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Big sky theory pretty much takes care of us... except when we're down low in the vicinity of a non-towered airport.

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8 hours ago, steingar said:

And I bet ca$h money every pilot who ever ran out of gas said the same damn thing.  Yet pilots run out of gas all the time, its one of the leading causes of crashes.  I had working fuel gauges in my last airplane, and I can tell you than when they start headed or empty it gets your attention.  I promise you working fuel gauges would reduce the number of accidents due to fuel exhaustion.  But instead we worry about midairs, which almost never happen.

You are correct, and this is a common problem with humans. We worry about things that we perceive to be problems and ignore things that are actual problems.

Read The Science of Fear by Daniel Gardner...  He starts with an example that we can all relate to... The rise in highway deaths because of the irrational fear of flying directly following 9/11. It's a very interesting read.

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I commuted back and forth form Phoenix to Tucson for over 20 years with my Mooneys. For most of that time I just had see and avoid. My normal commute was very relaxing, way less stress than driving. It was rare that I would ever see another airplane. I don't commute anymore, but I am doing work for a giant defense contractor in Tucson and make quite a few trips down there these days. Now I have an IPad with a Stratus and an Avidyne with traffic. It is nerve wracking flying down there! There are a zillion planes in the sky all trying to get me!

I long for the old days when I could relax and look out the window and see an airplane now and then...

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Another see and avoid story....

About a year ago I was riding along on a training flight in a Cherokee 6 en route to a Mooney Rocket I needed to ferry back to Tucson. I was in the way back. The stratus situation was AFU and not everybody was properly connected. We were flying along and I saw traffic on my IPad at 12 O'clock and about 1 mile. I kept telling the folks in the front seat about the traffic, they kept looking down at their IPads and kept saying that they didn't see the traffic! I started yelling with very colorful language that they needed to look out the window! They never did and kept saying that they didn't see the traffic and never looked up. I saw the Cessna pass 50 feet off our right wing. I have had nightmares about that incident. It makes you feel very helpless when you can't get to the controls.

Edited by N201MKTurbo
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13 hours ago, carusoam said:

 

13) really want to be alone... fly high and ifr in imc... :)

 

Until you’re at 32,000... and you get a traffic point out from center... which you don’t see because you’re imc... and you don’t actually see the airliner that flies over you... just the wingtip light through the cloud....

yeah- IFR in IMC seems like you’re alone- until you realize that there are several others out there with you... just like VFR/VMC flight (without an air to air radar, TCAS and/or ADS-B)- ignorance is bliss!!!!

my biggest scares have actually been when IFR in VMC... and safe separation is still on the PIC when IFR in VMC.

Heads on a swivel... always... IMC, VMC or just driving down the road....

Edited by M016576

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7 hours ago, N201MKTurbo said:

Another see and avoid story....

About a year ago I was riding along on a training flight in a Cherokee 6 en route to a Mooney Rocket I needed to ferry back to Tucson. I was in the way back. The stratus situation was AFU and not everybody was properly connected. We were flying along and I saw traffic on my IPad at 12 O'clock and about 1 mile. I kept telling the folks in the front seat about the traffic, they kept looking down at their IPads and kept saying that they didn't see the traffic! I started yelling with very colorful language that they needed to look out the window! They never did and kept saying that they didn't see the traffic and never looked up. I saw the Cessna pass 50 feet off our right wing. I have had nightmares about that incident. It makes you feel very helpless when you can't get to the controls.

The main reason I don’t sit in the back.

Clarence

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21 hours ago, Bob_Belville said:

Big sky theory pretty much takes care of us... except when we're down low in the vicinity of a non-towered airport.

It also doesn't apply when we're flying somewhere we want to fly, because if we want to fly there, chances are someone else wants to fly there too.

This applies to:

  • airports
  • approaches to airports (both VFR and IFR)
  • airways
  • waypoints
  • VFR landmarks
    • highways
    • rivers
    • towns
    • passes through hills/mountains
    • shorelines
  • sightseeing locations
  • the areas just outside or under controlled airspace
  • altitudes just below 3,000' MSL and VFR altitudes
  • and so on

In other words, 90% of the flying I'm doing, "big sky" theory probably does not apply.  

 

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11 hours ago, M016576 said:

Until you’re at 32,000... and you get a traffic point out from center... which you don’t see because you’re imc... and you don’t actually see the airliner that flies over you... just the wingtip light through the cloud....

What went wrong there?  How did two IFR flights get conflicted like that?

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1 hour ago, jaylw314 said:

What went wrong there?  How did two IFR flights get conflicted like that?

