Avoiding a Midair - RCCanada - Canada Radio Controlled Hobby Forum
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:20 PM   #1
Frank Klenk
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Avoiding a Midair

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I like to start discussion about this. My comments are just my thoughts. They may not be correct. Chime in with your ideas.

I have been giving this quite a bit of thought lately. How do we avoid a midair? Well, we call avoidance correct? This puts responsibility on the caller to do more than be just a caller, one must also watch out for the other plane. I have seen some pilots have a caller and another guy just watching the other plane. Makes sense right? Either way everyone has to be on the ball. So when does one exactly call out avoidance? When 2 planes are close? What is close? When they are nose to nose? Wing to wing? Far away? What?
Our planes probably travel in the 50 mph range? This would be the airspeed between manouvers. Am I off on that guess? Call it 40 mph, call it 60 mph then.
Putting that into perspective means our planes travel between 58 to 88 feet per second. now, take it a step further and remember the other planes could be travelling the same speed towards our plane. So, in a matter of a few seconds, boom, it is all over.
After a midair, comments are all over the map. Holy cow I never thought they were that close! Or, I could see that coming! Or, they were so far out it's no wonder.
So, my comments about when to call a midair are, whenever you as a caller are not able to determine without a doubt that your pilots plane is safe then call avoidance. If 2 planes are out far and you the caller are doubtful, call it.
What do ya think?
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:42 PM   #2
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Re: Avoiding a Midair

there is a tom of space above the field not much reason to be close. If a new pilot is up I give them plenty of space and I am the one to avoid.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:56 PM   #3
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Re: Avoiding a Midair

That really is a tough one Frank. I know that at the Nats last summer, I was up at the same time as Bob Hudson and felt that we were in the same air space 50% of the time. I called several avoidance breaks as did he and I tried to get out of sync several times but soon was at the same end of the field each time as Bob was. We laughed about it after but it really was a very stressful flight for both of us.

I think the different size planes also adds another degree of difficulty for determining exactly where they are. (The midair in Cayuga two years ago comes to mind)

We did try different flight lines at the StoneyCreek nats a couple of years back (after a devastating start to the weekend) but is seemed difficult for the pilots to hold new lines that they had not practiced.

Do we need a spotter for each plane as well as the caller? There are lots of skilled pilots hanging around between flights anyway so why not put them to work strictly as spotters. Their call of avoidance could take priority. With the amount of money and build hours in the air, it might be nice to have another set of eyes watching.

Just a thought.

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Old 05-01-2012, 09:46 PM   #4
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Re: Avoiding a Midair

If we have 3 or 4 guys up were always tring to fly as close as possible. Flying in formation is extremely cool.
It is a tough call though Frank

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Old 05-02-2012, 04:53 AM   #5
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Re: Avoiding a Midair

Originally Posted by williame3590 View Post
If we have 3 or 4 guys up were always tring to fly as close as possible. Flying in formation is extremely cool.
It is a tough call though Frank

Frank is refering to IMAC two planes doing there routine and there not in formation.
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Old 05-02-2012, 05:24 AM   #6
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Re: Avoiding a Midair

The judges are sitting there watching every moment of the flight why not have them call it. That way there is the least amount of people at the flight line as possible,leaving the pilot to concentrate, the caller to aid in the flight And to watch out for the incoming.

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Old 05-02-2012, 06:19 AM   #7
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Re: Avoiding a Midair


Flying or judging, I find that I am so focused on the one plane that I really don't have time to check out where the second is and decide if we are on a collision course, and when I'm calling I am both watching the plane and reading the sequence which is even more distracting. You are always aware of the other plane but as Frank pointed out, the speed is deceiving. Twice over the last three years we even had a couple of mid-airs where one plane was coming straight down and the second flew under it. For the one I saw at Cayuga, I was certain that by the time they got near each other, they would be clear and was sure they had. The odds were incredibly low yet it happened. It wasn't until both planes landed that it was actually evident that they hit and one of the pilots had no Idea they hit until landing and inspecting the plane.
Both pilots are incredibly experienced and skilled yet It happened so fast neither had time to react.

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Old 05-02-2012, 06:56 AM   #8
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Re: Avoiding a Midair

My 2cents

At the price of IMAA planes/equipment and having any midairs is just wrong. 2 flight lines going at the same time is likely to scare new people who would like to trying it in the first place.
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Old 05-02-2012, 07:49 AM   #9
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Re: Avoiding a Midair

Ken, you hit the nail on the head. I won't try IMAC again for the very reason you stated. I flew two contests and help set one up a few yrs ago, however, I never felt comfortable with the two flight lines. I have now built a new 35% Carden and just can't afford to take the chance of a midair with two flight lines. My decision. At my field, it is too easy to wait for open sky's and take my turn. The guys respect this and don't have any problem waiting for me to finsih my 10 min flight.

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Old 05-02-2012, 09:07 AM   #10
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Re: Avoiding a Midair

I remember the foamy dog fighters. When the planes line up, an electronic device detects it and cuts the throttle of the plane which is shot.
I guess by similar logic one can build a device which may be tailored to our cause.
One low technology approach could be; one flight line run at maximum efficiency. You can have a contest of 25 pilots. Wheels up 8:30 am untill 5:30pm with non stop flying. Than you can get in 3 flights per day for everybody.
25 pilot x 3 flights = 75 flights
75 flights x 7 min over all average routine = 525min (8.75hrs).
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