YXD172
Topic Author
Posts: 340
Joined: Sun Feb 03, 2008 3:38 am

Mid-air Collision In Saskatchewan

Sun May 13, 2012 2:55 pm

Just heard that there was a mid-air near St. Brieux, SK - about 120km NE of YXE - yesterday morning.

The two aircraft crashed into a lake near the town, with some wreckage also falling on a nearby road. The RCMP has sent a dive team to recover the bodies from the aircraft.

Reports are that the aircraft involved were a PA-28 flying to St. Brieux and a Buccaneer Amphibian flying to La Ronge, SK.

RIP to the 5 people onboard, and condolences to their families.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskat...y/2012/05/12/sk-planes-120512.html
Radial engines don't leak oil, they are just marking their territory!
 
747400sp
Posts: 3889
Joined: Sat Aug 09, 2003 7:27 pm

RE: Mid-air Collision In Saskatchewan

Mon May 14, 2012 2:15 am

This is sad news. There should be better anti collision equipment on these small planes.
 
DiamondFlyer
Posts: 2219
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:50 pm

RE: Mid-air Collision In Saskatchewan

Mon May 14, 2012 2:26 am

Quoting 747400sp (Reply 1):
There should be better anti collision equipment on these small planes.

At what cost? TCAS would cost more than both of the airframes combined. The real issue is, people need to look outside more, rather than spending time heads down.

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
maxpower1954
Posts: 1053
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:14 am

RE: Mid-air Collision In Saskatchewan

Mon May 14, 2012 3:09 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 2):
At what cost? TCAS would cost more than both of the airframes combined. The real issue is, people need to look outside more, rather than spending time heads down.

-DiamondFlyer

I have a Monroy Traffic Detector which cost me about 500 bucks. It gives range and altitude of the nearest transponder signal, with an aural warning at one mile. It's a heck of a lot better than nothing - because you can't scan for traffic 100% of the time.
 
DiamondFlyer
Posts: 2219
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:50 pm

RE: Mid-air Collision In Saskatchewan

Mon May 14, 2012 4:06 am

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 3):
I have a Monroy Traffic Detector which cost me about 500 bucks. It gives range and altitude of the nearest transponder signal, with an aural warning at one mile. It's a heck of a lot better than nothing - because you can't scan for traffic 100% of the time.

Which only works when you are in an area of radar coverage. Not being familiar with Canada and their radar coverage, I can't say if this accident occurred in or out of coverage. But remember, a device as such is deceptive.

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
combatshadow
Posts: 163
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:11 am

RE: Mid-air Collision In Saskatchewan

Mon May 14, 2012 4:44 am

I don't know the geography up there, but it would be interesting to note the directions of flight and the altitudes (steady or transistioning?).
Bob
 
maxpower1954
Posts: 1053
Joined: Thu Sep 25, 2008 1:14 am

RE: Mid-air Collision In Saskatchewan

Mon May 14, 2012 4:46 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 4):
But remember, a device as such is deceptive.

-DiamondFlyer

Huh? Deceptive? Having flown with it for many years, I can say it is a definate safety improvement, as an addition to the Mark One Eyeball. I'm not sure about radar coverage where this most recent collision took place, but here in the U.S. it's close to 100%. A traffic detector is a tool, and more than once it has alerted and got my head back up to find the traffic. It's not as good as the TCAS I have at work obviously but well worth the money. Because you can't scan for traffic 100% of the time...as two airline crews found out over the Grand Canyon over 50 years ago.
 
Bureaucromancer
Posts: 113
Joined: Tue Feb 02, 2010 3:17 am

RE: Mid-air Collision In Saskatchewan

Mon May 14, 2012 5:40 am

I don't have a Saskatchewan chart handy at the moment (stupid Nav Canada prices) but I'd be surprised if there wasn't coverage where this happened, though possibly not low altitude.
 
