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Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:48 pm
by readytotaxi
R.I.P.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-49466996

Five of the victims, including the two minors, were on board the helicopter, while the two others were travelling in the ultralight, a type of small aircraft with a maximum of two seats.

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:54 pm
by PSAatSAN4Ever
Horrifying, to say the least. Deepest sympathies to all involved.

All aircraft, regardless of size, should have TCAS. Seven lives is seven too many to say to quibble over costs or anything else.

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 3:59 pm
by ThalesCoelho
TCAS under VFR? All aircraft under VFR should keep itself under VFR and VMC, keep distance of other aircrafts and follow the rules. Theres no need for TCAS in an ultralight.

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:24 pm
by T4thH
Rest in Peace.

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 4:46 pm
by kabq737
ThalesCoelho wrote:
TCAS under VFR? All aircraft under VFR should keep itself under VFR and VMC, keep distance of other aircrafts and follow the rules. Theres no need for TCAS in an ultralight.

Agreed.

With ADSB light aircraft pilots are already getting lots more information than they used to.

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:00 pm
by JRadier
FLARM would have been excellent to help avoid this

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FLARM

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:29 pm
by PC12Fan
ThalesCoelho wrote:
TCAS under VFR? All aircraft under VFR should keep itself under VFR and VMC, keep distance of other aircrafts and follow the rules. Theres no need for TCAS in an ultralight.


Strongly disagree. More mid airs happen in VFR conditions by far. TCAS requirement would save many lives regardless of the type.

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 5:41 pm
by ThalesCoelho
PC12Fan wrote:
ThalesCoelho wrote:
TCAS under VFR? All aircraft under VFR should keep itself under VFR and VMC, keep distance of other aircrafts and follow the rules. Theres no need for TCAS in an ultralight.


Strongly disagree. More mid airs happen in VFR conditions by far. TCAS requirement would save many lives regardless of the type.


Would not. Those accidents happen because the pilot is violating the rules.

Clear sky, slow plane, its not like a 83 King Air C90 at night descending to an international airport via STAR procedure under IMC, heavy rains, lots of traffics around asking for deviations and the ATC doing its vetorations. That's my everyday enviroment, and a TCAS would really help me, I really think we should have one.

But when Im flying the Cessna 152, all I need to do is look around and always report my position and listen to the radio. I dont need a TCAS at C152. Maybe a TCAS is even worth more than the old Cessna.

Indeed Im not saying that at a light plane we could not have a TCAS, Im just saying I dont agree that we should make a rule about that.

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:07 pm
by THS214
ThalesCoelho wrote:
PC12Fan wrote:
ThalesCoelho wrote:
TCAS under VFR? All aircraft under VFR should keep itself under VFR and VMC, keep distance of other aircrafts and follow the rules. Theres no need for TCAS in an ultralight.


Strongly disagree. More mid airs happen in VFR conditions by far. TCAS requirement would save many lives regardless of the type.


Would not. Those accidents happen because the pilot is violating the rules.

Clear sky, slow plane, its not like a 83 King Air C90 at night descending to an international airport via STAR procedure under IMC, heavy rains, lots of traffics around asking for deviations and the ATC doing its vetorations. That's my everyday enviroment, and a TCAS would really help me, I really think we should have one.

But when Im flying the Cessna 152, all I need to do is look around and always report my position and listen to the radio. I dont need a TCAS at C152. Maybe a TCAS is even worth more than the old Cessna.

Indeed Im not saying that at a light plane we could not have a TCAS, Im just saying I dont agree that we should make a rule about that.


Single pilot in VFR don't need to look a map, can see everything etc.? In a Cessna 152 you have blind spots and blind moments. TCAS would be a great advantages in safety but it is a cost thing. I don't know where the line goes cost versus safety. Anyone with several hundred hours of single engine VFR flying in busy airspace knows that there are close calls and violations or you are not monitoring well enough so you don't see those close calls. Or you are ignorant. It happens all the time.

