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Lemurs
Topic Author
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Near Miss At BFI On 12/27?

Thu Dec 28, 2006 4:31 pm

Is there a place to check out reported near misses, and how long does it take to get that kind of information posted? I'm not 100% certain, but I am pretty sure I saw a near miss at BFI a few hours ago. I just want to see if I saw what I thought I saw or not. I realize that night can play tricks on you, but I've never seen anything remotely like this at BFI, so even if it wasn't a near-miss, it was still highly unusual.

At ~9:15pm, I was northbound on I-5 about 5 miles north of BFI, just before the on-ramp for the West Seattle Bridge. I was watching two sets of lights approaching, which isn't unusual, since SEA traffic flies the same corridor as BFI, just higher. I noticed something was a bit strange though in that the plane coming from the northeast, which is usually SEA traffic, was much lower than I expected. To the northwest, another fairly large set of lights was approaching as well. If I had to guess, I'd say it was a 737. The other plane was medium sized...either a medium corporate jet or a commuter sized prop...couldn't tell. I watched as the two sets of lights paralleled each other for awhile, both descending, on an intercept course right for each other, both on approach to BFI, no mistaking it. Right as I passed them, I saw the plane on the northeast side start climbing again...since they were both behind me, at this point and I was driving, I couldn't see where they both went from there, but if I had to guess, the point of closest approach for them both couldn't have been more than a few thousand feet, at maybe 1,500ft agl...both at the same altitude. It honestly had me holding my breath and trying to keep my eyes on the road.

I hope it was just an illusion, or it wasn't as close as it seemed because of the dark, but like I said, if nothing else it was NOT business as usual at BFI.
There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary, and those that don't.
 
pilotaydin
Posts: 2100
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:30 am

RE: Near Miss At BFI On 12/27?

Thu Dec 28, 2006 6:38 pm

i wrote a letter to the FAA to change the term near miss, it basically means it hit...

sometimes things like that happen, but it all depends on if an ASR was reported etc..
The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
 
spacecadet
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RE: Near Miss At BFI On 12/27?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 2:31 am

Quoting Pilotaydin (Reply 1):
i wrote a letter to the FAA to change the term near miss, it basically means it hit...

No, it doesn't. People who say this do not have a proper understanding of the English language.

"Near Miss" is the proper term. The airplanes came near each other, and they missed each other. "Near Collision" would be redundant and would, in fact, mean they hit each other. (All objects *must* come near each other to collide, making "near collision" redundant.) Your mistake is in thinking the word "near" is being used to describe the word "miss", but that would require a hyphen between the two words, and there is none. The word "near" and the word "miss" are both describing the same event.

I wish people would quit debating this. Your letter was probably laughed off some secretary's desk.

Here's a little bit of background on this: http://www.cjr.org/tools/lc/nearmiss.asp

"Near Miss" and "Near-Collision" mean the same thing, but "Near Miss", "Near-Miss", and "Near Collision" do not.

As for info on near misses, this is where you would find it: http://www.faa.gov/data_statistics/accident_incident/preliminary_data/

If it's not there, it wasn't reported. Near miss reports are sometimes a judgment call on the part of the pilots.

[Edited 2006-12-28 18:36:08]
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IAHFLYR
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RE: Near Miss At BFI On 12/27?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 3:42 am

You mean you didn't turn around to watch? Kidding of course.

If the weather was nice and clear the term "visual separation" may be what was being used in your event. When visual is applied between pilots quite often on the ground you see what looks to be quite close while in the air it is 500' or so vertically between the airplanes......very safe, done often all over the U.S. dailiy. If that was the case there should be no reason for any type of report to be filed.

As to why you saw what appeared to be one of them climbing, have to ask the crews invovled.
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HAL
Posts: 1773
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RE: Near Miss At BFI On 12/27?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 4:03 am

I live in the Seattle area, learned to fly at BFI, and have been based at SEA for a number of years, so I think I can talk with some authority on the subject.

