When piloting a plane:  

38 members have voted

  1. 1. When piloting a plane:

    • Everyone else in the sky is proficient and safe
      3
    • Everyone else is trying to kill me and I can't let my guard down for a second.
      35


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When piloting a plane:   A)Everyone else up there is proficient and safe   B)Everyone else up there is trying to kill me and I can't let my guard down for a second.

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I first learned this when I was out as a solo student doing pattern work at my home airport. As I was about to turn base another plane abeam the numbers said they were doing a short approach. I didn't descend and we would have ended up at the end of the runway at the exact same time. It was a student pilot with a CFI from the same place I flew, so I know the CFI knew I was a student as well.

And that's how I (first) learned everyone else is trying to kill me.

 

Edited by Steve W
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IMHO... if I answer #1, I'm a fool. But if I answer #2 I should stay on the ground.

I think it's somewhere in the middle. It's a big sky, the vast majority of pilots are well trained, proficient, and professional. None of them are "trying to kill me." But I should be alert and aware of what's around me. 

But then both survey options are very relative and subjective and therefore either answer could be acceptable under various interpretations. 

BTW... when on a motorcycle, I don't believe anyone is "trying to kill me" but rather I assume they can't see me. If I ride as if I'm invisible, then it's on me not to get hit. And I don't have bad feelings toward the car that swerves into my lane. They didn't see me.

When I get cut off in the pattern, I don't ascribe malice to the other pilot, rather he didn't see me. So I should fly in a way that ensures I can't be hit.

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If planes were as common as cars I'd either not have begun flying or died long ago.  Keeping the bike away form the cages is hard enough.

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In the pattern I don't believe in right of way.   I believe in all of us work together to not bend metal

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Just now, steingar said:

If planes were as common as cars I'd either not have begun flying or died long ago.  Keeping the bike away form the cages is hard enough.

There are far less pilots than PHDs in the USA.

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9 minutes ago, Yetti said:

There are far less pilots than PHDs in the USA.

Thankfully, to some degree.  I think Big Sky is the only thing keeping us safe.

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34 minutes ago, Yetti said:

There are far less pilots than PHDs in the USA.

633,317 pilots INCLUDING 167,804 students as of 2018. With 327.2 million people in the US, that means we represent just under 1/5 of 1% of the general population. Probably the only elite group I'll ever belong to! :)

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11 minutes ago, N6018Q said:

the only elite group I'll ever belong to!

Me too, at least it's the best one!

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14 minutes ago, N6018Q said:

633,317 pilots INCLUDING 167,804 students as of 2018

Where do you get these numbers? I'm just wondering because when I search the FAA Airman database, I find pilots listed who are relatives of mine who are either no longer flying, or have actually passed away. My grandfather is still listed in the database and he passed away in 1996.

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You need a third choice of "both" I'm with GXR in approaching it with the same attitude I take when riding my MC and actually even when driving my car. I'm invisible to others.

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3 hours ago, gsxrpilot said:

IMHO... if I answer #1, I'm a fool. But if I answer #2 I should stay on the ground.

I think it's somewhere in the middle. It's a big sky, the vast majority of pilots are well trained, proficient, and professional. None of them are "trying to kill me." But I should be alert and aware of what's around me. 

But then both survey options are very relative and subjective and therefore either answer could be acceptable under various interpretations. 

BTW... when on a motorcycle, I don't believe anyone is "trying to kill me" but rather I assume they can't see me. If I ride as if I'm invisible, then it's on me not to get hit. And I don't have bad feelings toward the car that swerves into my lane. They didn't see me.

When I get cut off in the pattern, I don't ascribe malice to the other pilot, rather he didn't see me. So I should fly in a way that ensures I can't be hit.

I am also an "in the middle" guy.  Black and white questions tend to be skewed towards the extremes.  Taking the practice of flight seriously does not necessarily mean that everyone else is out to kill me - although they may not necessarily appreciate what it takes to avoid bending metal. 

For example, under IFR today in VMC, I was within 50 yrds of a Cessna not squawking or talking.  He did not even know I was there and I did not know where he was until it was almost too late.  I had to dive to avoid a close encounter of the bad kind.  Maybe the close call woke him up.  Or not.

My advantage?   ATC warned me to look for him without being able to tell me his altitude.  That warning saved both aircraft.  

But not flying at all is not an option for me.  Mitigating lack of competence in other pilots is why I have an instrument rating providing me with a second set of eyes in nearly all phases of flight. As well, I participate in stick and rudder training such as formation flying training and the Mooney Pilot Proficiency Program so I know what my aircraft can do for me.  And that I believe is a much better question....

"What can I do to mitigate the risk caused by pilots who may unknowingly cause me harm?"  Then have a bunch of choices.   You already have my top three.

 

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27 minutes ago, Ned Gravel said:

But not flying at all is not an option for me. 

I know! It's like a damn virus or something! I'm a pilot, a pilot's gotta fly... There's nothing I can do about that.:huh:

 

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2 hours ago, gsxrpilot said:

Where do you get these numbers? I'm just wondering because when I search the FAA Airman database, I find pilots listed who are relatives of mine who are either no longer flying, or have actually passed away. My grandfather is still listed in the database and he passed away in 1996.

