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Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Kenny Phillips, May 30, 2019.
Crap, Dollarhide is an old A-4 pilot. Was in John McCains squadron also. He flew a yellow RV-4 and did a lot of formation flying with the Airpark folks in Florida. Best wishes and a speedy recovery.
RIP (Bob Woolley).
Both experienced retired military pilots.
Damn, be careful up there. RIP.
Another "See and Avoid" failure, unfortunately. It wasn't just two old low-timers out there.
Having recently flown in central Flordia, I found ADS-B coverage in the area to be spotty at best. I know that's not an excuse for a see and avoid failure but I've had planes stop moving and/or disappear heading in one direction only to reappear moments later in unexpected locations given their last position received...
This was mostly in the I-4 corridor between the Tampa and Orlando inside the mode C veil which made it all the more troubling but it also included flights up to Ocala and Jacksonville. For the lack of terrain, amount of air traffic and good weather Florida experiences, there should be no reason why the ADSB signals aren't saturating the area.
They were both retired mil and had partaken in formation airpark shenanigans before? Yeah the question then becomes, were they intending on joining up for some civilian bfm like the stuff already shown on the videos above?
If so, for the sake of lessons learned at least, I would put this in a slightly different category than the usual "see and avoid" truism usually uttered when referring to a mid air by two parties who aren't intending in partaking in any kind of purposeful flying in the close proximity of another. Formation bone ups by dissimilar (whether by training or by equipment) civilian players is a whole other ball of wax. Just as dead for sure, I'm just saying there might be a more macro ADM lesson here than the typical see and avoid discussion. But we won't know that until the ntsb starts interviewing witnesses, survivor included if he's forthcoming.
I was flying in that area last week. ADSB coverage was good the airplanes involved may not have had ADSB. RIP
I met Bob (and several other aviators at "NAS Haller") in passing while flying from the airfield during my sport pilot training in 2008. This hits close to home.
I fly out of central Florida (KBOW) to all points north..south..east & west Florida, using either Foreflight on ipad via a stratus receiver, or in a G1000 equipped aircraft, I can't say I've ever experienced poor ADS-B coverage.
Though the ADS-B tower signal only reports the receiver's ability to receive weather, I am usually only able to get "marginal" or "no towers" on my ADS-B coverage flying in the vicinity of KISM and KGIF both in planes equipped with ADS-B in and in planes where I've used my portable stratux.
Further my ADS-B usually reports connection to only 1 tower which seems to intermittently drop off and the most I've been able to get was 2 towers on the north side of KISM in the vicinity of Disney which even that had the same intermittent drop off of 1 tower fluctuating between 1 and 2 towers available. I found this on multiple flights in the vicinity of KISM/KGIF/KLAL, on a pair of flights from KISM to KOCF and back. I did not take specific note of the number of towers available on an IFR flight up the coast that passed through the Jacksonville enroute to NC so cant comment specifically on the coverage up that way.
You would think 1 tower should be enough (and according to the FAA literature it is) but as I noted TIS-B traffic does not move smoothly, almost like watching a video on a low bandwidth link, it randomly stops moving and then jumps ahead and even has a tendency to disappear altogether only to reappear moments later having skipped some distance across the map and I've also had traffic not show up at all.
At first I thought maybe it was my Stratux but after experiencing similar issues in 2 separate airplanes equipped with different ADS-B In as part of their equipment, I gave up that theory. Where I've been flying for the last month, I rarely see anything other than "Good" and 2 to 3 towers connected and traffic always seems to move smoothly.
You'd think there'd be no pilots left from the past with this kind of talk magnifying ADS-B's importance. It's never, ever going to be a total solution unless you can equip birds with it, too.
Birds can certainly be a problem but the rate of closure is less, the damage is often less catastrophic and birds (especially the big birds of prey which will do the most damage) are naturally better at the whole "aerial avoidance" thing which isnt to say they dont error (particularly on t/o & landing where birds on the ground get startled into the sky) just that they are better at it than us (which often makes it seem like, to us anyway, they are playing chicken with airplanes as they swoop in front of planes mere feet away).
I also find that spotting birds tends to be (in my opinion at least) easier since they are less likely to hold a static altitude/spot in the sky and tend to be darker and less likely to blend in to clouds and light blue skies.
I'd also note that in my initial post, I commented that poor ADS-B coverage is not an excuse for a see and avoid collision but might be a contributing factor, especially if the ADS-B showed the other aircraft in a particular location and direction before losing track of that aircraft only to pick it up again in a completely different location and direction.
But it is a requirement for autonomous flight, which will happen in our lifetimes.
And the best avoidance systems even in drones are visual... like the DJI Phantom I direct.
And they don't work 100%, I've found.
I will go out on a limb and say there were out playing fighter pilot just having fun and lost sight of each other.
One of the pilots lived on another airstrip for a while, nice guy, beautiful airplane, but he did put on pretty good aerobatic show in the pattern and down the runway many times and I mean mowing the grass type of low passes one after another, he did love to fly and was good, but that fighter pilot was still in him, no straight and level ever it was fun to watch the rolls all the way on down wind and base then a low pass really fast, a pull up with a roll, rinse and repeat.
Sad that one lost his life. I wonder if the survivor will hang it up over what happened, or fly again.
Pilots know when their next flight will be, but never know when the last one will be, so true for two true aviators that still loved their passion in life.
Wow. Bold statement but if true died doing what he loved. If your chasing each other adsb ain’t going to help much!
The pilots involved were the two from the video in post # 3. The fellow that died was the owner of the Panther N109L. Nothing to do with "see and avoid" or ADSB, these guys went into this with their eyes open and knowing the risks. RIP.
Don’t count on ADSb for your safety. Many pilots I know turn it off as soon as they’re outside the mode C area. They are uncomfortable having big brother knowing their every move.
You mean they turn on the anonymous mode or just shut off the device completely ?
In today's world, that's beyond ignorant. Anyone who flies IFR has their entire route painted already; why should they have to "see and avoid"?
I'm talking VFR.
They are still in radar contact, then ground stations will provide traffic position reports, unless they turn off their transponders.
Heck, some even sell their airplane!
I have met some people that do not have a pilot certificate, medical, current annual on the plane or have any other maintenance done to their plane for the same reason.
That's hard to believe someone would be that paranoid. Then again lots of folks with there heads in the clouds out there..
I shoulda mentioned most of those people I met live in Alaska....
One was flying a C-310 out of Gustavus, and once passed me from behind on my left side at the same altitude and about 100 feet away.
Like I said you never know were there heads are at. 100 ft is a little reckless. Gustavis, !!! my friend never found out who damaged his plane. Sold it for 10 cents to the dollar and bought a C172. Hopefully he has better luck with that plane.
I don't think he ever saw me. I heard the engines and turned my head to see what the noise was. I called his ''N'' number on the radio in a non FCC approved way and he never responded or even reacted to hearing his ''N'' number. I was close enough to see that he never moved his head as he passed by. I was in a sled and he out ran me to Juneau. It takes a LOT to **** me off, and he sure did.
Hope your friend has better luck on this one.!! It is a shame no one manned up and took responsibility on that.