1.5 NM short final

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by 1.5 NM short final, Oct 18, 2018.

  1. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Please show me a civil case (outside of Cook county) where someone was found liable for causing an accident' based on flying a straight in approach.
     
  2. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    No. I do not do extensive legal research like that. It is possible that it has never happened, but that doesn’t mean you avoid liability if you ignore FAA guidance on this topic. The court records are full of people who got sued for something for the first time ever.

    Just go out and be a reasonably prudent pilot and you won’t have a problem.
     
  3. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    On a short approach call I would expect the aircraft to fly a rectangular pattern with the base leg closer to the runway than normal, not an an immediate turn from downwind to the threshold.
     
  4. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    What hog wash. the FAA clearly states that straight in approaches are acceptable.

    9.5 Straight-In Landings. The FAA encourages pilots to use the standard traffic pattern when arriving or departing a non-towered airport or a part-time-towered airport when the control tower is not operating, particularly when other traffic is observed or when operating from an unfamiliar airport. However, there are occasions where a pilot can choose to execute a straight-in approach for landing when not intending to enter the traffic pattern, such as a visual approach executed as part of the termination of an instrument approach. Pilots should clearly communicate on the CTAF and coordinate maneuvering for and execution of the landing with other traffic so as not to disrupt the flow of other aircraft. Therefore, pilots operating in the traffic pattern should be alert at all times to aircraft executing straight-in landings, particularly when flying a base leg prior to turning final.
     
  5. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    Yep, that's how straight in landings are supppsed to work.

    But what seems tomhave happened her is that the guy in straight in, with two planes actively in the pattern, barged in, "called" final from way out and expected everyone to clear out of his way. What tyoe of "coordinate maneuvering for and execution of the landing with other traffic so as not to disrupt the flow of other aircraft" does that sound like? None is what it sounds like.

    Fly straight in if you want to, but if there is traffic in the pattern, the straight in guy should either coordinate to blend in without disrupting them, or join the pattern. It's called playing nicely, obeying the rules and not being selfish and bull-headed. Just read the nice quote above for what the FAA says.
     
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  6. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Naw, the OP expected everyone to get out of HIS way by making a short approach call on crosswind, crosswind! "Beep, beep, hot stuff coming through!" The guy straight-in sounded like he was turned over after a straight-in IFR approach and promptly announced his intentions. When he first heard the OP make his (second) call from the downwind, it sounded like he was turning final already, but since the OP wasn't in sight he gave his own position a mile and a half on final. At that point the straight-in pilot would be at, what, 450 ft? And the OP was where, downwind turning base, presumably at or near 1000 feet AGL, if adhering to AIM guidance, or actually at the same altitude (on the horizon line on base leg) closer to the runway than AIM guidance allows? No wonder the straight-in pilot couldn't find him.

    At least, that's my take on it. YMMV.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
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  7. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If getting sued using a novel legal theory is that high on your list of fears, then maybe general aviation is not the right past time for you . May I recommend indoor chess ?

    Give me something, at least an anecdote of someone getting sued for millions in Illinois or Philadelphia.
     
  8. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    You're setting up a strawman and you probably don't even realize it.

    Straight in landings are allowed. An AC published this year requires that WHEN a straight in approach is performed, the pilot must not interfere with traffic already in the pattern and there are other things that back that up. If you don't follow that and cause a problem, then most judges and juries in any ensuing legal action would be very unlikely to conclude that you met the standard of being a prudent and safe pilot. You would be likely to be found liable, so perform straight in approaches with caution.

    Is it likely that you or I will have to worry about this? Like many of the fine points that are argued here, no.

    I'm out.
     
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  9. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The AC published this year doesn't say that.

    On the other hand, two of the aircraft that Fekete cut off were straight-ins, and his pilot certificate was revoked for it.
     
  10. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    I agree. The normal procdure for an aircraft 1.5 anouncining 1.5 mile final is to simply extend downwind and turn base when he passes. Some on here think an announcement of downwind precludes straight in traffic.
     
  11. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    Just talk on the radio. That is all it takes. Two-way communication. Some (student?) pilots seem to think that all they can do on the radio is "radio calls". That is not coordination. If the OP had simply asked the straight-in if he had him in sight and was OK with the separation since the OP was, I presume, doing a touch-and-go then it could have been "coordinated" instead of the OP thinking he had to do something unplanned.
     
  12. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    And you changed the FAA requirement. The FAA says you may not disrupt the pattern and you claim you can’t interfer. They are not the same.

    Disrupt means to drastically alter or destroy the structure of something, not cause a mere inconvenience.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2018
  13. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Um, no. Never delegate your own safety to another pilot.
     
