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McMinnville was kind of a bust today. Weather was crap until about noon so we couldn't fly up to MMV. Add injury to insult, they took the bird I was to fly into maintenance. I was going nowhere.

 

Then a miracle:I can get the other bird for a couple of hours.

 

What does this have to do with a head-on?

 

On the way back from MMV, we run into a Mooney. You know, that museum that has the Spruce Goose is one big building when seen from the air.

 

OK, so we're southbound to CVO about 20 miles and I notice there's a dark dot directly in fron of us. It then sprouts wings and I tell Mike that it looks like a plane coming right at us. I then bank to the right about 15* and level out and then bank left to get back on course. I'm watching the plane as it passes about a thousand feet to my left-port for you squids, and you know who you are.

 

As it passes, I never noticed it bank or turn. I figure that the other pilot didn't see us, or saw that we got out of his way. I figure that it was good that we didn't occupy the same space at the same time.

 

I'm not making too much of it because at my age I could care less. But to you youngun's let this be a lesson.

 

I got back at Mike too. While on the way back, I turned the governor off. Mike was looking out sightseeing and looking for a crop duster we saw on the way up. After a couple of minutes, Mike notices the light and looks down to see if he had pulled the breaker. Seeing it was not tripped, he he starts looking around to see why the light is on. He looks at the collective and sees the switch is off and asks me if I had turned it off. I answered and he says 'Ah, getting back at me are we?'

 

That was a good laugh.

 

Anyway, look out for those planes.

 

Laer.

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Witch,

 

That reminds of 2 situations I found myself in.

 

The first was very similar to yours...dot on the horizon, it stayed a dot until the last minute when suddenly it was an aircraft at my 12 o'clock. Dumped to collective and watched this thing pass just overhead. The pilot didn't even see me. My student didn't know what had happened either.

 

The other sitauation was bizarre and pretty worrisome too. I'm trundling down the coast with a student at 2000'. It's night and we had 'flight following'. (I see no shame in gettting 'flight following' whenever its available, especially at night.)

 

Anyway, I hear the controller talking to a fixed wing aircraft. "Fixed wing XYZ, you have helicopter traffic, R22 at your 12 o'clock, 6 miles. Report him in sight." I was obviously that traffic so I made a mental note.

 

Next thing I heard was, "XYZ, that helicopter is now 12 o'clock 3 miles, your level...report him in sight.' This perked me up a little and I hushed my student.

 

The next call from the controller was, "Helicopter 'whatever-I-was', you have fixed wing traffic, 1 mile at your six o'clock, same altitude, do you have him?"

 

I kicked the aircraft out of trim to look behind straight into the headlights of this fixed-wing bearing down at me.

 

I just dumped collective and dropped about 500', again to see this thing zoom over me, oblivious to what had just happened.

 

It goes to show that you have to be alert when there are fixed-wing about!

 

As for switching the Governor off on your instructor, well its good that you have that relationship with him...its good practice for him. But as advice to others, discuss doing this first with your instructor. I wouldn't be too happy with a student that I did not fully trust or know doing this to me! The possiblity of them pulling a wrong CB or their simulated problem masking or creating a real or more serious problem could create an unnecessary situation.

 

Having said that, I did enjoy once, during a 141 checkout with the cheif pilot of the school (me being checked), when I chopped the throttle on him in a downwind hover taxi. Pleased to say he handled the h-auto flawlessly, and appreciated the chop as he said he doesn't get many people doing that to him. Again though, it wasn't as if it was my first instructor check. I was already a 141 stage check pilot and we'd flown many times before.

 

Anyway, safe flying everyone.

 

Joker

Edited by joker
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Reminds me of not too long ago...

 

We were flying along at 2000 feet MSL, I was the lead aircraft in a flight of two when Approach called a Cessna heading the opposite direction and had him climb 500 feet above the same altitude to reduce the possibility of him hitting us. Then Approach called me to advise me of the Cessna traffic headed my way. Approach had given our location as 3 miles from the Cessna, so the Cessna told Approach that he didn’t think he’d see us because it was so hazy.

 

“You’re probably going to see them.” Approach said.

 

And that’s when that gnawing but not quite uneasy feeling went off in my head. The one that is hard to explain where it comes from. I called Approach and told the controller that I’d be happy to descend to a lower altitude, but the controller said not to worry about it, the other aircraft was gonna be climbing to a higher altitude. With the tailwind for me and the headwind for him, we were probably closing at about 200 knots (220 mph?).

