anyone on the CTAF doesn't mean there is no one there.

Fly safe
 

AirVenture

Well-Known Member
The former flight instructor of the pilot of the Bonanza aircraft posted pictures of the damage on another forum.



 

Murdoughnut

Well sized member
I'm really hope you just missed putting the sarcasm on this statement. 45 to the down wind, scan the pattern, make a standard entry and fly the pattern. Not hearing anyone on the CTAF doesn't mean there is no one there.

Fly safe
No, I didn't - here's my reasoning... if I'm not hearing anyone in the pattern 15 miles out, then either: 1) no one is in the pattern; 2) someone is in the pattern and not announcing or responding to my advisory. I'd much rather approach the field straight in with a 180-degrees of visual field than make a 115-degree turn into the 45, than a couple of other turns, all the while having only a portion of the pattern in my visual field. It also increases my time in the pattern which is where the highest likelihood of a mid-air to occur is.

Don't get me wrong, if there is anyone in the pattern, or hell, in the area for that matter, I fly the appropriate pattern - or if I'm coming in from any direction that would make a straight in unfeasible. But if I'm approaching from the west to runway 9, and I don't see or hear anyone, I'm taking the straight in. I've spent a lot of time thinking about it, and that's the safest option IMO in that situation.
 

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
The scariest thing that happened to me in recent memory was a super cub (red and white) cut me off on short final. He wasn't talking on the radio, and came out of my blindspot, I don't even think he noticed me. I dodged him with full deflection, and had to yank and bank. My tiedown strap broke and and I had my load shift. I ran out of trim and elevator, and, but with power (almost full power) I could get some air over the tail and keep the nose down. I landed at like 100kts, and normally I touch down at about 55-60. Scared the hell out of me, I'm always scanning now, and periodically lifting a wing etc. really though, a mid air is one of those things that just happens, and unless both pilots are keeping their eyese pealed, there are still plenty of blind spots that you can get killed from.
 

BCTAv8r

Well-Known Member
You probably do not want to fly around the TIX-SUA area if you are worried about other aircraft.

There are some 10 flightschools with alot of planes in that area.

Just keep your head up and make sure someone if not both are always watching and make sure you clear left or right before turning. Keep a mindful eye on IFR approach paths and be aware of VOR Airways. Keep in mind the shore is like a highway in the sky. In addition, do not follow i95 north or south as many VFR pilots use it to navigate.

Good Luck :)
Well, I'm not sure if your area is worse than mine (FXE up to LNA areas) but that's some good advice to follow.

Flight following is great. Wish I had known about it on my first solo x-country.
 

Murdoughnut

Well sized member
Well, I'm not sure if your area is worse than mine (FXE up to LNA areas) but that's some good advice to follow.

Flight following is great. Wish I had known about it on my first solo x-country.
It is great - but just remember that they can and will forget about you from time to time - happens to me every now and then on the west coast
 

USAIRWAYS

New Member
I've had two really close calls over the years.
One, a guy was overflying the field at an uncontrolled field in a baron. I was on a downwind, looked up and saw his belly. So close I noticed the stains behind the rivets. Probably less than 20 feet. That one *really* ticked me off, he was not on unicom either. Just kept on going, I doubt he ever saw me (in a be18) right below him.
Another, crossing over a bridge in the corridor in NY. Head on comes a piper, we both roll slightly right, and passed each other. I could tell what the dude was wearing.
I had one recently while flying a rented Cessna 152 at the uncontrolled field in Mt. Holly, NJ (KVAY). I was on right downwind for 26 when some tool in a Piper Cherokee crossed over
the runway and cut in front of me in the pattern (Sounds like a traffic incident on the highway dosen't it?)I'd say seperation was no more than 600 feet (He was probably 100 feet above me). I had a few choice words over unicom, which probably go against proffesional standards...:crazy:
 

Timmy Tucker

Well-Known Member
When I was working on my PPL, I had a really, really close call. It was my 2nd solo cross country, and I was flying the return leg home. I was about to pass a few miles east of a small uncontrolled field, and was flying directly into the sun.

The CTAF had been quiet since I tuned in, so I called out a position report just to give anyone listening a heads up. About 45 secs later, something along the lines of a Thrush or an Air Tractor descends out of the sun directly in front of me about 2:00 high, and is traveling the exact opposite direction. Looked like a bright yellow Stuka coming right at me. :panic:

I yanked the yoke to the right w/o even thinking about it. We passed pretty much exactly wingtip to wingtip, maybe 50 feet apart. The pilot was a woman in a red shirt w/ curly black hair. Replaying it in my head, my best guess is that a maximum of 2.5-3 seconds elapsed from the moment I saw her till we passed.


About a minute later, she called downwind for the aforementioned airport. :banghead:
 
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