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Yesterday at 12.45 we were over /near to thurrock at 1600 ft, when a Cirrus suddenly appeared from the 11 o clock position approaching us and passing directly below-very close--we estimate that he was at 1500ft. We were heading south towards the thames--he was heading north/north west.
We are (my flying buddie and I) both people who scan continuously. I had virtually no time to react but instinctively pulled up=in the mini second he passed below-apparently not deviating from his track. I doubt whether he was even aware of us.
Neither of us saw him until he almost passed below and we saw no lights on the aircraft. We had 2 LED lights on-landing and taxying -we also have strobes -and a revolving beacon on the tail--all on all the time. WE HAVE BEEN TOLD MORE THAN ONCE THAT WE ARE HIGHLY VISIBLE.The cirrus was silver on top half-white below.
Our speed was around 90 knots--his around 180 ?--so a combined speed of 300 MPH-5 miles a minute----half a mile in 6 seconds.
As said I had minimal time to react---had we also been at 1500 ft I dread to think of the possible outcome.
If the pilot of the aircraft reads this--i would ask if he was on autopilot as it is easier to see an aircraft higher than you and also why no lights--does a cirrus have an upper revolving beacon.
I always fly a 100 or 200 ft different from 500 or 1000"s as it seems somewhat safer. On this occasion it may well have saved a nasty incident.
With the speed of some aircraft like the cirrus it it now more important to keep looking as a few seconds staring at the chart could result in an accident.
My last thought was whether it may be worth investing in the MRX--portable collision avoidance gear--anyone out there bought one --are they efficient. Would it have given us any meaningfull warning.(or similar system )
User avatar
By Sir Morley Steven
Seems you are keen to apportion blame to the Cirrus pilot ROG. It is your responsibility to keep a good lookout and as you didn't see the other aircraft until the last second it appears you were not doing that.
In uncontrolled airspace the mk1 eyeball will always be the best TCAS unless the whole of the open FIR becomes a TMZ.
User avatar
By Flintstone
I used to think flying was safe until I got TCAS :(
User avatar
By Timothy
brand1068 wrote:Do these sort of incidents need reporting in any way ?

It is a matter of anything going to be learned?

For example, I reported an airprox during the Olympics because I genuinely thought that Atlas could up their game.

In Class G not under a service? Nah, not so much. What can the Board say except "late sighting by one pilot and no sighting by the other due to poor lookout on both parts."
User avatar
By AndyR
Sounds like a case of constant relative bearing to me.

Much like Flintstone, I used to believe I could see most of the traffic until I flew in a TCAS equipped aeroplane!
Morley---no we didn"t see him till very late--although I would say my spotting is generally viewed as ok ---we were lit up -he was not---I took avoiding action--albeit not as early as I would have liked--He did not deviate which suggests to me that he was not scanning at all. I have the impression from other pilots who have had incidents with cirri that these aircraft are rather fast for some and there can be an over reliance on watching the glass panel.
The main lesson is to always scan, fly at odd heights,all lights on--which we have and consider a TCAS or similar.
If the gent in question awere to contribute to this thread, doubtless we could all learn something from the event.
User avatar
By Flyin'Dutch'

If he came was coming towards you from the 11 o'clock position and you did not see him it is indeed either a constant bearing thing or you have do a poor lookout.

Same for the other driver of course.

Pretty sure he did not see you, I know us Cirrus drivers are daring do devils but even we don't think it necessary to scare ROGs!

Did you have your Transponder on?

All the Cirruses I have flown have TCAS, no doubt not all do but the majority will have it and it is switched on by default.
Yes xponder on--mode s--I can only think we did not see him because he was against the background of the land--being lower-it has occurred to me that he was in a climb coming out of damyns hall--possible. Guess we"ll never know . As you said I was wondering if all cirri had Tcas--in which case if he had makes it more odd.
As I said we have 2 LEDS, strobes, revolving beacon---all on--some TCAS system may well be another option--you don"t get a second chance --whoever is amiss.Guess we all learn by experiences--nearest in 35 odd years.
User avatar
By Flyin'Dutch'
ROG wrote:Y-nearest in 35 odd years.

You haven't lived!


You live and learn.

They are very unsettling events but as others have said you don't really appreciate how many planes you don't see until you start flying with TCAS or any other TXPDR based system.

I had a close shave in the same general area a long time ago; I was flying a Cirrus with TCAS and got a warning from something which was off to my port side; could I see it? Could I 'eco. Eventually spotted that it was a C152 which was climbing towards me but hidden under the wing! Very disconcerting.

Closest shave so far was in IMC near Oxford on a RIS from Brize.

In the murk spotted 2 Cherokees coming in the opposite direction head on; Don't think there was 20 foot between us.
User avatar
By Timothy
What I find hard to reconcile is a concern about mid-airs (to the extent of being willing to pay £8k for TCAS) with a widespread unwillingness to use Traffic Service.

I can't see the point of Basic Service - I don't understand what advantages it entails - but why would anyone not use a Traffic Service?
User avatar
By FlyingPanda
Timothy wrote:What I find hard to reconcile is a concern about mid-airs (to the extent of being willing to pay £8k for TCAS) with a widespread unwillingness to use Traffic Service.

I can't see the point of Basic Service - I don't understand what advantages it entails - but why would anyone not use a Traffic Service?

At the risk of re-opening old discussions, could it be that many people (present company excepted) believe that a Basic Service somehow does give them a traffic service? I heard someone very recently say "just ask for a Basic, they'll tell you if anything is coming close..."

I must admit, I only seem to feel the need to ask for a Traffic Service when I'm flying in IMC, which (statistically) has the least likely chance of me needing one. The rest of the time I rely on eyeballs which, as those with TCAS have spotted, clearly isn't the most reliable way. I think I might start pushing for traffic services a bit more often.
User avatar
By Timothy
It seems to me that Traffic Service is the poor man's TCAS :D
By James Chan
I found some interesting information on the limitations of see-and-avoid, and in particular the following paragraphs:

The see-and-avoid principle in the absence of traffic alerts is subject to serious limitations. It is likely that the historically small number of mid-air collisions has been in a large part due to low traffic density and chance as much as the successful operation of see-and-avoid.
Pilots should recognise that they cannot rely entirely on vision to avoid collisions. Consequently, they should attempt to obtain all available traffic information, whether from Air Traffic Services or a listening watch, to enable them to conduct a directed traffic search

UK AIC Y 106/2012 Section 6 clears the haze amongst many pilots on how to choose the most appropriate service when operating outside controlled airspace:

a. If you don't need specific traffic information but just want just want generic information, then a Basic Service might be appropriate to your needs;
b. If a pilot requires traffic information a Traffic Service should be requested from ATC radar units;
c. If your flight conditions and/or nature of flight are such that you need advice on how to avoid conflicting aircraft (e.g. flight in IMC and/or where cockpit lookout is constrained) then you should ask ATC radar units for a Deconfliction Service. If you are speaking to an ATC unit without radar, then you could ask for a Procedural Service, where the controller will provide advice to deconflict from other aircraft participating in the service. However, under a Procedural Service the controller will only know about the aircraft that he is talking to.

I am hoping to get an MRX or similar device at some point too.