Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
By Cessna571
Thought long and hard about posting this.
It’s important no one mentions EC in this thread.

I’ve had a look through the CAP/ANO index and can’t find anything.

What’s the correct avoiding action if you’re going to hit another plane in the air in a head on situation.

Turn right? Turn left?

I know about “on the right, in the right”, and “go behind”, (though can’t find it), that doesn’t really work head on.

Want to find what we should do, and I want to publicise it.

Had a bit of an incident, need to file an MOR, think there’s some learning points.

I think what happened was I turned right and he turned left. Seeing I’d turned right, he carried on rolling to inverted and pulled and went under me inverted and descending.

Time had already slowed down and I had pulled to climb.

Something small and aerobatic. I saw him about 5 to 10 seconds out. He must have seen me that late, or he’d have avoided me earlier.

I was distracted with passenger questions and had stopped looking out.

My passenger said he came round to our right afterwards and flew a parallel track for a bit, only told me that when he’d turned round and gone. I didn’t spot him afterwards, I was looking behind, not off the wingtips.

I want to know what I should have done.

(Other than cleaning the windscreen and keeping a better lookout)

Nearly gave up flying when I landed, has taken me a few days of thinking, still not sure how I feel.

I’m going to have a ring around, see if I can find the pilot, happened in the evening, near a few airfields where aerobatic types are known to operate. Just to compare recollections if we can.
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By Talkdownman
During the many revalidation training flights which I have undertaken I would estimate that, during simulated emergency avoiding action, fifty percent of revalidation candidates turned to the left.
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By GrahamB
Cessna571 wrote:I’ve had a look through the CAP/ANO index and can’t find anything.

What’s the correct avoiding action if you’re going to hit another plane in the air in a head on situation.

Turn right? Turn left?

The definitive source is SERA.
SERA.3210 c) 1) wrote:Approaching head-on. When two aircraft are approaching head-on or approximately so and there is danger of collision, each shall alter its heading to the right.
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By Rob P

That sounds really nasty. Glad it worked out OK.

Is an MOR the correct course of action rather than filing an Airprox?

Rob P
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By rf3flyer
I agree it's basic Air Law but I wonder if it's not a product of the UK's 'drive on the left' convention.
When I was learning to fly I found I had a tendency to land left of the runway centreline which I suspected was a carry over from driving.
I've met foreign cars on some of our twisty single track roads and our reactions tended to take us 'head-to-head'!
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By Josh
It’s a product of the sea. The air law regulations are based on the international regulations for prevention of collisions at sea.

When two power-driven vessels are meeting on reciprocal or nearly reciprocal courses so as to involve risk of collision each shall alter her course to starboard so that each shall pass on the port side of the other

They were taken across long before there was any convention as to which side the PIC might be sitting.
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By NickC
It definitely meets the parameters for filing an airprox (to say the least). The Airprox Board make a best effort to trace all aircraft involved from radar recordings etc., and ask for statements from all crews. A more formal alternative to your plan of phoning around likely airfields that is likely to be more successful (and insightful).
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By PeteSpencer
Dodo wrote:
Boxkite wrote:Maybe he hadn't seen you at all, and was just carrying on with some aerobatics.

That would be my guess as well.

I was nearly taken out by a cream coloured CAP just west of Headcorn a few years ago which I saw for the first time climbing vertically just off and in front of my left wingtip.
I had no time to react:

But I did after checking quickly my under wear and turned to see him to my right and behind, completing presumably a loop: Thoughtfully he was trailing smoke by then so I could spot him.

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By HedgeSparrow
Surely the air law rules assume the sighting is early enough that the legally required action can be done safely. Also, being based on marine law, it doesn't take into account the option of level changes (aside: is there a rule for two submerged submarines realising they are on a collision course?).

If you have a late sighting of someone blossoming to your starboard it goes against all instinct (well mine at least) to turn towards them. If it really is that close, a rapid-as-achievable level change may be in order (down if they're slightly above the horizon & vice versa). I read somewhere that maintaining wings level reduces the chances of wing-to-wing contact. After all, most aircraft are significantly wider than they are tall.

Finally, I note that in the Skyway Code (page 56) it says "If a situation dictates that avoiding immediate danger would be better achieved by an alternative course of action, you may do so without fear of retribution."