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 6:47 pm
by MO11
You could have TIS-B as a helper. A lot of the flight school airplanes around here have that.

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:31 pm
by GalaxyFlyer
PC12Fan wrote:
ThalesCoelho wrote:
TCAS under VFR? All aircraft under VFR should keep itself under VFR and VMC, keep distance of other aircrafts and follow the rules. Theres no need for TCAS in an ultralight.


Strongly disagree. More mid airs happen in VFR conditions by far. TCAS requirement would save many lives regardless of the type.


One plane was an ULTRALIGHT, no electrical system, hence no transponder, no TIS, no ADS-B. A TCAS installation is about 250,000 USD, hardly practical in a Cessna worth 1/5 that. No, those services can’t be added.

GF

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:45 pm
by aircatalonia
It is reported the the copilot of the helicopter stayed on the ground to make room for the family of 4, as there are only 5 seats.

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 7:52 pm
by harleydriver
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
Horrifying, to say the least. Deepest sympathies to all involved.

All aircraft, regardless of size, should have TCAS. Seven lives is seven too many to say to quibble over costs or anything else.


You say "quibble over cost" like it's something that is pocket change. That is a seriously expensive system. I'm a general aviation pilot and can afford safe systems we have today, not some extravagant system for the companies and owners with deep pockets. We could make cars completely antonymous and guaranteed to be safe. Let's do it and not "quibble over cost." Many thousands of lives would be saved annually if a system like that was developed. A driver driving a Tesla was filmed completely asleep at the wheel recently going 70 down a major California highway so its possible but it's an expensive system that most people can't afford, not to say he shouldn't have done that and it is illegal to sleep at the wheel still.

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:06 pm
by mxaxai
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
PC12Fan wrote:
ThalesCoelho wrote:
TCAS under VFR? All aircraft under VFR should keep itself under VFR and VMC, keep distance of other aircrafts and follow the rules. Theres no need for TCAS in an ultralight.


Strongly disagree. More mid airs happen in VFR conditions by far. TCAS requirement would save many lives regardless of the type.


One plane was an ULTRALIGHT, no electrical system, hence no transponder, no TIS, no ADS-B. A TCAS installation is about 250,000 USD, hardly practical in a Cessna worth 1/5 that. No, those services can’t be added.

GF

FLARM costs ~1000 €, is small and lightweight, and gives aural and visual notifications and warnings of nearby aircraft. It doesn't give guidance like TCAS does, but it really helps get your attention towards potential hazards. Can also receive ADS-B for legacy compatibility. Even some paragliders carry it nowadays, and that's probably the most low-tech way to fly.
IMHO every light aircraft should be equipped with FLARM.

A box of this size can fit anywhere (courtesy Wikipedia):
Image


Also note that the ultralight was a quite formidable aircraft (same model):

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 8:46 pm
by lightsaber
mxaxai wrote:
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
PC12Fan wrote:

Strongly disagree. More mid airs happen in VFR conditions by far. TCAS requirement would save many lives regardless of the type.


One plane was an ULTRALIGHT, no electrical system, hence no transponder, no TIS, no ADS-B. A TCAS installation is about 250,000 USD, hardly practical in a Cessna worth 1/5 that. No, those services can’t be added.

GF

FLARM costs ~1000 €, is small and lightweight, and gives aural and visual notifications and warnings of nearby aircraft. It doesn't give guidance like TCAS does, but it really helps get your attention towards potential hazards. Can also receive ADS-B for legacy compatibility. Even some paragliders carry it nowadays, and that's probably the most low-tech way to fly.
IMHO every light aircraft should be equipped with FLARM.

A box of this size can fit anywhere (courtesy Wikipedia):
Image


Also note that the ultralight was a quite formidable aircraft (same model):

$1,000 is reasonable. The other suggestions were not.

