What is reasonable lateral separation?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Salty, Oct 10, 2022.

?

At what distance do you think it is no longer a safe, reasonable distance? (read post before voting)

Poll closed Oct 17, 2022.
  1. 2 mi

    5 vote(s)
    10.2%
  2. 1 mi

    14 vote(s)
    28.6%
  3. 1/2 mi

    11 vote(s)
    22.4%
  4. 1/4 mi

    6 vote(s)
    12.2%
  5. 1000 feet

    6 vote(s)
    12.2%
  6. 500 feet

    2 vote(s)
    4.1%
  7. 100 feet

    2 vote(s)
    4.1%
  8. when I lose paint

    3 vote(s)
    6.1%
  1. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ok, so, what do you do when a faster plane comes up behind you on ADSB at the same altitude and when you turn, he follows? Throw on the speed brakes and let him fly right by?
     
  2. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It still is situational. Even the parameters you try to limit to are too general. But within the scope of what you are asking, I want a mile between me and someone else IF everybody is communicating well. No talking I want more distance. I've slowed down before for busy untowered fields. Waiting for things to clear themself.

    For me, in this situation, I think I would abandon the approach, power up, climb out of the pattern, (something I really hadn't considered before until reading one of these threads) and wait for things to settle down. It's not worth it, plus I like to fly, a few extra minutes is fine with me.

    If the guy behind you in your situation above does this, alarms should be going off, unless he is talking to you keeping you apprised as to what he plans to do.
     
  3. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Give a quick turn towards him, so he soils his pants, then bank the other direction.

    Edit: Confused posts, and thought he came up on my wing.

    Depends on the altitude and what I am doing. Am I XC, nearing an airport, 5000AGL, 500 AGL...
     
  4. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    I’m about to blow some heads: it’s a big sky. Midair Collision Avoidance is important, but relying on ads-b to do that for you is dumb.
     
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  5. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Which way is "towards him"? He's close enough that his dot is on top of you.
     
  6. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    ADSB simply pointed out that there was a problem. The problem was there with or without ADSB.
     
  7. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    See my edit.

    Actually had this happen with an F-16. I found him, kept him in my sights till he got bored and he went off some other direction.
     
  8. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Depends....who my wing man is. ;)
     
  9. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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  10. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Depends....who my wing man is. ;)
     
  11. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    Not if there’s 30,000 vertical feet of separation between me and a target superimposed on me.
     
  12. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    In the case I specifically mentioned just now, it was same altitude. In all the cases I looked at I filtered out everything with an altitude difference > 500 feet. But I still have no idea what point you are trying to make.
     
  13. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    The same point I made in my original post which is that it depends. In a 3D environment, lateral separation is but one way to look at separation.
     
  14. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Which is why I took vertical separation out of the equation, and why your comments make no sense in context. I only looked at lateral separation when there was not sufficient vertical separation.

    From my OP
     
  15. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    But in a D, a radar feed, whether it’s certified or non certified, it’s not used for separation. It’s simply used for SA, traffic advisories or in some cases, suggested headings for ID. In the case you describe, technically you two can fly as close as you want to one another.
     
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  16. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You know I forget the exact wording, it was something to the effect of " Cirrus xxxx, you need to start slowing down now, you are number 5 in sequence, you will be following a warrior in the on the upwind about to turn crosswind." I had just called up 8 miles out about 45 seconds before.

    Honestly, I don't care what the rules are for the controllers, it was an SA call technically, it took me a bit to get slowed as I was still descending, and was going 158 kias. I remember that, because I had to arrest the descent to get to 150, the 50% flap deployment speed. Once I got the flaps in the plane slowed right down. I suppose I could have kept my speed up and flown right up to the warrior, but that would have just screwed myself. I took a while to get him in sight because the visibility wasn't great, I could see 20 miles, but it was hazy and there were showers close to the normal base turn. I told the controller I couldn't see the warrior, who couldn't see the airplane in front of him. The controller told me to continue that they would call my base. I had the warrior on adsb and knew I wasn't closing on them. I found them when they turned base. I was able to turn my base about 4 miles out, in the rain. All in all it worked out great. Had I not slowed down I probably would have gotten a few 360s.
     
  17. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    With 88 planes, I'd say do what you can to keep them 1/2 mile apart. But -- what can you do? You're not ATC. Heck, the ATC (tower) isn't keeping them apart.

    Seems like short of telling all of your attendees to file and fly IFR, you just have to rely on each pilot's skill.
     
  18. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    I don't have adsb, so this wouldn't be a problem for me.
     
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  19. Pinecone

    Pinecone Cleared for Takeoff

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    A lot depends on whether everyone sees each other, or at least the ones nearby. Like arriving at Oshkosh. See the plane in front of you and follow it. And having everyone enter the same place and fly the same path.

    Then you can use reduced separation.
     
  20. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Maybe I should have asked it this way….

