bragi
Posts: 212
Joined: Sun May 27, 2001 5:17 am

Situational Awareness

Thu Oct 10, 2002 7:11 am

Most of you probably know what´s it like being cut off by some jack**s in your car while driving, but while flying an airplane?
I was returning to my home airport in a C-172 today, and there were a lot of small planes flying the pattern, most of them flown by student pilots. I was #3 for landing, #1 was touching down, #2 was on short final and I was turning base.
Then the tower asked me to enter slow flight before entering a long final so he could get a Piper Cherokee to takeoff after #2 had touched down.
He also told the guy behind me where I was, and to CONTINUE downwind and he would soon get a number for landing. His readback was OK.

I was at 1000 feet, saw #2 land and figured the Piper had plenty of time to get airborne when I commenced my approach. Then I realized that the guy who was supposed to be flying downwind was actually about 300 feet lower than me, 0.5 NM AHEAD and flying final approach!!

There was a lot of traffic in the pattern and approaching to land, including a Atr-42, but this guy paid no attention to what he was doing. (I remind you, his readback was correct) He even got landing clearance, so I had again to enter slow flight to give him space, but soon as he was out of the way I had to "step on it" because there was traffic behind me.
I´m very serious about my flying, so I would have known if I was supposed to follow him.

Nobody is perfect, but something like this could be dangerous....
Muhammad Ali: "Superman don’t need no seat belt." Flight Attendant: "Superman don’t need no airplane, either."
 
PPGMD
Posts: 2398
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2001 5:39 am

RE: Situational Awareness

Thu Oct 10, 2002 7:16 am

Shit happens. Live and learn.

As far as SA, it does take a small amount of time for one to get used to being able ti judge what an airplanes probally doing just on a glance (without actually seeing it). It takes skill also to picture where all the aircraft are by their radio calls. It takes skill to fly the plane. And it takes a whole lot of skill to do all that, and still be onserving the traffic all around you.
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
bragi
Posts: 212
Joined: Sun May 27, 2001 5:17 am

RE: Situational Awareness

Thu Oct 10, 2002 7:30 am

I understand that, but isn´t it really bad judgement to enter final approach when told to fly downwind and not pay ANY attention to other traffic? Reading back instructions correctly isnt enough, you also have to comply.
Muhammad Ali: "Superman don’t need no seat belt." Flight Attendant: "Superman don’t need no airplane, either."
 
PPGMD
Posts: 2398
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2001 5:39 am

RE: Situational Awareness

Thu Oct 10, 2002 8:24 am

If the controller saw him as a threat to aviation he would have called him and told him to call the tower(on the land line).

Why don't you send a NASA form in, if you care about it that much?
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
fspilot747
Posts: 3455
Joined: Mon Nov 01, 1999 2:58 am

RE: Situational Awareness

Thu Oct 10, 2002 8:33 am

PPGMD: It could have been a dangerous situation.

Bragi, did you even attempt to contact the control tower and ask them what was going on? Next time, just call them up, "(whatever tower), Cessna XXXX on final behind the (guy supposed to be behind you), did I miss something?"

That is exactly what I would have done. If you're sure you didn't miss a transmission, call them up and ask them what the situation is. Remember, the people up at the tower are very busy, they could have missed the mistake.

-FSP
 
bravo45
Posts: 2072
Joined: Sat Sep 22, 2001 5:34 pm

RE: Situational Awareness

Thu Oct 10, 2002 8:53 am

Certainly you should take it as an experience and it seems that you got hold of the situation without disturbing the traffic behind you. Also I feel that you should have made a call to either the tower or to the other plane to know why was he doing this? Its seems to be stupid more than enough to do such a thing. But as you think that nothing was your fault, it could be that you just "might" have missed a radio call or something. I know how would one feel if he's being blamed despite the fact that the person blaming experienced nothing of it, I would say that you should have checked on it at the most after the landing to be ABSOLUTELY sure that it was all his fault. You might have walked up to the guy to ask him personally if going through the tower was a long procedure and besides its not always wise to go throught the tower asking things of the past when he is already busy.
Happy Landings everyone!
 
bragi
Posts: 212
Joined: Sun May 27, 2001 5:17 am

RE: Situational Awareness

Thu Oct 10, 2002 8:55 am

PPGMD; I was just pointing out the necessity of being aware of whats going on around you. This is a bit different situation than cutting in a line at the supermarket. Wink/being sarcastic

The tower thought that I was in front, so I really doubt I missed a transmission. Thank you for your comment FSPilot747.
Muhammad Ali: "Superman don’t need no seat belt." Flight Attendant: "Superman don’t need no airplane, either."
 
PPGMD
Posts: 2398
Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2001 5:39 am

RE: Situational Awareness

Thu Oct 10, 2002 10:13 am

I have been cut off a number of times while on a long final. Its frustrating at first, but it most cases it isn't too overly dangerous. What's dangerous is not noticing it, or even if you do notice it, you speed up to get right of way.

Now it may seem unsafe, and it probally was to an extent (it comprimised the steady flow of traffic). But you shouldn't spend much time thinking about it. Yes a radio call maybe would have helped, but hindsight is 20/20. Like a said if you really care file a NASA form, learn from the expierence and go flying again.

To many people dwell on too many things. Another guy and I knew died at the Creek, I will learn from his death, but I won't ever dwell on it.
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
ThirtyEcho
Posts: 1409
Joined: Tue Jan 01, 2002 1:21 am

RE: Situational Awareness

Thu Oct 10, 2002 3:06 pm

This, potentially, could be one really dangerous situation and I'm glad that it turned out OK with nobody getting killed. I have certainly had this happen to me before, too. Remember that it is of little value to have "I had the right-of-way" on one's tombstone; it is a good thing that you now know that this can happen.

What actually happened was that the pilot that was to follow you didn't see you or got confused. ATC doesn't (yet) charge you by the call so get on the horn immediately, if this happens again, and ask them what is going on. At the very least you will call the controller's attention to the fact that he has a "deal" happening on final.

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