 

And then I could see him, passing just in front of us about ¼ mile and about 300-400 feet above us. He was supposed to have climbed up to 2500’ MSL. I looked down at my instruments and saw that I had descended to 1770’ MSL. Now, I don’t distrust controllers, but it is odd that the situation sparked a thought and an unbidden descent that prevented the aircraft from being a lot closer.

 

My final word on the situation, shared between the aircrews in my flight, “If he’s at 2500 feet, I’m a millionaire!”

 

I’m still waiting for the money to show up...

Edited by Linc
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When I first started my helo training, my instructor and I were in the pattern at BKL about midway on downwind when the instructor took the controls, collective to the floor, hard bank to one way or the other. When I saw an ENG helo opposite direction on the downwind at the same altitude. The controller never said a thing about it being there.

 

Another time, I'm on my way home from a cross-country at 3000' (to take advantage of good tailwinds) getting a flight following. The controller called out traffic 12 o'clock opposite direction, my altitude. I started looking really good. There it was! An airplane coming right at me. I had my landing lights on once the controller called the traffic at my 12. Collective to the floor! He passed right over me by a couple hundred feet.

 

As an aside, I think it was a pretty good reaction on my part, given my 20+ years of airplane flying experience to lower the collective instead of shoving the cyclic forward. B) So much for the stereotypes.

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Same story only the low wing was 400AGL flying in a canyon, and I first saw him head on at 250 feet away...no time for the collective, full left cyclic to the stops, while I wouldnt recommend it, it worked for me !

 

( for those re-reading the FAR's....he was about 3 feet off center to my right, so no way I could make a right turn without taking off a wing)

Edited by Goldy
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I've had F104s show up at 100', making about 500 knots, and they're just tubes big enough to hold the engine and about 3 feet of wing, just enough to keep it flying at 200 knots. They can really surprise you. What opened my eyes was the installation of TAS systems in our offshore ships. There was suddenly LOTS of traffic showing up on the screen that we would never have seen otherwise, coming fairly close.

 

Once, flying a white AS350 across the Gulf on a typical hazy day, maybe 5 or 6 miles vis, I saw a flash of light ahead. Figuring I had seen a reflection off a windshield, I was looking closely for traffic, really watching. I saw nothing until a white AS355 was in my windshield. I immediately banked left, he did the same, and we recognized each other as we passed, just far enough away to not mesh blades. Most midairs happen in VFR weather, for some reason, not when the ceiling is low and everyone is looking. And anyone would paints an aircraft white should be beaten senseless. They're invisible against haze.

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Once, flying a white AS350 across the Gulf on a typical hazy day, maybe 5 or 6 miles vis, I saw a flash of light ahead. Figuring I had seen a reflection off a windshield, I was looking closely for traffic, really watching. I saw nothing until a white AS355 was in my windshield. I immediately banked left, he did the same, and we recognized each other as we passed, just far enough away to not mesh blades. Most midairs happen in VFR weather, for some reason, not when the ceiling is low and everyone is looking. And anyone would paints an aircraft white should be beaten senseless. They're invisible against haze.

 

i've always wondered who the a**hole was who wanted aircraft painted white, i know it saves weight, but damn are they hard to see. my vote is neon colors only bring back the eighties.

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I had a close call with a twin something which was hiding out of sight behind the door pillar of a Longranger. Luckily I was monitoring the tower of the airport that I had just departed when the controller called to see if I was still on frequency. I heard him and called back and he said that I had traffic at my 2 o'clock. I leaned forward and sure enough there it was coming straight at us. Collective down, left cyclic and he went right over us, missing us by a couple of hundred feet. I don't think he ever saw us as he never changed his flight path.

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Luckily I was monitoring the tower of the airport that I had just departed when the controller called to see if I was still on frequency. I don't think he ever saw us as he never changed his flight path.

 

i wonder if the plank flyers have their head in the cockpit and not outside shortly after take off, seems many of these are near airfields either after take off or before landing :blink:

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I know of a Dr. who owns a Cessna Twin and is well known for putting the aircraft on autopilot while enroute to the deer lease and taking a nap! He got caught one year when he flew past his intended airport and into controlled airspace asleep on autopilot, by himself.

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There are more accidents near airports for the same reason people have more car wrecks near home. They spend more time near home, so statistically they should have more wrecks there. And there are more aircraft close to airports, so there is a greater risk of midairs just because of the numbers. Plus, pilots may be concentrating on landing, checklists, etc rather than scanning for traffic. Not a good idea, but it happens.