My guess is there was no conflict.  That maybe the lights glow were visible despite legal vertical separation.

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1 hour ago, jaylw314 said:

It also doesn't apply when we're flying somewhere we want to fly, because if we want to fly there, chances are someone else wants to fly there too.

This applies to:

  • airports
  • approaches to airports (both VFR and IFR)
  • airways
  • waypoints
  • VFR landmarks
    • highways
    • rivers
    • towns
    • passes through hills/mountains
    • shorelines
  • sightseeing locations
  • the areas just outside or under controlled airspace
  • altitudes just below 3,000' MSL and VFR altitudes
  • and so on

In other words, 90% of the flying I'm doing, "big sky" theory probably does not apply.  

 

Thankfully Oregon is a long ways from me, because it sound like you spend too much time looking for traffic inside your plane, while I am outside and won't show up on your ADSB because I am not equipping for Out. 

Please use your eyes to look through your actual windows, lest the Small Sky in which you profess to fly rise up and smite you! 

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5 hours ago, jaylw314 said:

What went wrong there?  How did two IFR flights get conflicted like that?

Nothing went wrong, per se- we had altitude deconfliction- RVSM allows for reduced altitude separation... so it was all legal... just that a heavy’s wingtip looks awful big crossing over you at 1000’ when you’re not really expecting to see it.

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My closest encounter was several years ago (pre-ADSB) on a right downwind to runway 16 at Friday Harbor, WA.  I was mid-field at pattern altitude when I glimpsed a Cessna at my 9:00 o’clock which passed over me about 20 feet above.  He (or she) busted right through the traffic pattern with no radio calls. 

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4 hours ago, Hank said:

Thankfully Oregon is a long ways from me, because it sound like you spend too much time looking for traffic inside your plane, while I am outside and won't show up on your ADSB because I am not equipping for Out. 

Please use your eyes to look through your actual windows, lest the Small Sky in which you profess to fly rise up and smite you! 

Your snarkiness notwithstanding, I believe we are actually saying the same thing.  I was attempting to point out that the "big sky" theory suggests you can let your guard down once your up in the air.  I was pointing out that even outside the pattern, there are plenty of places where you need to be keeping your eyes open.

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59 minutes ago, M016576 said:

Nothing went wrong, per se- we had altitude deconfliction- RVSM allows for reduced altitude separation... so it was all legal... just that a heavy’s wingtip looks awful big crossing over you at 1000’ when you’re not really expecting to see it.

Yes, I imagine some poo might come out :blink:

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simple fact, airplanes are tiny, it's hard to see a Cessna 1 mile in front of you.   USE ALL available resources

once you get a traffic helper( adsb, tcas, whatever  ) you finally realize how much traffic you don't see, scary.

Edited by McMooney
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2 hours ago, jaylw314 said:

Your snarkiness notwithstanding, I believe we are actually saying the same thing.  I was attempting to point out that the "big sky" theory suggests you can let your guard down once your up in the air.  I was pointing out that even outside the pattern, there are plenty of places where you need to be keeping your eyes open.

Yes, eyes open and head on a swivel is required. See @M016576 post above, and @M20Doc reply. My comment was meant to be serious, not snarky. 

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15 hours ago, Hank said:

Thankfully Oregon is a long ways from me, because it sound like you spend too much time looking for traffic inside your plane, while I am outside and won't show up on your ADSB because I am not equipping for Out. 

Please use your eyes to look through your actual windows, lest the Small Sky in which you profess to fly rise up and smite you! 

Hank,

Please keep your transponder on and I’ll see you on my Lynx 9000.

Clarence

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I agree with the OP 100%. On half of my flights I will make a minor course change based on my ADSB display to deconflict a perceived threat. Often I never see them even though I know where to look. Often they are not called out by ATC either.

 

Oh yeah, I have accurate fuel gauges too thanks to Ceis and JPI.

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The situation is the same with and without the iPad.  There are other airplanes most of which aren’t a factor. Of the handful of midair collisions each year almost all of them happen to airplanes in proximity to an airport or a VOR.  Very very few occur to aircraft in cruise.

And to beat my view thing a bit more, why would anyone want an AOA indicator? We already have indicators for bank and airspeed, and a stall horn to boot. The reason is we humans are a visual species, and a visual angle of attack works better for how we perceive things. Like I said, I bet most of the folks who’ve run out of gas wouldn’t have done so with working gauges.

But instead of fixing the gauges we worry about mid air collisions.  In a group my students tend to rise to the level of the most intelligent among them. We pilots seem to do the opposite.

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