4tet
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2007 3:18 am

RE: Mid-air Collision In Saskatchewan

Mon May 14, 2012 9:43 am

What is the relation with the device and the radar coverage? If it is recieving the signal from the other's plane's transponders with speed, altitude and position, along with the own plane position speed and altitude, there is no need of the radar coverage... or I'm missing something?
 
bueb0g
Posts: 656
Joined: Fri Jul 02, 2010 5:57 pm

RE: Mid-air Collision In Saskatchewan

Mon May 14, 2012 10:20 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 2):
The real issue is, people need to look outside more, rather than spending time heads down.

Bingo.

Quoting maxpower1954 (Reply 6):
Huh? Deceptive? Having flown with it for many years, I can say it is a definate safety improvement, as an addition to the Mark One Eyeball.

I think he means that having that system is more likely to make you lax when it comes to visual checks, as subconsciously you feel that you have traffic covered due to the system.
Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
 
BE77
Posts: 360
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 2:15 am

RE: Mid-air Collision In Saskatchewan

Mon May 14, 2012 10:26 am

Quoting combatshadow (Reply 5):
I don't know the geography up there, but it would be interesting to note the directions of flight and the altitudes (steady or transistioning?).

The collision took place within a few miles of the PA28's destination (some news reports said 5km), so likely it was descending into the airport. At that sort of range, I would expect that they were at or below 2000 AGL, so direction of flight rules no longer apply (only mandatory above 3000AGL).

The geography in that area (and much of the rest of Sask) is flat - really, really flat. One of the best ski hills in the province is just north of there...it is in a river valley.

For the traffic detectors, I think you would probably still get coverage at the accident location in the air from transponder replies to the YXE radar (perhaps YXE isn't seeing you, but the signal is probably still enough to trigger a reply, and it is the reply that the detectors are seeing.
The portable units are also triggered by full TCAS systems, and in spite of the relatively little traffic into YXE, there are a lot of TCAS systems over Saskatchewan at any given time...Europe to west coast US traffic + Eastern US and Can to Asia traffic. I know my transponder replies to lots of stuff no matter where I am.
So, if both had transponders, a portable detection system might have helped (maybe not either - perhaps either or both pilots had one?). From the AC types and departure points, they both most likely had Mode C, since they were based in or very near class C airspace. The PA28 was reported to have departed YYC although was not based there, which is not something one would normally opt to do without 'C'.

Note to self - go to the shop and buy the system I was looking at last year (they were sold out that day...I just have to get back there and it's only 3 km from the home).
Tower, Affirmitive, gear is down and welded
 
Tbone354
Posts: 76
Joined: Sun Sep 05, 2010 1:11 pm

RE: Mid-air Collision In Saskatchewan

Mon May 14, 2012 10:29 am

Curious. Speed? Would that be the target speed, converging speed? I suppose that would be ground speed in any event. And what about the altitude? Would the target aircraft need mode-C? This supposes the target aircraft even has a transponder. I was taught that in VFR conditions the best collision avoidance was looking out of the windows. Reminds me of a terrible mid air in New York a few years ago between a light plane and a chopper. It seems that everybody was looking out of the windows at the scenery. Even the pilots. Distraction can be fatal. God bless them...
 
connies4ever
Posts: 3393
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:54 pm

RE: Mid-air Collision In Saskatchewan

Mon May 14, 2012 10:33 am

Quoting combatshadow (Reply 5):
I don't know the geography up there, but it would be interesting to note the directions of flight and the altitudes (steady or transistioning?).

Basically the Lake was going south to north and the PA-28 was going west to east. The PA-28 was apparently only a few miles from destination so was likely descending or going into a VFR approach.

Quoting Bureaucromancer (Reply 7):
I don't have a Saskatchewan chart handy at the moment (stupid Nav Canada prices) but I'd be surprised if there wasn't coverage where this happened, though possibly not low altitude.

