Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By rikur_
#1852339
A scenario that left me hesitant was a helicopter converging in my 1 - 2 o'clock. I was likely to pass in front .... rules say turn right and pass behind, but all instincts wanted to go left. (The initial turn to the right would have put us head to head, and flying into the wake behind doesn't appeal). So I went up.
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By Josh
#1852359
Reading the rules in full and understanding them is important. Taking single rules in isolation isn’t conducive to understanding the full intent or range of options.

Taking early action so you don’t have to apply the rules is always an option if you’ve seen something early enough. The principle behind a turn versus a level change is that it’s clear and obvious to the other pilot assuming they’ve seen you whereas a change in altitude unless significant is hard to perceive.
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By MichaelP
#1852366
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 spent most of my instructing career in Canada and landing to the left of the centreline is a most common error, almost no-one lands naturally the right side of the centreline. Sometimes I have asked students to deliberately land to the right of the centreline, and this usually results in a landing on the centreline!
In Canada I use this fact to tell the students that driving on the right side of the road is un-natural.

As for head on, yes alter heading to the right. When flying a Bleriot or a Boxkite at indicated airspeeds around 35 knots, you have plenty of time.
In today’s airspace most people fly at higher speeds, and so we must assess the situation quickly and take the best avoiding action.
Depending upon the angle of your head on traffic, and the time available, the best action might not be to turn right.
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By pullup
#1852373
The inclination to land on the left side of the runway is simply because the pilot is sitting on the left hand side of the aircraft. If the handling pilot is sitting on the right side (e.g. a copilot) then the tendency is to land on the right side.

Ever noticed how much easier it is to land on the centre line in a tandem or single seater aircraft or a tandem/single seat glider?

As for the near miss under discussion maybe the aerobatic type had actually seen you and was just having a bit of fun, which caused you concern.
By rdfb
#1852377
A couple of times I've found myself nearly head-on, but with some time to react. Except not quite head on - if neither of us did anything, we would either collide or pass uncomfortably/dangerously close but the "wrong way" according to the Rules of the Air (starboard-to-starboard instead of port-to-port).

In both cases I've been very hesitant to turn right, because that would require our paths to cross, and I didn't feel that there was quite enough time to ensure that I would increase separation again on the other side more than I'd have reduced it by having turned "in" towards a collision. Instead I've wanted to turn (further) left to increase separation at our closest point - because I don't know at that stage if the other pilot has seen me.

The Skyway Code quote above supports me doing whatever I feel is right in that situation I suppose. It's difficult though, because it's subjective and it's important that the other pilot makes a decision compatible with mine if they change course at all. The last thing I want is to start turning left a little to increase separation, only to find that the pilot suddenly sees me and swerves right back into a collision.
Dodo, MichaelP, rikur_ and 1 others liked this
By TopCat
#1852419
I've had a few late sightings in my time. 5-10s from initial sighting to paths crossing is certainly a bit close for comfort, and I filed an AIRPROX for one like that whose reg I got and was working the same ATSU as me, with me under a Traffic Service. ("Possible late warning of traffic due radar performance and controller workload" - that was me that day).

But with 5-10s, there's time to assess the converging angle and take whatever turn is going to get you out of there quickest. Usually they don't change track at all, and I can only assume they're still heads down.

Certainly if you were head to head you did the right thing and he did the wrong thing, as others have said.

My worst ever was much closer than 5s.

It was... look up, see plane, enormous, absolutely head to head, roll right and pull, he flashed past underneath my wings. The whole thing over in 3s or less.

I didn't stop shaking for many minutes. That was about 25 years ago. Nothing remotely as close as that since. As far as I know...
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By Cub
#1852433
TopCat wrote:My worst ever was much closer than 5s.

It was... look up, see plane, enormous, absolutely head to head, roll right and pull, he flashed past underneath my wings. The whole thing over in 3s or less.

I didn't stop shaking for many minutes. That was about 25 years ago. Nothing remotely as close as that since. As far as I know...


Can you point us at the Airprox report for that event. I am assuming at Cat A?
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By 2Donkeys
#1852440
The ‘correct’ answer to the original question asked has already been provided - so I will offer the view that Airprox investigations relating to near misses in VMC and in class G airspace are of very little value.

Be prepared for ample use of phrases such as ‘pilots’ responsibility to see and avoid’, ‘late sighting by both pilots’, ‘electronic conspicuity’ etc etc.

Their primary interest seems to me to be in helping to identify pinch points in uncontrolled airspace - about which in turn, very little is done.
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By Cub
#1852454
2Donkeys wrote:I will offer the view that Airprox investigations relating to near misses in VMC and in class G airspace are of very little value.


I disagree. The reporting and investigation of any safety significant event is always important if, for no other reason, to numerically record that shi* happens and to share the circumstances for the learning value of others. The resultant comments, observations and recommendations by the AIRPROX board may, on occasions, feel trite or unhelpful but they do at least gather factual information about the relative positions and circumstances of the aircraft involved which is often significantly different from the perception of any one party involved.

I too, do not like the language and tone currently adopted by the AIRPROX Board to report on a number of recent events however, I continue to believe in the necessity to report and investigate such significant safety events.
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By Human Factor
#1852455
My partner-in-crime was the victim of a vexatious airprox report a few years ago. I won’t go into detail as it will likely embarrass and expose the reporter. Suffice to say, the entire “event” was being filmed from the ground by me and the reporter’s machine was nowhere to be seen at any point throughout.

The recording was presented to the airprox board.
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By QSD
#1852456
rf3flyer wrote: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'!

All students seem to land on the left, even those who are too young to drive.

I believe it is an optical illusion caused by sitting on the left hand side and lining up the threshold over the nose. It usually takes a while to get them to learn how to stay on the centre line.
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By 2Donkeys
#1852459
Cub wrote:
2Donkeys wrote:I will offer the view that Airprox investigations relating to near misses in VMC and in class G airspace are of very little value.


I disagree. The reporting and investigation of any safety significant event is always important if, for no other reason, to numerically record that shi* happens and to share the circumstances for the learning value of others..


I don’t think we are really in disagreement. The capture of airproxes for informational purposes is obviously a good idea. The views expressed in the resultant reports are often deeply unsatisfying.
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