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Victor Bravo

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Another implied assumption is that someone training or practicing landings in a 152 will likely be a lower time pilot and with fewer advanced ratings than someone in a 340. As such, common sense supports that the more experienced pilot in the higher performance aircraft should exercise a little more of that wisdom and experience... and take upon themselves a higher burden of "seniority" and responsibility for safety.
 

Vigilant1

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The problem with this interpretation is that the first "on final" call came 10 miles out, and treating that as giving priority would really screw up how we actually fly in the pattern. Still, I don't see much ambiguity in the rule as written.

I fly around KSGU quite a bunch, which is untowered with commercial flights coming straight-in at high(-er) speed. If I'm on downwind when they announce, I tend to either just extend (even if it's a pain), or I'll say something like "less than one minute from base turn, okay if I sneak in before you?" They'll usually answer with "estimate six minutes to touchdown, you're fine" -- or sometimes "that'll be close, your discretion" in which case I extend. It's a radio, we're allowed to use it for communication!
At the 10 mile call, a C-340 flying a normal 100 kt average stabilized approach would be over the threshold in about 6 minutes 15 seconds. In the actual incident, the 340 was at the threshold in about 3 min 30 seconds. The first chance the C-152 pilot could have possibly known how (unreasonably?) fast the C-340 was approaching was when the C-340 made his 3 mile call, when the C-152 was/had turned to base and already left TPA and begun his descent to land (and was lower than the C-340).

Obviously, both pilots had an obligation to do all they could to avoid a midair.
 

Hephaestus

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Slightly off topic, but about situational awareness: "In the old days", one skill that came with learning to fly on instruments using steam gauges was learning to construct a moving 3D map in your head that contained the primary information about where you are, where you are going, the location of your navaids,
When I was struggling with SA right after ground school, early flight training - I got sat down in the flying club "office" scanner on - little white board with the airport pattern taped to it and some magnets shaped like airplanes...

I still get surprised on occasion all these decades later, I like the adsb backup - lessens the surprises...
 

4redwings

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Another implied assumption is that someone training or practicing landings in a 152 will likely be a lower time pilot and with fewer advanced ratings than someone in a 340. As such, common sense supports that the more experienced pilot in the higher performance aircraft should exercise a little more of that wisdom and experience... and take upon themselves a higher burden of "seniority" and responsibility for safety.
So what's the move? Based on the radio calls, I don't think the 340 knew there was a conflict until the 152 called "Base 20, on the go." At that point it sounded like it wasn't going to be a problem anymore. When you discontinue an approach (go around) you climb back up and do the circuit. As an experienced pilot you might wonder if a new guy knows that? Maybe? Certainly, not picking up a visual where you think he should be would give you a lot of worries. Maybe a "Cessna on the go say position and altitude." Like I said, this is a tough one.

And to addaon, the farther out I know a guy is doing a straight-in and the more position calls he makes, the better. Especially, high performance airplanes because you kind of pick up a cadence.
 

Vigilant1

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Based on the radio calls, I don't think the 340 knew there was a conflict until the 152 called "Base 20, on the go." At that point it sounded like it wasn't going to be a problem anymore.
But there was no radio call like that. The C-152 pilot didn't say he was on base and on the go, because he wasn't. It appears that he was on final, ahead of (and below) the C-340 that was closing on him when he announced he was going around. At that time the C-340 was less than 1 mile out. Shortly after that the C-340 ran over the C-152.

Snippets of radio comm that could have made a difference.
1) C-340: "I'm at 10 miles, will be at 180Kts for a high speed low approach."

2) C-152 (aware of the C-340): "Watsonville , C-Xxxx, I am on 1 mile final, 500 ft"
 
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Richard6

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I'm thinking that the C-152 pilot had no idea how fast the C-340 was approaching the airport. If the C-152 pilot thought that it was just another slow aircraft like his, he would have landed or did his touch and go long before the C-340 arrived.