If you were five miles north of BFI, you would have been in downtown Seattle, and wouldn't have seen any of the traffic on approach to BFI. The West Seattle Bridge is barely on mile north of BFI. When an airplane is lined up on final for BFI it comes in over the Shilshole Marina, across Elliott Bay over the Harbor Island industrial area. When you are on approach to SEA, you fly just east of downtown, over Boeing Field, and into SEA.

If you were in downtown looking up, you were watchng planes on approach for SEA, not BFI. When the weather is good enough, they will do parallel visual approaches to both SEA runways, usually with the stipulation to one of the pilots (the one slightly behind) not to pass the one in front.

If they were on approach to BFI, it is very difficult for people to tell the difference between a private plane and a large one at night, because the landing lights really erase any clues as to speed and size. I've seen a Mooney that looked just like a DC-9 until it passed me on landing. There are two runways at BFI too, and it is quite possible the plane you saw coming in from the northwest was a bigger plane landing on the right side, and the other was someone in the traffic pattern practicing night touch & go's. That would explain the go-around, as it was all part of the practice.

But I'd say most likely it was just an illusion. In 20+ years of flying I still see things, especially at night, that I'd swear were one way, then later found out were completely different.

HAL
One smooth landing is skill. Two in a row is luck. Three in a row and someone is lying.
 
flyinryan99
Posts: 1504
Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2001 6:54 am

RE: Near Miss At BFI On 12/27?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 4:08 am

Quoting Spacecadet (Reply 2):

I was not an English major (in fact really sucked in English) and your explanation confused me more. Could you explain it a little bit better?

Thanks.
 
beech19
Posts: 887
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 11:30 am

RE: Near Miss At BFI On 12/27?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 4:34 am

Quoting Flyinryan99 (Reply 5):
I was not an English major (in fact really sucked in English) and your explanation confused me more. Could you explain it a little bit better?

"Near miss" could mean two things... you were near a miss, or you nearly missed (which can't happen, you can miss or hit).
"Near Collision" is a moronic term... again... you can collide or miss.
"Near-miss" is when you are so close you almost collide, but instead you miss.
"Near-Collision" would mean the same thing but is just a stupid term.

"Near-miss" is appropriate here.

Its all a grammatical argument about the English language (what a word means because of how its seperated by puncuation, rather rediculous if you ask me)... by far one of the most difficult to ever speak properly.
KPAE via KBVY
 
pilotaydin
Posts: 2100
Joined: Tue Sep 07, 2004 12:30 am

RE: Near Miss At BFI On 12/27?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 7:19 am

you said it yourself, it can mean two things...in aviation, terms need to be CLEAR and only have one meaning, i have no problems with the english language, my letter was about people misunderstand the term and how it needs to be something that brings up the same image in someone's mind...

so i highly doubt people are laughing at it at some desk my friend... maybe you just want to think that to feel high n mighty  Wink
The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
 
vxg
Posts: 100
Joined: Sun May 02, 2004 12:31 pm

RE: Near Miss At BFI On 12/27?

Fri Dec 29, 2006 11:28 am

Thanks for that extremely accurate post HAL (I'm a big fan of your trip reports btw). I have trained out of PAE and RNT and flown out of BFI as well. The close proximity of airports in our area (RNT, SEA and BFI) forces us to be extremely vigilant looking for traffic that may be heading in and out of neighboring airports.

Another possibility of what Lemurs saw is that the small aircraft from the northeast was coming in over the I-90 bridge - heading for 13L - and keeping low to stay out of the SEA class B; and the larger aircraft was on a visual into 13R over the harbor. This is a normal arrival pattern and tower would certainly have warned both pilots to look out for each other and maintain visual separation. The ideal glideslope for 13L (little runway) is slightly higher than 13R so it makes wake avoidance for the small plane a little easier. It's possible the small plane was indeed a trainer and executed a touch-and-go or the pilot just felt that he could not safely maintain separation from the larger aircraft anymore and did the right thing and went around. In either case I doubt anything would get reported since nothing bad happened in the end. It's possible (though unlikely) that someone might file an anonymous NASA ASRS report which can be searched online, but the likelihood is low.

VxG

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