jcovington

Near miss in traffic pattern

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10 minutes ago, gsxrpilot said:

True, but that's an accusation with far reaching consequences... I'd give quarter on my part long before making that accusation.

100% agree. I have no intention of confronting the CFI. I do intend to stay as far away as possible especially in the pattern.

Jim

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2 minutes ago, jcovington said:

I too fly my Mooney to mix in with others. I slowed the plane on the 45 entry, dropped the gear and was at my downwind speed before entering downwind. I am not sure where you are getting that I was screaming in. I was moving quickly approaching the 45 entry and I was listening to the Warrior pilot make his position calls so I knew where he was in the pattern (sequencing in as you said). I though (wrongly) that he would fly a standard pattern and carrying some extra speed would keep us separated. I did keep my speed up some (~10 kts) on the 45 entry. I certainly wasn't going any faster in the downwind than normal.

I certainly could have exited the pattern. I have traffic on crosswind that I don't have in sight. Which way do I go? Right would take me closer to him, left might make me turn into him. Straight ahead in this case was exactly the wrong direction because that is where he was entering downwind. Climb probably would have worked as I was reasonably sure he wasn't above me.

Jim

You claimed to be flying 100 KTAS into the traffic pattern.  That poor Warrior was climbing.  What Vy in a Warrior?  75 KTAS?  In my Cherokee I think it was about 60 KTAS.  That poor thing could do 100 KTAS in a full power dive, otherwise not so much. You don't know where anyone is until you see them.  That's the crux of the problem here.  You assumed you knew where  they were, you were wrong, and you created a dangerous situation.  I do agree that the CFI was horribly cavalier at not being alarmed at the situation.  Thus it gives your accusation some very solid credence.  I would mention something to this fellow's employer, he sounds like he needs an attitude adjustment.  

Still, the lesson to be learned here is not to trust you know where the other aircraft is until you see them.  A very inexpensive price to pay for such a valuable lesson says me.  Soiled undergarments is a cheap price indeed.

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Or you have a macho attitude and refuse to give any quarter. The CFI and I have had words in the past (with me and others). I have reasons to believe that the close turn in front of us was deliberate. 
Jim


This has been an interesting thread. Your last sentence is intriguing.

If I understand you correctly, you have a specific reason to believe another pilot, one with instructor privileges and a student on-board, deliberately intended to cause a mid-air collision.

How do you know this to be the case?

Why haven’t you informed your FSDO?

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46 minutes ago, jaylw314 said:

I thought it was a Piper Warrior?

That was @jcovington 's belief, that the Warrior did see him based on his radio call

You're correct, I misspoke.  I have my head in a NTSB report I am reading. I retract my comment. Either the right seater had no situational awareness or this was a pattern prank gone bad.  I wonder how old the CFI was.  I have met too many 20 something, 300hr wonders that think they are "the cream" because they have an instructor ticket.  I have seen said 300hr wonders choose to do things so stupid (low level rolls in non aerobatic aircraft, buzzing city buildings, etc.) that you'd swear they were auditioning for a Darwin award.  I heard one that actually said "Watch this" on CTAF right before an aggressive pull up, departure stall and impact of the end of the runway. Both survived but the instructor's career likely died...

Edited by Shadrach

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2 minutes ago, TCC said:

 


This has been an interesting thread. Your last sentence is intriguing.

If I understand you correctly, you have a specific reason to believe another pilot, one with instructor privileges and a student on-board, deliberately intended to cause a mid-air collision.

How do you know this to be the case?

Why haven’t you informed your FSDO?
 

 

No, I don't believe that he deliberately wanted to cause a mid air. I believe that he saw us and maneuvered to turn in front of us deliberately. I am guessing he was showing me he had right away and I should give way. It worked. I got that lesson.

I do not know this to be the case. I only think it is. I can't accuse someone on a belief without proof. I have no idea how to prove he deliberately turned in front of me.

Jim

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36 minutes ago, jcovington said:

Or you have a macho attitude and refuse to give any quarter. The CFI and I have had words in the past (with me and others). I have reasons to believe that the close turn in front of us was deliberate. 

Jim

It's starting to read that way...

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Just as a note here... it's very difficult to convey tone, emphasis, etc. in written posts on a forum. Accordingly I'm willing to give @jcovington the benefit of the doubt, but also the student/CIF the benefit of the doubt here as well.

This would be a much more fruitful discussion sitting around the beer fridge in my hangar after a fun flight in the Mooney or any flying thing for that matter...

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No, I don't believe that he deliberately wanted to cause a mid air. I believe that he saw us and maneuvered to turn in front of us deliberately. I am guessing he was showing me he had right away and I should give way. It worked. I got that lesson.
I do not know this to be the case. I only think it is. I can't accuse someone on a belief without proof. I have no idea how to prove he deliberately turned in front of me.
Jim


Thank you for the clarification.

One way to ensure separation is instrument arrival and departure.