  14. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    Disagree with your interpretation that that is what I proposed.
     
  15. Ray Eaker

    Ray Eaker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    "Pilots should clearly communicate on the CTAF and coordinate maneuvering for and execution of the landing with other traffic so as not to disrupt the flow of other aircraft."

    Seems to me you had the right-of-way and the guy doing the straight-in caused a disruption - which you handled like a gentleman.
     
  16. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Right-of-way is established by regulations, not by ADVISORY circulars.
     
  17. Hello, OP here again. I really appreciate all the good advise and feedback that you offered. Here's what I am taking away from it as "lesson learned". This is also my final post on this thread, and I would like to also thank the POA administrators for offering anonymous posting and for their time reviewing and approving my posts.
    • On the preponderance of the evidence, I had the right-of-way.

    • Yielding was the correct action to take because it was in response to another pilot calling "short final". At that moment, I had no visual contact with that aircraft and I could not assess if there was room for both of us.

    • Out of curiosity, I looked up the other aircraft on FlightAware. Position reports are not always accurate, but the data shows him 3 NM from the threshold at the time I was turning downwind-to-base-to final. His "1.5 short final" was closer to 2-3 NM -- again based on best available ADSB-out data displayed on FlightAware. That kind-of-answers @Ravioli question: I don't think I would have caused the straight-in traffic any issue but at the time of the incident I had no way of knowing that.

    • @luvflyin asked a great question: if this happened to me again, would I just go around or return to downwind? It's not easy to answer this one. Abandoning the approach and returning to downwind was almost instinctive to me. Upon hearing "short final" on the radio I thought that I am turning onto someone that I can't see. Turning right (to avoid the traffic) was my first reaction and that put me on track back to the downwind -- I knew that the traffic behind me was far enough as to not be affected.

    • There has been some discussion about stating my intentions early into the pattern, specifically announcing short approach as early as crosswind. I am making a note of that but here's my predicament: the incident I am describing happened on my 4-th time around the pattern. I had practiced 3 power-off 180s already and I was going for my 4th. The other two aircraft in the pattern were aware of my intentions and they even planned their legs to accommodate me. Announcing "short approach" on crosswind was more of a courtesy gesture to them, not a demand on other aircraft approaching the airport. I understand it may have been confusing for someone tuning to CTAF to hear crosswind and short approach on the same call. This is something to avoid doing in the future.

    • Through the discussion here it became clear to me that I should have contacted the straight-in aircraft directly and ensure we were on the same page. This is something I will do in the future. In general, I am very comfortable talking directly with other pilots if I feel there is a need for clarification or coordination. My only guess as to why I did not speak directly with the straight-in pilot is because when I heard him reporting 4 NM out I thought he was planning to join the pattern. The first indication of straight-in was when he called a "1.5 NM short final". My mistake is that I assumed what his behavior would be, instead of assessing it directly. And this is another lesson learned: if an airplane on CTAF is reporting position but not intention within 5 NM, ask.
    Again, thank you all for helping me turn this incident into a valuable lesson.
     
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  18. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't see how that conclusion follows from the evidence. Remember, ADVISORY circulars don't trump regulations. The guy who was subjected to an emergency order of revocation believed that he had right-of-way over straight-ins.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
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  19. Ray Eaker

    Ray Eaker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    And good manners. Flying a straight in approach when there is traffic in the pattern is no different than the jerks that think they own the left lane of the interstate. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. :)
     
  20. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Good post OP, you have a good attitude and learned something from the POA peanut gallery. Good on you!
     
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  21. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think all your comments and conclusions are spot on. And to the comment I've quoted I will add this. When in doubt ask just like you said. But when you get the answer and really for all communications on CTAF, hope but don't expect. Hope they actually do what they say they're going to do and hope their idea of what they said they're going to do at least loosely matches up with your idea of what that should look like. But don't ever go so far as to expect it. Because if there's one thing I've learned about people, its that they a seemingly endless ability to let you down.

    I often get flack for saying this but threads like this one make me appreciate and kind of miss the time I've spent flying NORDO aircraft. Furthermore flying NORDO is something I think every pilot should experience. I think there are lots of pilots out there who would be surprised at how much of their see and avoid technique is actually hear and avoid. Doing some circuits in a NORDO plane can make you realize how much more looking you could be doing but generally don't do because you listen to the radio, match it up with what you see and assume you're got the full picture.
     
  22. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    No you didn't.

    It was the right course of action as it avoided violating the other pilots right of way.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
  23. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We all have our opinions about what constitutes good manners, but just don't think that that gives you the right-of-way over straight-ins.
     
  24. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    And don't assume that on a straight in that you have right of way over traffic in the pattern.