Until reading these post, I had no idea how fast the C-340 was.
 

Pops

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If I am on downwind and hear a radio call of something that is a fast airplane calling straight in , I'm extending my downwind until I see him.

We have a local pilot flying a Super Cub that has never flown a legal pattern as far as I know. He will just come to the end of the runway from any direction and land. Many times landing downwind. You have no idea where he is going to be. Never any radio calls reporting position. Couple of us saw him make a sharp , tight turn on the end of the grass runway and stalled the airplane in the turn and the airplane came down on one wheel and the tail came up and almost went over on its back with a prop strike that threw several large chunks of sod in the air 20' and then the tail came back down. No inspection, no anything, still flying as normal. Waiting for the accident.
 

jedi

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2) C-152 (aware of the C-340): "Watsonville , C-Xxxx, I am on 1 mile final, 500 ft"
What would a C 150 in the pattern be doing on a one mile final at 500 feet. At most he should be on a half mile final and 300 feet. Ideal would be 1/4 mile and 250 feet or greater. Base leg should be between 1/4 and 1/2 mile from the runway end lights. Source, AIM and other FAA reading material.

Note! For 4redwings and interested others, the edit to complete post # 5,717 concernng who has right of way on final is complete. Additional discussion via PM is welcome if needed.
 
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4redwings

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But there was no radio call like that. The C-152 pilot didn't say he was on base and on the go, because he wasn't. It appears that he was on final, ahead of (and below) the C-340 that was closing on him when he announced he was going around. At that time the C-340 was less than 1 mile out. Shortly after that the C-340 ran over the C-152.

Snippets of radio comm that could have made a difference.
1) C-340: "I'm at 10 miles, will be at 180Kts for a high speed low approach."

2) C-152 (aware of the C-340): "Watsonville , C-Xxxx, I am on 1 mile final, 500 ft"
You're missing a few radio calls. Go listen to blancolirio starting at 6:57.

340 is definitely doing a full stop. He makes a call at 3 miles.
The 152 replies shortly thereafter that he was "...left base, 20, on the go."
The 340 guy is now concerned because 15 seconds later he still doesn't see the 152 and says he's at 1 mile "looking for traffic on left base."
The 152 immediately replies, "Yeah I see ya, uh, you're behind me."
Then 10 seconds later the 152 says, "I'm gonna go around then cause you're comin' at me pretty quick man."

Clearly the 152 saw the 340 and turned in front of him and continued on course, on glide path despite the radio call that he was "on the go". We can only speculate why. Inexperience? Never done anything differently and doesn't know what to do?

It is also clear that the 340 never saw the 152. When the 340 pilot heard, "I see ya, uh, you're behind me," he has to be thinking, O.K. I can't see him but he can see me so we're good. I'm sure the 340 guy was looking up and slightly left. How else could he be seen from an airplane on base on the go.

When the 340 heard the last 152 call he must have been petrified. NOW you're going around and I'm coming up on you "pretty quick man!" What the heck is going on! Bang. Probably had about 2 seconds to process that and do something drastic.
 

Vigilant1

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What would a C 150 in the pattern be doing on a one mile final at 500 feet.
True. But my main point is: If the C-152 had made a position report when he was on final the C-340 pilot wouldn't have been looking for him on base. Moreover, it would have made the conflict more apparent to the C-340 pilot. Heck, he could have made it even more explicit "I'm in front of you at a quarter mile from the threshold of 20."
340 is definitely doing a full stop. He makes a call at 3 miles.
Maybe we'll know more when the report is issued. ADSB and time-distance of his radio calls both show that aircraft maintained speeds of about 180kts throughout. When did he configure? How was he gonna stop on that runway? Engage the BAK-12?