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22 minutes ago, jcovington said:

No, I don't believe that he deliberately wanted to cause a mid air. I believe that he saw us and maneuvered to turn in front of us deliberately. I am guessing he was showing me he had right away and I should give way. It worked. I got that lesson.

I do not know this to be the case. I only think it is. I can't accuse someone on a belief without proof. I have no idea how to prove he deliberately turned in front of me.

Jim

What the CFI's reasoning was to commence the turn in the pattern, I still maintain that his attitude (assuming Mr. Covington is reporting correctly) as atrocious.  I sounds like he was utterly unconcerned at the near miss.  I think a competent CFI would trend piece together how things got to that point so it didn't happen again.

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2 minutes ago, gsxrpilot said:

This would be a much more fruitful discussion sitting around the beer fridge in my hangar after a fun flight in the Mooney or any flying thing for that matter...

Sounds good to me. I don't dislike the CFI and I don't know the student. I had hoped to have a discussion with the CFI on the ramp to get his take on the flight and what happened. Any comment I made to him was immediately defensive so I gave up. Given the proper circumstance I will try again but I am not hopeful for a different outcome.

Jim

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3 minutes ago, steingar said:

What the CFI's reasoning was to commence the turn in the pattern, I still maintain that his attitude (assuming Mr. Covington is reporting correctly) as atrocious.  I sounds like he was utterly unconcerned at the near miss.  I think a competent CFI would trend piece together how things got to that point so it didn't happen again.

I hope you are right. I am afraid he feels he did nothing wrong and there isn't anything to be gained.

I certainly have been going over this a lot to try to determine what I can do differently. This thread and the comments have changed the way I looked at the incident. I will change my pattern entry the next time I am presented with a similar situation and hopefully break the first link in the chain.

Any accident or near accident has several links in the chain. The Warrior had several opportunities to  avoid the situation. I did too. As has been stated in this thread I can only change my part of it.

Jim

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1 hour ago, jcovington said:

Or you have a macho attitude and refuse to give any quarter. The CFI and I have had words in the past (with me and others). I have reasons to believe that the close turn in front of us was deliberate. 

Jim

You had better be careful of accusations you post on a public forum. It can be a very sharp double edge sword. Especially because based on your description you are not innocent. You barged into the pattern without having identified the position of traffic you knew full well was there before you entered. 

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18 minutes ago, PTK said:

You had better be careful of accusations you post on a public forum. It can be a very sharp double edge sword. Especially because based on your description you are not innocent. You barged into the pattern without having identified the position of traffic you knew full well was there before you entered. 

I do not believe nor I have stated that I am innocent. As I have stated in other messages there are many chains in an accident or near accident. I could have stopped the sequence at the start by entering the pattern differently. The Warrior could have maneuvered differently.

I don't believe that I barged into the traffic pattern. I entered on a 45 as recommended. I entered the pattern on the downwind with the Warrior traffic on crosswind. I communicated my position and I listened to the Warrior position calls. I tried to find the traffic and failed until we were converging. I did the best I could with the information that I had at the time. In hindsight, I made some decisions that I wouldn't in the future. I did not anticipate someone turning crosswind to downwind at about the midfield point. Maybe I should have but I didn't.

As far as an accusation, I am not accusing the CFI of anything since I have no proof. I am only stating my opinion of what happened. If I had proof we wouldn't be having this conversation.

Jim

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For those that are interested I have attached the FlightAware track of the last few minutes of myflight. You can see the circle I made on downwind. It is fairly close to midfield downwind. Unfortunately, the Warrior is not ADS-B equipped and was out of Huntsville radar coverage so I don't have that track.

Jim 1609824939_NearMiss.jpg.8cfaa4da127dafabdd7761a99e74e118.jpg

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15 minutes ago, jcovington said:

I did the best I could with the information that I had at the time.

The information you had was that you knew there was traffic in the pattern you were going to join. You did not see nor identify that traffic. But you barged in anyway. “Barged” in the sense that you ignored the existing traffic. 

Forget what the warrior did or did not do. What did you do? Do you still feel that you did the best you could with the info you had?

Edited by PTK

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9 minutes ago, jcovington said:

I don't believe that I barged into the traffic pattern. I entered on a 45 as recommended. I entered the pattern on the downwind with the Warrior traffic on crosswind. I communicated my position and I listened to the Warrior position calls. I tried to find the traffic and failed until we were converging. I did the best I could with the information that I had at the time. In hindsight, I made some decisions that I wouldn't in the future. I did not anticipate someone turning crosswind to downwind at about the midfield point. Maybe I should have but I didn't.

 

I think caution and identifying the traffic is paramount at uncontrolled fields (and controlled fields for that matter) despite position reports. I have had similar experiences at many airports and have had to delay entry into the 45 because of other traffic in the pattern (such as slowing down, circling etc). And then I would communicate saying that I would follow the aircraft which was supposedly the one I am trying to avoid.  One can't assume if you enter on the 45 you are guaranteed separation :)

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2 minutes ago, PTK said:

The information you had was that you knew there was traffic in the pattern you were going to join. You did not see nor identify that traffic. But you barged in anyway. “Barged” in the sense that you ignored the existing traffic. 