If you want to save lives, force autonomous driving and self breaking in automobiles. 7 lives is noise for auto accidents on a daily basis. 90 per day. A third due to DUI (seems to be going up with all the stoned drivers today).

https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/motor-ve ... index.html

We need to promote aviation, not put it out of reach of the middle class. How many lives per year would that $1,000 device save versus the cost? If say 30,000 aircraft are required to have it, it better save a thousand lives or the funds diverted from other uses likely cost lives.

Lightsaber

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:21 pm
by PSAatSAN4Ever
harleydriver wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
Horrifying, to say the least. Deepest sympathies to all involved.

All aircraft, regardless of size, should have TCAS. Seven lives is seven too many to say to quibble over costs or anything else.


You say "quibble over cost" like it's something that is pocket change. That is a seriously expensive system. I'm a general aviation pilot and can afford safe systems we have today, not some extravagant system for the companies and owners with deep pockets. We could make cars completely antonymous and guaranteed to be safe. Let's do it and not "quibble over cost." Many thousands of lives would be saved annually if a system like that was developed. A driver driving a Tesla was filmed completely asleep at the wheel recently going 70 down a major California highway so its possible but it's an expensive system that most people can't afford, not to say he shouldn't have done that and it is illegal to sleep at the wheel still.


I regret that we had a misunderstanding. I am advocating for such a system, as even one life is too much. My desired implication was that there will always be those will say, "such a system is unnecessary because 'the planes are too small' (or any other reason someone might defend against its requirement)". It should be on every plane, period. That was my point.

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 10:35 pm
by GalaxyFlyer
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
harleydriver wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
Horrifying, to say the least. Deepest sympathies to all involved.

All aircraft, regardless of size, should have TCAS. Seven lives is seven too many to say to quibble over costs or anything else.


You say "quibble over cost" like it's something that is pocket change. That is a seriously expensive system. I'm a general aviation pilot and can afford safe systems we have today, not some extravagant system for the companies and owners with deep pockets. We could make cars completely antonymous and guaranteed to be safe. Let's do it and not "quibble over cost." Many thousands of lives would be saved annually if a system like that was developed. A driver driving a Tesla was filmed completely asleep at the wheel recently going 70 down a major California highway so its possible but it's an expensive system that most people can't afford, not to say he shouldn't have done that and it is illegal to sleep at the wheel still.


I regret that we had a misunderstanding. I am advocating for such a system, as even one life is too much. My desired implication was that there will always be those will say, "such a system is unnecessary because 'the planes are too small' (or any other reason someone might defend against its requirement)". It should be on every plane, period. That was my point.


Ok, is a life worth a $1,000. Yes, you’d say but if we have 100,000 planes in the US, you’re talking about a $100 million retro-fit. If it’s 10 lives saved attributed to the equipage, are those lives worth $10 million per?

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Sun Aug 25, 2019 11:04 pm
by rlwynn
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
harleydriver wrote:

You say "quibble over cost" like it's something that is pocket change. That is a seriously expensive system. I'm a general aviation pilot and can afford safe systems we have today, not some extravagant system for the companies and owners with deep pockets. We could make cars completely antonymous and guaranteed to be safe. Let's do it and not "quibble over cost." Many thousands of lives would be saved annually if a system like that was developed. A driver driving a Tesla was filmed completely asleep at the wheel recently going 70 down a major California highway so its possible but it's an expensive system that most people can't afford, not to say he shouldn't have done that and it is illegal to sleep at the wheel still.


I regret that we had a misunderstanding. I am advocating for such a system, as even one life is too much. My desired implication was that there will always be those will say, "such a system is unnecessary because 'the planes are too small' (or any other reason someone might defend against its requirement)". It should be on every plane, period. That was my point.


Ok, is a life worth a $1,000. Yes, you’d say but if we have 100,000 planes in the US, you’re talking about a $100 million retro-fit. If it’s 10 lives saved attributed to the equipage, are those lives worth $10 million per?


Yes, It is only $1000 per plane. The combined price means nothing.