The 152 replies shortly thereafter that he was "...left base, 20, on the go."
I don't think he said that. The C-152 pilot brackets his calls on CTAF with the name of the field. This is commonly done and, as I was taught, the proper format for a call on CTAF. He does this on his call at YouTube video 4:55: "Watsonville traffic......,Watsonville" .

In his call at 7:20 he does the same thing. The audio is weak, but I read the last part as "Watsonville", not "on the go." When I listened to it the first time I heard "Watsonville," but I can see how someone might copy it as "on the go."
It's another good point: Speak clearly and slow enough on the radio.

Sorry to keep flogging this accident, but I think there's a lot to learn here. This is a situation most pilots commonly face and there were a LOT of chances to avoid a tragedy.
 
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Vigilant1

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.....The aircraft on a 10 mile final is not in the traffic pattern. Exactly when he enters the traffic pattern if on a straight in is up for debate .....
Interestingly, according to the FAA, a plane that is on a straight in approach under VFR and lands to a full stop has never entered the traffic pattern.

From AC 90-66B para 8.2.1 (sorry, cut and paste from the . PDF isn't working for me.)
 

Wanttaja

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340 is definitely doing a full stop. He makes a call at 3 miles.
Well...he SAYS he's doing a full stop. Never slowed down enough to lower his gear or flaps. He was, essentially, on Initial.
It is also clear that the 340 never saw the 152. When the 340 pilot heard, "I see ya, uh, you're behind me," he has to be thinking, O.K. I can't see him but he can see me so we're good. I'm sure the 340 guy was looking up and slightly left. How else could he be seen from an airplane on base on the go.

When the 340 heard the last 152 call he must have been petrified. NOW you're going around and I'm coming up on you "pretty quick man!" What the heck is going on! Bang. Probably had about 2 seconds to process that and do something drastic.
The ADS-B Out on the Cessna 152 wasn't apparently turned on. One of the scariest hypotheses I've seen is that the guy in the twin was staring at his ADS-B receiver, trying to figure out why the 152 didn't show...instead of looking outside for the aircraft.

Ron Wanttaja
 

4redwings

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Well...he SAYS he's doing a full stop. Never slowed down enough to lower his gear or flaps. He was, essentially, on Initial.

The ADS-B Out on the Cessna 152 wasn't apparently turned on. One of the scariest hypotheses I've seen is that the guy in the twin was staring at his ADS-B receiver, trying to figure out why the 152 didn't show...instead of looking outside for the aircraft.

Ron Wanttaja
 

4redwings

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Well, it will be quite evident from the crash scene whether he was configured or not and my money is on that he was.

Did he have an ADS display? It doesn't matter. The 152 guy is going to get hammered in the investigation for "seeing" and not "avoiding". Pretty simple. Why he was so glued to that imaginary line on the ground and continuing his descent to the runway I don't know. It almost sounds from the last radio call that he saw the 340 coming from the back window.

When I chair-fly this from the 152's perspective, it's pretty simple. I see a conflict, I avoid the conflict. When I chair-fly this from the 340 it's a freaking nightmare. I haven't seen any evidence the 340 did anything wrong. He sounded quite clear and professional on the radio.

BTW, I listened to the comm again, and it does sound like a muffled Watsonville instead of "on the go." But, hey, if I heard "on the go" the previous 4 times I heard it, maybe the 340 did too. It certainly would have made sense and made everybody happy.

OK I'm done. Adios.
 

addaon

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“On the go” (at least as used in Northern California, where I learned to fly, and where the accident under discussion is located) means that a go-around operation has been initiated. Usually used at a towered airport when doing touch and goes and remaining in the pattern.
 

Vigilant1

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Question -- What does " on the go" mean ? I have never heard that term used .
It is ambiguous. Sometimes it means "I'm going missed approach," sometimes it means"I'm abandoning this landing attempt and going around", sometimes it is used during a touch-and-go to mean "I'm on the runway and taking off again."

Because it isn't clear what it means, it is better to use another phrase or at least add more context.
 
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