Patterns getting more dangerous?

Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum

Help Support Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum:

Rhino

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Apr 8, 2004
Messages
1,725
Location
KTHA

From stories like this, postings here and elsewhere on the internet, and discussions with other pilots, I've gotten the definite impression that traffic at uncontrolled airports is becoming increasingly dangerous. What do you think?
 

Fighting 14

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Messages
208
I'm sorry Rhino. I agree that we all need to standardize to lessen the chance of a midair. I was at Fort Collins Loveland a few years ago and same kind of deal. Cut off by a person on base trying to broad side me while I was established on final. Everyone was making good radio calls except this person who I think was on the wrong freq. I was following a 737, which is a pretty rare occasion there. That's why we all need to keep our SA up and be on the right freq and keep our heads and eyes moving as if there are enemy bogies around. Fortunately I live in rural Wyoming now and rarely see another airplane in the pattern. So I don't know if things are worse, but with increasing population and traffic density, I am sure you are right. I started flying in 1964, so I have seen many changes.
 

Wanttaja

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
1,851
Location
Seattle, WA

From stories like this, postings here and elsewhere on the internet, and discussions with other pilots, I've gotten the definite impression that traffic at uncontrolled airports is becoming increasingly dangerous. What do you think?
I think the addition of ADS-B means pilots are finding traffic they COULDN'T see before, and hence think it's "new."

Ron Wanttaja
 

Fighting 14

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 18, 2021
Messages
208
Does anyone know if as part of the FAA's LSA rules change, this last October I believe, did they remove Experimental Exhibition licensed homebuilts meeting the Definition of an LSA, from being able to be flown under Light Sport? That's a big change from the original Light Sport rules. Looks like they refer only to Standard Category licensed aircraft meeting the LSA aircraft definition being eligible? Or was it simply a typo? Help!
 

Toobuilder

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 19, 2010
Messages
5,318
Location
Mojave, Ca
No. In the 25 years I've been flying I have not noticed an increase in traffic, danger, or near misses at uncontrolled fields. I've seen a handful of minor mistakes over the years, but nothing that indicates a trend.
 

rtfm

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2008
Messages
3,656
Location
Brisbane, Australia
Fewer and fewer folks are flying today. No way is the pattern more dangerous. Here in Oz, most pilots use Oz-Runways - which alerts the pilot to other aircraft anyway. And there are now little gadgets which alert the pilot to non-Oz Runways traffic also.

Certainly not more dangerous.
 

rv7charlie

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Nov 17, 2014
Messages
2,168
Location
Pocahontas MS
More ways to report, more ways to hear about the reports. Not unlike child abduction, inflation, multiple-homicide, etc etc. You hear about every incident these days, due to this being the 'information age'.

My question is, why did the reporting pilot specify that he was careful to not deviate in altitude, since his ADSB told him the other, unseen, 'aircraft Y' was at the same altitude? Death wish?

And on a similar automated traffic reporting system note...don't necessarily believe everything your E-display tells you. We had an 'incident' here at my home airport (private airpark about 11 miles from the nearest controlled field and almost 20 miles from the Class C where Approach handles traffic for all the public airports in the area). CAVU day. One of our residents takes off, climbs out to the north in an unlimited acro a/c. Single engine turboprop piloted by a relatively young kid flies past our grass strip going south at about 1700 ft in route to the nearby controlled field, while talking to Approach. He freaks out, screaming at Approach that there are '3 RVs doing acro over the field, and they're flying circles around him!. Now, he's doing probably 140 kts. How fast are RVs, again? Monstrous stink develops, with Approach trying to tell the FSDO (different 'turf') that we're dangerous over here and that we can't do acro because they have people on instrument flight plans in the area all the time. FSDO calmly pointed out that Approach has no jurisdiction over the airspace in question, and that there is never any acro activity in IMC, and it's on the pilot, even if on an IFR flight plan, to see and avoid in VFR conditions. Apparently, the guy's TCAS was throwing multiple 'ghosts' at him, and he (probably) visually saw the a/c take off just before the TCAS went nuts. He knew that there were RVs based here, and apparently just assumed that all the targets on the TCAS were RVs. None were even in the air at the time of the 'incident'; I was outside & actually saw the guy fly over. I got to hear about all this because three of our resident pilots happen to work at the FSDO....
 