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:25 am
by GalaxyFlyer
Which plane will save a life using the FLARM cannot be predicted. The total cost is very relevant, as it is the cost for the entire aviation system and it’s imposed on users who might have other safety upgrades precluded by the regulation. The cost is $100 million USD divided by the lives directly saved by its installation. If the requirement then causes users to forgo other safety upgrades, those lives lost have to be considered as a cost of requiring FLARM.

Insurers and regulators have to consider the trade-offs of various costs and benefits. If you don’t want to do so, you’re argument is emotional, not safety.

GF

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 12:33 am
by TTailedTiger
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
Horrifying, to say the least. Deepest sympathies to all involved.

All aircraft, regardless of size, should have TCAS. Seven lives is seven too many to say to quibble over costs or anything else.


Agreed 100%. See and avoid is a severely antiquated concept. The skies are more crowded than ever and it just isn't sufficient anymore. Nothing should be allowed in the sky without a transponder with speed, heading, and altitude reporting. And it shouldn't be allowed to be turned off. An electrical fire on your part should not create a deadly collision for the rest of us.

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:57 am
by GalaxyFlyer
TTailedTiger wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
Horrifying, to say the least. Deepest sympathies to all involved.

All aircraft, regardless of size, should have TCAS. Seven lives is seven too many to say to quibble over costs or anything else.


Agreed 100%. See and avoid is a severely antiquated concept. The skies are more crowded than ever and it just isn't sufficient anymore. Nothing should be allowed in the sky without a transponder with speed, heading, and altitude reporting. And it shouldn't be allowed to be turned off. An electrical fire on your part should not create a deadly collision for the rest of us.


Nonsense, see and avoid works fine—ever fly across North Dakota at low altitude? It’s pretty empty. The number of planes in the US peaked in 2007 and is down about 5% since as older planes are withdrawn. The “skies are crowded” isn’t true.

GF

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:03 am
by TTailedTiger
GalaxyFlyer wrote:
TTailedTiger wrote:
PSAatSAN4Ever wrote:
Horrifying, to say the least. Deepest sympathies to all involved.

All aircraft, regardless of size, should have TCAS. Seven lives is seven too many to say to quibble over costs or anything else.


Agreed 100%. See and avoid is a severely antiquated concept. The skies are more crowded than ever and it just isn't sufficient anymore. Nothing should be allowed in the sky without a transponder with speed, heading, and altitude reporting. And it shouldn't be allowed to be turned off. An electrical fire on your part should not create a deadly collision for the rest of us.


Nonsense, see and avoid works fine—ever fly across North Dakota at low altitude? It’s pretty empty. The number of planes in the US peaked in 2007 and is down about 5% since as older planes are withdrawn. The “skies are crowded” isn’t true.

GF


Take a few flights in the practice areas in FL and get back to me. It is incredibly dangerous with international students who don't bother to learn fluent English and you can't understand their position reports.

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:58 am
by GalaxyFlyer
That’s a different story, but any data on the number of actual mid-air collisions? Florida aviation has always verged on the crazy. I flew around the state VFR in a Citation for years, same nonsense then.

Most of my flying was in the Northeast, one or two TCAS RAs and that’s it.

GF

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:50 am
by benjjk
If see and avoid worked perfectly then these 7 people would still be alive.

But mandating TCAS is not the solution. Cars could be made safer than they already are, but if that would cost double what you paid for the whole car? The number of cars on the road would instantly shrink by maybe 75%. Pretty much every single person in this world at some point accepts a trade off when it comes to cost verses safety.

The solution is a bunch of things like increased pilot education and awareness, mandatory radio usage, and structured VFR routes.

