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Discussion in 'Aviation Mishaps' started by Shawn, Aug 18, 2022.
Do the same rules apply?
Yes. The difference is that the FAA would be given some leeway in interpreting its own regulations.
Well. There is a system in development that will allow pilots to select traffic on a cockpit display and designate a target to independently mange spacing at the direction of ATC in terminal environment. So I’m guessing it has the capability to be rather accurate. Is there not technical specifications data provided by the manufacturer regarding the refresh rates for data display?
Well then, all we have to do is find a case where the FAA has successfully issued a violation to a glider pilot for not yielding the right-of-way to the pilot of a powered plane on final.
There are no right-of-way rules that apply to traffic patterns specifically. The only rule says people on final have row over others, and the guy at the lower altitude has priority over that. But even that doesn't say you can't turn final in front of someone on a long straight in.
[Edit:] I guess what you're implying is that you can turn in front of someone as long as they're far enough away for it not to cause a problem.
So what is the definition of "on final"? That ten mile one, or that one mile one?
People turn in front of an aircraft on final all the time, as they should, especially one on a long final. The rule does say that you can't "take advantage" of your lower altitude to "cut in front of" an aircraft on final approach.
From a pure survival standpoint, however you manage it you should just assume that an aircraft on final can't see you as you cut in front of it, which is often the case and likely the case in this accident.
It says you can't use the "lower altitude" rule to cut off a trailing aircraft. However, it doesn't say that if you got one plane on a five-mile final, that nobody can turn in front of him on a standard base-to-final turn.
I absolutely do agree with that interpretation, and that situation can be greatly enhanced with a little communication between the converging aircraft, although that's not always necessary. But the aircraft turning from base to final loses sight of the aircraft on final, while the aircraft on final may not have sight of the aircraft below and in front of him, so it's no time to cut it close and just hope you got it right.
i have always thought so that you have time to land and clear the runway without causing the other aircraft an issue
I don't think the distance matters. A typical aircraft on a 10 mile final is usually more than 5 minutes from being a factor in the pattern. You only need to worry about him when he's close, just like an aircraft to your right 10 miles away isn't a factor until there's a need for separation, at which time you need to provide that separation. If he's converging from the left, he needs to provide the separation.
For an aircraft on an instrument approach "final" is typically after crossing a final approach fix while aligned with the runway.
That sounds like an additional rule but I like it.
If ones plane is such that they cant stay in a traffic pattern at the airport they are landing then perhaps find an alternate if the pattern is busy. Rather than get creative or comit suicide/homocide by jumping in front of other planes burning the pattern. Just like a small slow plane would not be landing between Jets at a class Bravo. Know your plane and be considerate dont assume you deserve special attention. A non towered airport is not OshKosh with very specific instructions and multiple peeps paying attention.
As a private pilot student I trained at a small airport that was very busy with trainers doing laps in the pattern. It would occasionally have a jet come in and announce straight in. It never occurred to me to expect him to join the pattern or go elsewhere. I just extended my downwind and made it work.
I guess we just think differently.
The obvious issue is ambiguity in guidance on what constitutes "on final" for a straight in approach, and how that is applied to determine ROW. Until that is clarified so that pilots in the air have a common understanding to predict other's actions, we will continue to see accidents like this one.
Thats a bit insulting to the 152 Pilot. Such unsubstantiated inflammatory comment! Like others have said both may have had their reasons we dont know what they were. Its also possible he was not expecting a straight in fast plane. He may have simply turned base because he was “locked in” thinking he is first in the pattern. Which he was until Maverick came in hot, straight, in front of everyone and ended up in the hangars.
All our valid arguments and measurements here of speed etc. would be rendered mute if the pattern was used by both aircraft and common sense. There should be a Fly In titled “Join the Pattern” to raise awareness.
Regs don't say that. There's no guarantee that you are ever in a position where other air traffic "won't be an issue" to you.
The fact that there is so much disagreement on the subject of right-of-way in this situation is proof by itself that clarification is needed.
And there’s a difference between clarification & regulation.
I don't think it's such an issue of where the final approach begins, rather it's where the conflict begins, which is the only time ROW matters anyway. As others have said you can land safely ahead of an aircraft on long final. It's not until he gets close enough to be a hazard, at which point you cannot "pass over, under or ahead of" him unless well clear, nor can you cut in front of him just because you're at the lower altitude.
One thing to remember is that a faster airplane making standard rate turns is going to fly a much wider pattern than a slower aircraft doing the same thing, so even if he turns final from his normal full pattern he may be a long way out on final anyway. That's why it's so critical while on downwind and base to assure that you are not interfering with his approach, and take evasive action quickly so as not to end up like the C172 in this case, who almost certainly tried to pass ahead of the twin on the attempted go-around.
(No doubt that speed could have been a big factor in this accident, however.)
Discussion about final-aircraft-have-the-right-of-way remind me of driving my first car, a 1946 Willys Jeep. Funner than snot, but had a top speed of about 50 MPH.
Say I came to a stop sign, intending to turn left onto a highway with a 60 MPH speed limit. Nothing to my left. To my right, there's a Chevy a mile down the road.
So I turn onto the highway, and do my usual slow acceleration to my Jeep's max speed. 90 seconds later later the Chevy runs into my back end....and claims it's my fault for pulling in front of him.