    In fact, let's all try to not ASS-U-ME.
     
  25. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There's no need to assume anything. All you have to do is read 14 CFR 91.113(g): cutting in front of traffic on final is not allowed.

    That having been said, I don't assume that others know the right-of-way regulations, so I'm prepared to yield the right-of-way regardless of whether I'm on base or final.

    It's just too bad that the FAA has created so much confusion on this. We would all be a lot safer with a common set of expectations.
     
  26. Cooter

    Cooter Pattern Altitude

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    Simple solution.

    Don’t turn until you have your *potential* interval in sight, and don’t delay your turn to base in a way that extends the pattern and hoses the guy behind you.

    That is all.
     
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  27. Hank S

    Hank S En-Route

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    Your definition of you being on final is appparently quite different from my definition of you being on final. And we will not reachagreement as long as you continue to propound your rights and not discuss.
     
  28. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They're your rights too. If you ever make a straight-in approach while I'm on base or ready to turn base, I promise to yield the right-of-way to you if we're close enough together to be a factor for each other. I also promise to yield if you cut in front of me on one of the few occasions that I make a straight-in, because I'm not interested in being "dead right."

    As for my definition of final, I don't have one. The FAA made their definition of final clear when they issued an order of revocation to Mr. Fekete for repeatedly cutting in front of aircraft that were on straight-in approaches. I'm not willing to risk the same punishment by repeating his mistake.

    What do you want me to discuss?
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2018
  29. bbchien

    bbchien Touchdown! Greaser!

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    4 miles in a Mitsubishi at 135 kts is pretty short.....play nice!
     
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  30. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Line Up and Wait

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    Geez, I think that if some of the folks here were in the pattern they'd never let me land.
     
  31. sarangan

    sarangan Pre-takeoff checklist

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    From the AIM Pilot/Controller Glossary:

    "MAKE SHORT APPROACH− Used by ATC to inform a pilot to alter his/her traffic pattern so as to make a short final approach."
     
  32. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    At my airport, short approach is used by the tower, along with "tight", as in "keep your pattern tight", when there is some complicated sequencing and they would like you on the ground quickly. We also can ask for a "short approach" on downwind, typically for a simulated engine out.

    The request from tower is usually when a fast plane is on a practice approach and I'm on downwind, particularly if I'm asking for a touch and go. He'd rather me come in quick and get out of the way, than have me do a long extended downwind.
     
  33. Sinistar

    Sinistar Cleared for Takeoff

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    When practicing power off 180's at our uncontrolled home airport - which can get busy from students from a nearby delta I do the following:

    1.) If the pattern has more than 2 planes total (me + 1)...I just don't do them. With just 2 of us it usually all spaces out nicely.

    2.) On take off I announce "Remaining in the pattern" so everyone knows I will be in the pattern.

    3.) I fly the crosswind and downwind normally.

    4.) If there is no traffic ahead of me (base or final) I announce "....Practicing power off 180 from left downwind runway 31 turning to final now..."

    5.) If there is traffic ahead me I wait for it to pass abeam and then land normally.

    For the OP there is one thing you could have done. You could have just talked to the traffic on final. Usually when both planes talk it seems like both parties become willing to make changes.

    With less than 200hrs under my belt I don't necessarily associate short approaches as being power off 180s and why not just be 100% clear and say what you are really doing.

    As for the other plane. I am not instrument rated (not doing approaches) so I follow the latest circular (or whatever the hell its called). I would have stayed about 1000 above the pattern and then tear dropped back into the left downwind and followed the other traffic. It adds about 3-4 minutes though so if someone was sick or something I would then do a straight in. But then again I also would have announced that fact on the radio to clarify why the straight in was important.
     
  34. chemgeek

    chemgeek Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My God. We are beating this dead and thoroughly mushed up horse yet again. There is nothing in the AIM or ACs that prohibit straight in approaches. The basic rule is that one should not take advantage of a plane on long final to cut in front of them in such a way as to interfere with their landing.

    So, if you can safely cut in front and land, do so. If not, extend and land behind. If you are all in communication with one another, you can work out the appropriate safe traffic flow. It's not hard. If you don't have the other aircraft in sight, play it safe.

    There is no value in having a pi$$ing match over who is supposedly "right". Just fly smart and fly safe. We all have to share the same sky.

    And by the way, if you visit my home field and I happen to be arriving from the south on a typical day, I'll be flying a long final to 35 instead of needlessly burning another gallon of avgas. But you'll get plenty of notice of my whereabouts if you are tuned to the correct CTAF, and I'll be looking out for you, too. You'll find all the turbine aircraft traffic at our airport doing the same thing...safely and courteously.
     
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