I think given the altitude (probably less than 3000 and perhaps as low as 2000) there might not have been actual skin painting but the transponders would have been able to hit YXE.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
connies4ever
Posts: 3393
Joined: Sat Feb 25, 2006 10:54 pm

RE: Mid-air Collision In Saskatchewan

Mon May 14, 2012 11:08 am

Different accident unfortunately:

3 dead as a DHC-2 Beaver crashes near Kelowna BC. Was apparently looking for a place to land when it abruptly went into a forest and caught fire.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/britis...ory/2012/05/14/bc-plane-crash.html

Unlucky week for gen-av in Canada.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
DiamondFlyer
Posts: 2219
Joined: Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:50 pm

RE: Mid-air Collision In Saskatchewan

Tue May 15, 2012 1:09 am

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 9):
I think he means that having that system is more likely to make you lax when it comes to visual checks, as subconsciously you feel that you have traffic covered due to the system.

Exactly, also I meant that you never know for sure when you are in or out of radar coverage. I do a majority of my flying at altitudes in which, outside of major cities, I may or may not be in radar coverage.

The Mk.1 eyeball is better at traffic detection than any technology, and as such the technology should be the secondary equipment, as far as I'm concerned.

-DiamondFlyer
From my cold, dead hands
 
BE77
Posts: 360
Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 2:15 am

RE: Mid-air Collision In Saskatchewan

Tue May 15, 2012 11:12 am

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 14):
I may or may not be in radar coverage.

True, you may be out of radar coverage, but in North America two things change the math - firstly the next 50 miles or so outside radar coverage there is probably enough signal to still cause your transponder to reply, and even if the source radar can't see that reply, a nearby detector will see it. Secondly, it is pretty hard to hide from all the TCAS systems out there querying your transponder, since a TCAS at 35,000 feet will also normally evoke a reply. Bigger risk is probably a non-transponder equipped aircraft when you ar outside of radar coverage areas.

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 14):
The Mk.1 eyeball is better at traffic detection than any technology, and as such the technology should be the secondary equipment, as far as I'm concerned.

For sure all avalable methods should be used - it doesn't matter if they are considered primary or secondary. Many potential collisions (birds mostly, but also non-transponder aircraft) are not going to show up on a detector.
For this sort of thing the usefulness may even switch from Secondary to Primary depending on the immediate circumstances (consider minimum VFR conditions of 1 mile visibility,,, a detector might become the primary tool since if you see oncoming traffic at one mile you have about 15 seconds to observe, process, react, overcome the inertia of the plane, and hope the other pilot didn't see you or that they reacted opposite to you. (More realistically, consider 5 miles in haze, which is often more like 1 mile of being able to see something clearly).

Concerning Mk 1, it is very useful (duh!), but not infallible by any means, so I don't rely completely on it myself. There is a whole science involved in training observers / watch standers / lookouts, and the like to constantly scan the area they are assigned to, etc. Even learning how to change focus from near to far when staring out with no normal reference points (like watching the sky) is a skill that normally has to be taught. So as vigilant as we like to be, it is not always effective.
Next point is that there are all sorts of blind spots, like pillars, wings, engines, etc., that block the Mk I 's usefullness completely. Of course, in this case one of them was a Lake, which reduces (but not eliminates) the chances of a blindspot for any forward collision aspect (for example, it still leaves open the option of a descending PA28 catching the Lake from the aft quarter, while having the Lake obscured by the engine cowl of the PA28, for example).
Toss in any sort of distraction (landing checklist, map reading, or anything else) in the minute or so it takes to close a two mile gap at the speeds and ~90 degree aspect implied here, and something can go from barely visible / hidden to collision.

All in all - I will still look out the window, but I don't see any difference in my own situation than in this case (or similar ones I recall from Penticton and Mattawa in recent years), so I think I'll install a detector. (This is another way of me saying that it could just as easily been me, since I don't see why I should think I am better than either of them were).
Tower, Affirmitive, gear is down and welded

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