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Flying a friend of mine around the LA Basin, coming back to land at VNY. I'm crossing the 405, make my call to the tower, for midfield crossing. I see a low-wing haul'n A** to 16R, and he's on base with a 60 degree bank. By the time he levels the wings, he''ll be about 6 feet under! The whole time before this, I took the frictions off, slowed down to 55 KTS(don't know why). All of sudden this low-wing not only aborts his landing, and is suppose to climb out on the runway heading, but crosses 16R and 16L and is heading right for us. ATC says so FAST(like he was calling a pig auction) 378, anyway you can avoid that aircraft? 378, right 270, will maintain visual. As I dumped the collective, and rolled right, we passed within 100 feet or less....probably less. All I know, is he had on a yellow shirt, and snazzy sunglasses! :) I rolled back left, and checked he was clear, 378 clear of aircraft, still OK to cross? ATC let out a sigh, that was soooo loud...378, thanks for the help! Once we were on the ground, then my hands started to tremble, because of the adrenaline! Boy did I want to rip off that low-wings arms, and beat'em with them! :) Good times!

 

Or we're tooling up the coast at about 250 AGL, just starting my training, when a 152 passes us on our left, at about 350 AGL, and about 300 feet laterally....so much for 1000 AGL, eh! I love these guys busting up/down the coast north of Santa Monica at about 200 AGL or less.....if you want to fly low, do it legal, and fly helicopters!! :)

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SO[b/]

 

 

what happens when the News copter near your training base is hovering at your altitude and is cleared in to approach and in your R22 you can't see him?

 

WELL ... When he finaly starts moving Thenyou Get to see the helicopter i this case aNICE 430 Move past at 130 KIA and then inyour little tiny R22 ..

 

 

You get the picture..

 

 

Its like the running back coming from behind to catch the ball and make the play..

 

he moved in and landed before My student and I even got near landing or finals.

 

SO this is DIFFERENT... and not HEAD ON.. just at first vanished..

 

ROCK ON AND KEEP your eyes OPEN!!!!!!!! ;)

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Rotor91, perhaps I'm wrong, but I get the impression that you believe airplanes are required to fly at or above 1000' AGL all the time. If so, where did you get that idea?

 

Gomer,

 

I don't have my FAR's handy, but I thought(there's my mistake) that fixed wing are to stay 2000 laterally and 1000 vertically from the highest obstacle? Now I know, that might be over a congested area, but I thought that stood true, even over the beach or anywhere for that matter!

 

R91

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Sec. 91.119

 

Minimum safe altitudes: General.

 

Except when necessary for takeoff or landing, no person may operate an aircraft below the following altitudes:

(a) Anywhere. An altitude allowing, if a power unit fails, an emergency landing without undue hazard to persons or property on the surface.

(B) Over congested areas. Over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons, an altitude of 1,000 feet above the highest obstacle within a horizontal radius of 2,000 feet of the aircraft.

(c ) Over other than congested areas. An altitude of 500 feet above the surface, except over open water or sparsely populated areas. In those cases, the aircraft may not be operated closer than 500 feet to any person, vessel, vehicle, or structure.

(d) Helicopters. Helicopters may be operated at less than the minimums prescribed in paragraph (B) or(c ) of this section if the operation is conducted without hazard to persons or property on the surface. In addition, each person operating a helicopter shall comply with any routes or altitudes specifically prescribed for helicopters by the Administrator.

 

If your man is over the water or sparsely popluated area, then all he has to do is operate no closer than 500 feet to person, vessel, vehicle or structure.

 

So if he is 1 meter to the 'sea-side' of the waterline (thus over water) and / or there's no one on the beach (beachs are generally sparsely populated), then technically he's OK to fly at whatever altitude he wishes. Isn't he?

 

Let's say someone was walking along the shoreline. Then if he wanted to stay at 300' agl (and stay 500' from them), he'd have to move out to 400' from the shore!

 

He could fly at 100' agl, but then he'd have to be 490' from the rambler. Every time there was a swimmer or pier or something he'd have to climb to pass 500' over the top or circumvent the obstacle by the lateral distances below.

 

If he comes to a surf competition, abound with spectators, then I guess that could be considered an 'open air assembly of persons' in which case he'd have to climb to 1000'!

 

This is using Pythag.

 

Height (agl) - - Minimum horizontal distance from person on shore (or obstacle)

100 - - 490

200 - - 458

300 - - 400

400 - - 300

500 - - 0

 

Well, all this is notwithstanding any restrictions imposed by 91.205(B)(12) of course!

 

Joker

 

Just wondering, is this the rule that allows crop dusters to do their work? I suppose it is.

Edited by joker
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Thank you Joker! I only knew the 2000/1000 rule for fixed wing, I'm a helicopter pilot, so it didn't apply to me! :) I wish the fixed-wingers would monitor .02 frequency when there down that low....it would help ME if I knew they were there, eh!

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