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:34 am
by Flow2706
'See and avoid' is a seriously flawed concept and everybody who ever operated a light aircraft flying VFR in a busy airspace will agree. I fly gliders in Germany since more than 15 years and I would say I have on average one 'near miss' per year and most people in the club can tell similar stories. The 'big sky theory' works quite well, that's why we have a lot more near collisions than actual collisions. A lot of studies have been done and most came to the conclusions that there are several situation where seeing the other aircraft is just a matter of luck due to blind spots/human physiology. The human eye is quite good at spotting movements in the peripheral field, but if an aircraft is approaching head on or converging on a constant bearing there is no apparent movement and the other airplane is not recognized until very late. TCAS is not designed for VFR flights and the TCAS traffic display is not intended for self-separation. The TCAS display neither displays the direction nor the speed of the other aircraft and it is very easy to misinterpret the indications and turn the wrong way. TCASII (which gives resolution advisories) is prohibitively expensive and will also give out many nuisance warnings as it is designed for rather fast aircraft that will need more separation. In the club where I fly gliders the clubs management decided to install FLARM in all of our clubs gliders shortly after it was available, which was a very good decision. I guess that FLARM double my chance of seeing a nearby aircraft (many times I only noticed an other aircraft, which was not a threat yet but still in the vicinity and therefore relevant due to FLARM - without FLARM I would have been unaware that there even was an other aircraft). The original system was already good, but the newer versions (Power FLARM, Butterfly etc.) are extremely helpful. The will display the position of the other aircraft on a screen and in case of Power FLARM are even compatible with transponders (i.e. will display FLARM or transponder equipped aircraft - the original system was only able to display other FLARM equipped aircraft). I think FLARM (or other system with similar capabilities) should be mandatory for general aviation aircraft, as it costs only around 1000€ per aircraft but really increases safety. 1000€ is a small price to pay for greatly increased safety.

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:45 am
by capshandler
Devastating, RIP all the victims. That being said I fly many times to LESB and at least in the summer there should be ATC service. Traffic some times is quite dangerous due to the mix of schools, student pilots, ULMs and GA traffic. All of them flying at a bunch of different speeds and altitudes plus the fact that due to the proximity of LEPA you are left assuming own navigation with absolutely no idea of surrounding traffic. People sometimes even get confused by the pattern and let’s not talk about language barriers. LESB should be classified as airports such as LELL as in fact they operate quite similarly, and get a decent ATC service IMHO.

Re: Mallorca aircraft collide in mid-air, killing at least seven.

Posted: Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:56 am
by mxaxai
The German BFU - comparable to the NTSB - conducted a study from 2010 to 2015 regarding midair collisions and near misses. In Germany alone, there were 15 crashes, which killed 19 and injured 17 people. All crashes were in VFR. There were an additional 31 reported near misses, sometimes only a few meters separation.

For comparison, there are ~21,000 aircraft registered in Germany.

None of the light aircraft involved were carrying collision warning equipment. The majority of collisions happened in excellent weather, often in proximity of airfields (where pilots should expect traffic). The conclusion was that the "see-and-avoid" principle is insufficient, which is in line with many other studies.

Some more numbers:

- 82 collisions in Europe 2006 - 2011
- 17 collisions in France 1989 - 1999
- 152 collisions in the USA 1978 - 1982
- 160 collisions in the USA 1991 - 2001

BFU wrote:
mid-air collisions can occur in all phases of flight and at all altitudes. However, nearly
all mid-air collisions occur in daylight and in excellent visual meteorological
conditions, mostly at lower altitudes where most VFR flying is carried out. Because of
the concentration of aircraft close to aerodromes, most collisions occurred near
aerodromes when one or both aircraft were descending or climbing, and often within
the circuit pattern.

Eurocontrol wrote:
The collision risk between two VFR GA aircraft in uncontrolled airspace could be
reduced as follows:
a) Improve the effectiveness of ‘See and Avoid’ techniques and the visibility of
aircraft.
b) Improve the situational awareness through better promulgation, notification and
information flow about activity to permit ‘routes to avoid’ to be planned. The
availability of TIS for GA and, in the future, ADS-B for all flights could also be
extremely beneficial but widespread SSR carriage would be needed on all GA aircraft
for this to be an effective solution for this scenario.
c) Encourage voluntary equipage with technology developments such as FLARM for
use between GA aircraft.