CX777
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon Jun 18, 2001 1:43 pm

Air Canada New Colors - VFR Hazard?

Tue Oct 26, 2004 12:57 pm

Just wondering with the blue/white tinted fuselage, how would Air Canada's 'great' new colors be in VFR conditions with snow cover (common thing in Canada). Wouldn't it increases another potential hazard?
Raj
PS: While I am no fan of 'white schemes' this is not a debate for what colors I would have prefered to see on AC.
 
Ralgha
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RE: Air Canada New Colors - VFR Hazard?

Tue Oct 26, 2004 1:34 pm

Not appreciably. Color doesn't make much difference when trying to find another airplane in flight.
09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
 
avt007
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RE: Air Canada New Colors - VFR Hazard?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 2:28 am

TCAS doesn`t care what colour your airplane is, luckily. Air Canadas`planes don`t spend a lot of time at low altitude, mixing in with VFR traffic. Anyway, your eye catches the movement, not the colour of the other aircraft out there.
 
airplay
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RE: Air Canada New Colors - VFR Hazard?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 2:42 am

Not appreciably. Color doesn't make much difference when trying to find another airplane in flight.

Umm...then why does the military go through such pains painting their airplanes like they do?

I've read enough near miss reports to understand that although it isn't an everyday occurance, Air Canada does occasionally have ATC conflicts with other aircraft that could potentially have been catastrophic.
 
CX777
Topic Author
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RE: Air Canada New Colors - VFR Hazard?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 3:23 am

In aviation murphy's laws applies.... that for an accident or a near miss a series of events that can go wrong will go wrong. There are numerous examples of this in past accidents. What I am wondering is in VFR condition (and yes Air Canada's traffic do fly low and slow on approaches) with snow cover there are possible scenerios where there is nearby GA traffic (and not always you have the most proficient pilots flying GA traffic...could be student or a recently certified pilot). There are severeal cases worldwide like these near misses that have occured due to such comibnation. This is what I mean by 'hazard'...... or more so it will later be catagorized as a "contributing factor".
(sorry GA=General Aviation)
 
airplay
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RE: Air Canada New Colors - VFR Hazard?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:01 am

TCAS doesn`t care what colour your airplane is....

Thats right. But it does care if you don't have a transponder. Lots of little airplanes have no transponder and are therefore invisible to TCAS. So you may have a situation where the big airplane can't see the little one on the TCAS and the little one can't see the big white airplane against the snow covered ground.
 
PPGMD
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RE: Air Canada New Colors - VFR Hazard?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 5:45 am

White color does play a factor in spotting aircraft. If you ever goto a glider port (or a glider friendly airport), you will see numerous signs telling you to watch out for gliders, they do that because our white aircraft are hard to see against the cloud. One can assume one would have the same issue with white aircraft and the ground.

Did Air Canada paint it's wings too, or are they still gray?
At worst, you screw up and die.
 
Gecko
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RE: Air Canada New Colors - VFR Hazard?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 10:02 am

I suppose thats why they put red flashing anti collision beacons on aircraft, so it doesn't matter too much about what color they are painted.
 
avt007
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RE: Air Canada New Colors - VFR Hazard?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 10:15 am

Airplay- you are going out of your way to dream up a scenario to support the original thread. Nothing like a good argument,eh? I`ll stick by my guns and still say it makes no difference. Especially since the new colour is awfully close to white anyway.
 
airplay
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RE: Air Canada New Colors - VFR Hazard?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 10:38 am

Avt007, really? Out of my way? I'm just clarifying points. TCAS doesn't work with airplanes that don't have transponders. And I can tell you from experience that white airplanes are tough to see against the snow. So does that increase the chances of near misses? Sure. Significantly? Probably not.

But...I've been in situations SEVERAL times where everyone in the cockpit of the high performance, transport category, TCAS/Radar equiped airplane I was in, were forced to start looking out the window to identify "altitude unknown" traffic in the vicinity. Usually a glider or small airplane that shows up as a primary target on ATC's radar screen. All that technology just goes out the window....

[Edited 2004-10-27 03:43:18]
 
avt007
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RE: Air Canada New Colors - VFR Hazard?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 1:24 pm

So if white airplanes are hard to see against the snow, it should follow that blue/white planes might be easier to see, thus disproving the idea of this thread.....  Big grin
BTW, I've been there too, looking for traffic, and everytime, in my own experience it was the movement that catches the eye, not the colour. Perhaps TC should mandate seasonal colour changes, or perhaps obnoxious, high contrast paint schemes on all aircraft, a la Tango,or Zip!  Smile
 
2H4
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RE: Air Canada New Colors - VFR Hazard?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 1:31 pm

While the color itself may not be critical, the contrast certainly makes a difference. Dark-colored/brown aircraft blend in a little too well when looking down on them over dark farm fields or a forest of fall colors, just as the Air Canada paint would blend in a little too well against a fair sky.

If color and contrast didn't matter, how do you explain the US Navy's decision to paint their planes that low-viz bluish-grey? Or camo paint on other military aircraft?

Understand, I'm not saying the Air Canada scheme is dangerous or deserving of change. I'm simply pointing out that color and contrast do make quite a difference, visibility-wise.


2H4
Intentionally Left Blank
 
studentflyer
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RE: Air Canada New Colors - VFR Hazard?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 2:23 pm

The aircraft, whether it be colored or white, if it is seen head-on, chances are you will not see the aircraft anyway, because the cross-section of an aircraft from the front is so small, realtive to the big air-space. You see thin wings, thin elevators, and thin vertical fin, with a round thing (the fuselage). If you see an aircraft head on, chances are you will not see it until it's quite close anyway.

If it is side-on, then maybe the colours do part-take in identifying the aircraft. But beacons are usually rendered useless on a clear day, as it is normally not too bright a contrast with the background colour.

But bear in mind, white aircraft reflects the sun better than a black one! Darker colours usually absorbs light particles, therefore it could be harder to see, although in a snow covered area, perhaps darker colour are more of a contrast than white.

I could be wrong, but from what I experience as a General Aviation pilot, that's how I usually see it anyway.

Regards,
AK
 
BartiniMan
Posts: 304
Joined: Fri Jul 20, 2001 8:14 pm

RE: Air Canada New Colors - VFR Hazard?

Wed Oct 27, 2004 6:40 pm

Imagine this, you're flying your little piston plane in Canada and ATC says:
"... you have traffic 2 o'clock, below you."
Seeing as he is below you, he is camouflaged by the snow, then sh*t yeah, it'll be harder to spot him. White on white isnt as easy to see as black on white.

BartiniMan

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