    What distance would you be comfortable being surprised by an aircraft being there without you knowing they would be in advance.

    I dunno, but it’s obvious that people aren’t understanding my question.
     
  21. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Or

    What distance would you be freaked out to find out later there was a plane there that you never saw or knew was there?
     
  22. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Depends.
    What's their path compared to mine?
    What's their velocity compared to mine?
    What type of aircraft?
    Would I have been obvious to them or were both of us going "oh snap" ?
    Where am I and what has my flight path been for the past 10 minutes?

    The variation in answers will make my answer anywhere from a couple hundred feet to 5 miles.

    I don't want a 747 coming over the top of me, but another similar plane sidling up "next" to me on an XC at less than a 1/4 mile or flying a pattern outside of me a hundred feet or so if he saw me is no biggie.
     
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  23. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm not sure why people are having such trouble with this. The point is, what would you be comfortable with when YOU DON'T KNOW THE ANSWER TO ANY OF THOSE QUESTIONS - which is always going to be the case, so I don't know why I have to say it. If you didn't know they were there - you wouldn't know any of those answers. But it doesn't matter anyway. I've given up on the poll.
     
  24. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Because the answer is "IT DEPENDS"

    Not sure why you are having trouble with that being the answer. There is no one size fits all answer.

    Might as well ask, "how heavy is a rock?"

    And if I never know, then I don't really give a crap. Because, well, I never knew. How many times have we been 'this close' to dying that we didn't know about? Can't go worrying about things that almost/never happened.
     
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  25. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I understand that you don't understand what I was trying to get.
     
  26. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    What is the real question, because so far people have answered the "if you find out while flying" and the "if you don't find out"

    And the if you find out while in flight, it depends on a crap ton of factors.

    So what is the real question?
     
  27. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    perhaps they actually do understand and you don't understand the response.
     
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  28. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    perhaps
     
  29. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    If they're flying away from me, I don't care how close they are. If we were going to collide, we would have already. If we're on a collision course, then so close that I have to maneuver abruptly is too close.
     
  30. Salty

    Salty Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If I extrapolate many of the comments, it comes down to "since we didn't crash, it doesn't matter if we got close and I never knew it".

    If you really think that, I think you're a fool. I doubt anyone here really thinks that.

    I was trying to figure out what a reasonable distance would be when you don't have the ability to control the outcome because you don't know the situation is occurring. I could care less if a plane is 5 miles away and I didn't know it. I do care if they got 1000 feet from me and I didn't know it. My reasonable distance is between those two points somewhere. I voted 1/2 mile. I consider another plane closer than a 1/2 mile away from me without my knowledge to be a high risk situation.

    And that plane couldn't get that close "going away from me" without it having been "coming towards me" first. :rolleyes: So saying "it depends" because of that simply means you don't understand.
     
  31. Jeff767

    Jeff767 Line Up and Wait

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    You don’t want to give a guy any lat Sep, he will early turn you and have a big bite at the merge!
     
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  32. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Coming towards does not mean imminent collision. Dude could have seen me for 3 miles and pass 200 or 300 feet behind me and if I never knew, I don't care, and it doesn't bother me. Same for guys on jets skis jumping my boat wake.

    Now if he goes 100 or 200 off my nose, that's different. Again, context.

    Coming towards is not the same as collision. If I am on an XC and another guy is on the same XC (pancake breakfast) and passes 500' off my right side, that's a big fat yawn. Been both the guy passing and being passed. I got a wave from the plane I passed, and I gave a wing waggle to the plane that passed me.

    Yeah at some point I went from miles back, and was going towards the guy, and then away from the guy but it was never a collission. So I think there's a bit of hysterics with 1/2 a mile.

    But different risk tolerances. Some guys wont even fly an approach if ceiling is less than 3000'. I fly to published mins. Does that make me a fool? Maybe to the 3000 guy, but I say he's a fool for wasting that money on an IR and not using it to its potential.
     
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  33. TCABM

    TCABM En-Route

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    You know what they say about assumptions.
     
  34. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    Why? Not knowing a plane is 1,000' from you isn't inherently dangerous.
     
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  35. Pinecone

    Pinecone Cleared for Takeoff

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    :D

    If you ain't cheating, you ain't tryin.
     
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  36. Pinecone

    Pinecone Cleared for Takeoff

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    You are assuming that the guy passing you saw and deliberately passed with separation.

    How would you feel if you KNEW he did not see you? Or, if you are flying along and realize you just passed a plane you had not seen??
     
  37. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    Like it was in the past and I have future things to worry about.
     
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  38. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Wouldn't give two craps. Or even three craps.

    And I didn't assume anything. We waved at each other. If he never saw me, why would he wave back? Do you even read before opening your yap?
     
  39. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack En-Route

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    I know you said, not in formation, but I fly formation a lot more than most people. So, when not in formation, as long as I've got everyone in sight and we're talking, I'm comfortable getting pretty close.
     
  40. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    1/2 mile