jedi

Well-Known Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2009
Messages
2,805
Location
Sahuarita Arizona, Renton Washington, USA
Too many of today's pilots think if they talk on the radio they are "good to go", what ever that means. I suppose it is something like I told you where I am now get out of my way I am busy flying and do not have the time to look for traffic that does not respond.

If the field is "uncontrolled" as in there is not an operating control tower that simply means there is no central controlling authority, ie.. a tower controller. Each pilot is in control of only one aircraft, his aircraft. It would be nice if everybody knew and followed the rules regulations all the time but that will never happen. Visual separation does not change. It is the pilots responsibility in either case to avoid other traffic in the vecinity of the airport. Only one of the two pilots has to see and avoid the other to prevent swapping paint. See to it that you are the one doing the adequate visual scanning and don't complain about the other guy who may or may not see you.

Radios are a helpful tool and so is ADS-B but they do not replace good visual scanning and recommended practices. See and avoid only works if you actively look and even then you will not see everything. Plan on the unreported emergency and the no radio operation. If you end up number 3 on an extended final following prior extended final traffic expect the lower and closer traffic, that may may not see you and may have the right of way per 91.113(g), to make a close in base to final space permitting or if parallel operations are being conducted may be planning an operation on parallel pavement or sod. These are the sorts of things that drive the control oriented pilots crazy as does "uncontrolled" operations on intersecting runways.

ADS-B and the sport pilot regulations have had a negative effect in that they have given more reasons to operate with no radio and no electrical system. Airplanes are hard to see out of because the dam wings get in the way and the big guy in front blocks the view of the pilot in the back. As the story implies, "You all be careful out there now".

Now please tell me how I can keep that guy that has me in his blind spot from running over me. Oh, perhaps it will help if I am actually following a standard pattern and am where he would expect me to be and if I am not then I will just try to keep out of his way.

Sorry for the rambling. I spent too much time in the back of a Cubee yesterday with less than desirable radio equipment and more that desirable rerstrictions to visibility and a sport pilot student that has no need to talk on the radio. Light and variable winds with intersecting runways, downwing takeoffs and landings, etc. Too may pilots think the preferred runway traffic should have right of way. Our good guy DPE says the traffic on the runway with the favorable wind has the right of way. Nice to know but don't bet on it.

Thanks for listening. Now it's your turn. Fire away! :)
 

trimtab

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2014
Messages
276
Location
rocky mountains, rocky, usa
KLMO can be a circus on the weekends. I plan to not even bother opening up the hangar past about 9am during high season on the weekends. I've had numerous encounters with being cut off on short final, having skydivers land on the runway on takeoff and short final, etc. It's a combination of basic lack of manners and skills on the part of many...FAR's be damned. I had one infamous jerk complain to me on the radio that his twin took priority because of the gas he burned waiting his turn. This was after he complained on the radio about me buzzing him on his takeoff...I explained it was actually me going around after he pulled out into what would have been my touchdown point a few seconds earlier.

The number of GA planes in the air is way down. The number of planes in the pattern really hasn't gone up in my opinion. I'm glad we have a mix of users at KLMO, personally, and chalk up the nuisances as either relatively minor or temporary and related to individuals rather than being systemic at this point.
 

TFF

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 28, 2010
Messages
15,865
Location
Memphis, TN
I think everyone thinks ADSB is a savior. I know people who look there first instead of out, and I’m talking high time GA pilots not TCAS ones. They are changing a habit late in the game. New pilots don’t know where the radio is optional. Not that they have to stop broadcasting, but to know someone else might not be. Just keep looking at the video game.
 
Top