Do you still feel that you did the best you could with the info you had?

Actually, I do. I did not have the knowledge nor had I conceived of someone turning crosswind to downwind at midfield. I certainly did not look for them there. I didn't look for them on the approach end either. We try to fly a standard pattern to limit the places we have to look for conflicting traffic. I looked where I though he would be. I was wrong. You can't know what you don't know. Now that I understand flying a pattern this way is possible I will certainly alter my flying to be sure it doesn't happen again.

I certainly did not ignore the Warrior traffic. I was on a 45 entry for about 500 miles due to my flight path. I had heard him make several position calls during a couple of T&Cs. I had canceled IFR 20 nm out so I could listen for traffic and make my position reports. I had a fairly decent feel for the timing of his circuits. I had no reason to think he was flying a short pattern. I looked during the time I was in the vicinity of the airport on the 45 and after I turned downwind. Short of circling on the 45 I am not sure what else I could do. I did not expect a conflict because I expected the Warrior was behind me but it wasn't for whatever the reason.

Jim

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11 minutes ago, wishboneash said:

I think caution and identifying the traffic is paramount at uncontrolled fields (and controlled fields for that matter) despite position reports. I have had similar experiences at many airports and have had to delay entry into the 45 because of other traffic in the pattern (such as slowing down, circling etc). And then I would communicate saying that I would follow the aircraft which was supposedly the one I am trying to avoid.  One can't assume if you enter on the 45 you are guaranteed separation :)

I agree. I did not intend to imply that entering the 45 gives separation. It does give the best shot at seeing the traffic in the pattern so you can blend in. I though that I was blending in. It didn't work like I expected.

Jim

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1 hour ago, jcovington said:

The CFI and I have had words in the past (with me and others).

I had hoped to have a discussion with the CFI on the ramp to get his take on the flight and what happened. Any comment I made to him was immediately defensive so I gave up. Given the proper circumstance I will try again but I am not hopeful for a different outcome.

Sounds like the current outcome is the best anyone can hope to have - no bent metal and everyone went home upright.

No need for pig wrestling.

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Speed shouldn’t matter. If everyone would fly a traffic pattern proportionate to their airspeed, everyone could be on the same page. The problem is when someone in a Skyhawk flies a jet pattern, then the whole sequence is shot.

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27 minutes ago, 201er said:

Speed shouldn’t matter. If everyone would fly a traffic pattern proportionate to their airspeed, everyone could be on the same page. The problem is when someone in a Skyhawk flies a jet pattern, then the whole sequence is shot.

I fly the same size pattern or smaller than most skyhawks.  Perhaps I need to modify my SOP.

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3 minutes ago, Shadrach said:

I fly the same size pattern or smaller than most skyhawks.  Perhaps I need to modify my SOP.

Depends what speed you fly. If you’re flying skyhawk speeds it will mesh well. If you’re flying Mooney speeds, then they are flying too big a pattern!

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What are you guys using for judging distance around the pattern on the down wind..?

  • wing tip on the runway
  • runway halfway out on the wing
  • Fuel cap on the runway, extra close
  • wing tip + four fingers, extra far
  • GPS
  • visual cues... roads, steeples, etc..

Just seeing how you measure this.

Best regards,

-a-

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3 minutes ago, Shadrach said:

I fly the same size pattern or smaller than most skyhawks.  Perhaps I need to modify my SOP.

I do not in any way wish to criticize your piloting, I only wish to state my thoughts on this.  I tend to do wide patterns.  This bothers CFI's to no end, but my reasoning is as follows:

The idea behind tight patterns is so you can make the runway if the mill quits while you're in the landing pattern.  But how often does that actually happen?  I would suggest such a thing is rare indeed.  What kills pilots in the landing pattern is the stall/spin from base to final, and it's killed lots and will continue to do so.  One of the reasons is sometimes one needs larger bank angles than is prudent, and stall speeds rise accordingly.  The tighter the pattern the larger the bank angle, the higher the stall speed.  I myself am profoundly uncomfortable yanking and banking at low altitude and low energy.  Perhaps I am just not that good a pilot, and that a better pilot can accomplish such things with ease.  I will only say that after any of these stall/spin accidents, which as often as not involve high the commercial pilots, no one ever says "that guy was a lousy pilot and I'm unsurprised".  Usually I read about the surprise and shock, with testimonials as to the skill of the accident pilot.

My thoughts for what little they're worth.

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3 minutes ago, carusoam said:

What are you guys using for judging distance around the pattern on the down wind..?

  • wing tip on the runway
  • runway halfway out on the wing
  • Fuel cap on the runway, extra close
  • wing tip + four fingers, extra far
  • GPS
  • visual cues... roads, steeples, etc..

Just seeing how you measure this.

Best regards,

-a-

I use GPS so I am reporting distance to the middle of the field.

Jim

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