I see right of way rules as two flavors. I see the "final aircraft has the right of way" as a CONVENIENCE rule, intended to give a framework for pilots to handle conflicts on their own. We don't deliberately close in front of another aircraft on final because the rules state you have to yield to that other aircraft. Even if we're on a RIGHT base, and would otherwise be the privileged aircraft.
That's opposed to the right of way rules designed to eliminate imminent conflict. Like where the aircraft to the left has to yield to the other aircraft, or aircraft approaching head-on both turn to their respective right. And the fact that an aircraft overtaking another has to yield to the right to pass. Everything I've seen has said that the 340 pilot had plenty of time to abort the landing and miss the aircraft in front of him.
I see it as five: Distress OR converging OR approaching head-on OR overtaking OR landing.
Why is it that I just can't believe definitions and rules are going to have any impact on this sort of future disaster?
This is "a Pilot controlled airport". WE collectively failed.
AS posted before, the student in the other string thinks a tower is protective, when, it is not.
The pilots aren't going to change.
Therefore, it is incumbent on each and every one of us to be maximally DEFENSIVE out there.
Whether we acknowledge it or not, the HOBBS DOES NOT RULE, unless we allow it...
Might not have been required in the airspace.
Your post illustrates the confusion. What is a "long" final? Where is that term defined anywhere in an FAA reference? What are the criteria to differentiate it from a "short" final?
Instrument approaches are broken into initial and final approach, with a clear event delineating two segments, such as arrival at the FAF. Incorporating a similar framework for straight in VFR approaches would clarify the position of the arriving aircraft so that other aircraft in the pattern could correctly apply ROW and deconflict their actions.
During initial approach, the aircraft arriving straight in would communicate to sequence with other aircraft in the pattern. Once the straight in arrival meets the criteria for final approach segment, the pilot could call "on final approach" and other aircraft would know that aircraft has ROW.
That is pretty much the way it happens now, most of the time. The only difference is that "final" would mean something that everyone understands.
The other benefit of this would be to treat VFR and IFR arrivals the same, from the standpoint of other traffic in the pattern. On final approach segment? The runway is yours. IFR or VFR? Doesn't matter.
The question is how to define when initial becomes final. That could be distance, eg 3 or 5 miles out. That seems to work for Class D. It could be time based, such as 2 or 3 minutes from runway threshold, which would address the issue of different speeds. It could be action based, such as when the aircraft descends below pattern altitude. I think the last option makes the most sense.
I discussed this accident today while flying a coworker to Ocean City (KOXB) for lunch. One runway is closed right now so there's only one available runway (02/20) and you need to back-taxi if you land 20. While we were 10+ miles out, an airplane approaching from the north and and the jump plane descending south of the airport both announced intentions to land straight in in opposite directions. Some third party pointed out to them that they were in conflict and the jump plane reverted to flying a pattern. Then when I was landing and back-taxiing, another airplane was on a long straight-in final. Later that day, when we were departing, an airplane reported a 10 mile and then 5 mile straight-in to 20 which I was about to use. Based on the delay between 10 mile and 5 mile calls I was able to rule out that the guy was coming in at greater than mach 1 so I had time to take off (can't be too sure anymore).
It felt like I was the only person in the region who actually intended to fly a normal pattern. What the heck? Even my coworker was like "damn, right after telling me about that accident, all we see is people doing straight-in landings."
As I say, it's not the length of the final. It's the point at which a conflict is about to occur that's relevant, and when that happens the ROW is given to the aircraft on final.
If it's installed it's required to be operating, regardless of airspace.
I fly out of U42 also. I only fly straight in from the south if the pattern is empty, or maybe one other plane that won’t be an issue. Normally I’ll pull to the west and sequence in on the 45 to rw 34.
I also know pilots who on approach from the east side overfly midfield and enter downwind 16 or 34. I’m not interested in that. TPA is 5600, bravo floor 6000. Just isn’t my cup of tea.
But as you said, communication is the main thing. I’ve ducked out on 360s multiple times if there was ever any question on potential conflict. Or extended downwind. Whatever is easiest to deconflict. The twin driver wasn’t communicating. He was telling people what he was doing and you’all better get out of my way. I think he made contact with the 152 at well over 160 kts maybe 1/2 mile from the threshold and according to someone upthread 700’. It’s pretty clear he wasn’t going to land even without the 152 in his way.
so if i'm on a downwind in an SR22 to some runway about to turn a 1/2-mile base and a 152 calls an 8 mile final straight in you're saying what exactly?
Operative, not operating, no?
Ok, got me. I was thinking of FAR 21.213, which says that all installed equipment must be operative, but says nothing about operating. Eg you can have a radio that works but is turned off.
And just like THAT:
This weekend I had to shoe horn into the pattern with 4 students doing TnGs ... and on CUE, someone calls a straight in final at 5 out. The student in front of me turns base anyway. I extend downwind, but #'s 2 and 3 don't see me and cut in front as soon as they are abeam the Cirrus on final. Student #4 did a 360 on downwind and got admonished by his CFI on the ground ... quite the cluster due to ONE straight in with 5 in the pattern
At least it worked itself out and no one got hurt, but still. It stinks. CFIs have to do a better job of teaching their students about the significance of good pattern procedures and I’m guessing it may not happen any time soon.
What's wrong with that?
Here we go again.
Sounds like the straight-in wasn’t the only issue in the pattern.