Maybe we are even more elite than I thought??

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4 hours ago, steingar said:

Thankfully, to some degree.  I think Big Sky is the only thing keeping us safe.

Oh....hah hah, nice way to work in a funny! :D

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1) Nobody is proficient enough...

2) Nobody is intentionally intending to do harm...

 

Big Sky Theory works pretty well... the further you are from

  • final approach...
  • the local VOR... at low altitudes.
  • The VFR flyway next to a big city or important natural attraction with low limitations and a few hundred helicopters mixed in with you...

There are so many ways to create a smoking hole...

  • Flight into terrain
  • stall / spin
  • Engine problems
  • icing
  • thunderstorms

contact with another plane is such a small number....

If you can’t sleep at night because of small numbers... I feel for you.

 

Everyone isn’t trying to kill you... or they would have collectively done so already...

If you stop paying attention, you might run into the guy that was planning to get you...

Using the radio and transponder can improve your chances of not being gotten... unless, somebody is really trying to hunt you down... then ADSB out isn’t your friend...

 

Flight following has some great attributes... another set of eyes looking out for your situation... great to have the extra awareness...

So... how does the solution of paying attention and looking out the windows all the time sound..?

Even on an IR flight in VMC, you still have to have your ‘head on a swivel...’

1) Because big Sky Theory has its limitations...

2) Our CFIs gave us ‘head on a swivel...’

3) ADSB in adds to some level of awareness... don’t stare at it all the time... the guy looking for you turned off his transponder.... and you do want to see him coming...

4) Flight following really helps...

5) you only have to miss by a couple of feet... or a few seconds...

 

Hope that brings some comfort... or some relief... comic relief... :)

 

So what caused the creation of this thread?

Does this have anything to do with formation flight?

Best regards,

-a-

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Mr. Strader, formation flying isn’t for everyone. If you don’t like it, then you probably shouldn’t do it.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I subscribe to neither of those absolutes as a philosophy I practice or a belief.  I try and be vigilant regarding rules/maintenance.  I am proactive in remaining competent and current.  I accept that weather is ever changing and may influence my decision to fly/continue a flight at any time.  I accept that other pilots might NOT follow rules.  I will yield to those pilots without issue.  I understand that I am fallible and so are others.  I welcome technology that helps me protect myself from costly human error.  I welcome input from others to help me learn and protect myself and others.

I don’t believe in absolutes other than death and taxes.

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42 minutes ago, RogueOne said:

Trust but verify.

I know someone high up in Quality Assurance with a sign on the office wall:

In God we trust. All others bring data.

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Since the installation of ADS-B I find it incredible how many others out there within 5 miles that I don't see.   Little white airplanes against a hazy sky can be really difficult to find, even when you have data where they are.     Sometimes they are hard to spot within 1 mile.   I hate that.   A 717 will fit right behind the frame between the windshield and door until it is within 1/2 mile.

Assume there is someone in the pattern NORDO.  

My PPL instructor used to urge me to fight against "fat, dumb, and happy" by trying to remain alert, smart, and grumpy.

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3 hours ago, 0TreeLemur said:

Since the installation of ADS-B I find it incredible how many others out there within 5 miles that I don't see.   

Funny you mention that. On 2 recent local flights I too was amazed at the volume of traffic in ForeFlight with Stratux. Then I noticed that only one or two of them would be displayed on the traffic page of my 430W. Never had any of them in sight and am wondering if there is some spoofing going on. I’ll try to remember to take some screenshots if it happens again.

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1 hour ago, lamont337 said:

Funny you mention that. On 2 recent local flights I too was amazed at the volume of traffic in ForeFlight with Stratux. Then I noticed that only one or two of them would be displayed on the traffic page of my 430W. Never had any of them in sight and am wondering if there is some spoofing going on. I’ll try to remember to take some screenshots if it happens again.

Is your stratux two-channel (both UAT and 1090) and the 430W ADS-B-in source single-channel?    I get that, too, because that's how mine is.   My FreeFlight Ranger is 978 MHz UAT-only, so sometimes I get traffic on the tablet from the stratux that won't show up on the IFD display, and I also sometimes get traffic on the IFD that doesn't show up on the tablet.   There are explanations for why either situation can happen, but it does illustrate that no system is perfect.    Definitely way better than depending on eyes-only, which is clearly inadequate in comparison.

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On 8/16/2019 at 6:04 PM, Ned Gravel said:

For example, under IFR today in VMC, I was within 50 yrds of a Cessna not squawking or talking.  He did not even know I was there and I did not know where he was until it was almost too late.  I had to dive to avoid a close encounter of the bad kind.  Maybe the close call woke him up.  Or not.

I’m an everyone else is actively or passively trying to kill me category. 

Ned I gotta ask - primary target not even an unverified altitude readout and NMAC or whatever - why not just take a quick vector and avoid the unknown by a few miles?  

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