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funnydan85

Making yourself seen head to head with an Aircarft.

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Hi All,

Being new to the sport i am watching / reading a lot of material and have been thinking about visibility during the day with faster moving aircraft. 

I have just watched Tucker Gotts recent video on the close call with Jet  and was thinking about his comments about watching the light coming towards him which made him aware of the aircraft in front of him. This got me to thinking about how we can be seen in the air for a specific reason (like an head on approaching aircraft), now i understand about VFR  collision avoiding techniques and agree with them but want to get peoples point of view on using a high lumen torch to make your existence in the air known to other aircraft?

I will fly with a strobe but this is more of a Plan B situation.

Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Thanks Dan

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I have to call the military ATC before flying cos we have Eurofighters playing where I fly. In May a C130 flew UNDER me and offset to one side. I was at 1100 and he told me later he was at 350. This was much closer that Tucker but all done safely.

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My usual airspace is shared with Chinooks, fast jets, transport planes and anything else the military decides to use that day. Use notams and fly aware of other aircraft at all times.

You can be pretty sure they won't see you first.

A torch, or even a strobe, isn't going to make much difference in daylight. Some people avoid flying at round numbers like 500 or 1000 feet. Pick your airspace and fly accordingly. 

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There is a theory "It's a big sky", so chances of getting hit are slim.

We are tiny in the sky, IF you did see a plane coming, we are not fast enough to get out of the way, so the only real option is to quickly pull wing overs and make yourself more "see-able".

NOTAM's are the only real advice. Better to put them in 24 hours early and not fly...than not put them in!!!

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12 minutes ago, Mark Pugh said:

NOTAM's are the only real advice. Better to put them in 24 hours early and not fly...than not put them in!!!

If you decide not to fly, call and cancel it. 

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Often times pilots are busy with charts, setting instruments or chatting with co-pilots.    Sometimes no one in the approaching plane is watching.   Considering a closing speed of perhaps 250 - 400 knots, it only takes only a moment to a few seconds or so to get from where they first appear to where you are.  it happens.  

Stay alert.  Learn how to judge whether a plane is nearly at your altitude, climbing towards you, or descending away from you.

Edited by HangTen

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Hi Chris - me too as you know. So far I haven’t noticed anything on my screen when flying - went on 70k trip last Thursday. Naviter say it’s on as default so am trusting all is well.

From your photo it seems you may have now tested with other traffic. Is that target top right appearing because there’s another aircraft near? Or do you just have your Oudie screen set up differently to mine?

cheers

paul

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On 10/09/2019 at 00:34, HangTen said:

Often times pilots are busy with charts, setting instruments or chatting with co-pilots.    Sometimes no one in the approaching plane is watching.   Considering a closing speed of perhaps 250 - 400 knots, it only takes only a moment to a few seconds or so to get from where they first appear to where you are.  it happens.  

Stay alert.  Learn how to judge whether a plane is nearly at your altitude, climbing towards you, or descending away from you.

I agree. It is quite likely that whatever you do to be visible, may simply go unseen. It does depend on your altitude and the type of aircraft. A few personal examples:

Yorkshire. Two RAF Typoon jets decided to do 100 foot maneuvers over where I fly. They got quite close, more than 1/4 mile, less than half, but were going so fast was hard to tell. I was the same height. They did not see me. Discussed it with RAF and I now call their ATC before flying.

Costa del sol. 300 feet above the beach, 300 feet out to sea. Military transport plane flies by at the same height, 1/4 mile out to sea from me. I was heading towards them.....and waved. I believe they had come to see who I was in case I was drug smuggling from Africa! They saw BECAUSE they were looking for me.

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2 hours ago, paul_grover said:

From your photo it seems you may have now tested with other traffic. Is that target top right appearing because there’s another aircraft near? Or do you just have your Oudie screen set up differently to mine?

cheers

paul

Paul, I've done over 150 miles XC with it now and not once has the radar actually pinged a contact, even though I've been buzzed left right and centre by GA and rotary.

After a bit more research it seems that the 5 probably has little relevance in respect of GA. For that the next step is ADS-B, but use of that isn't straightforward either, as it turns out a radio licence is required. Although I'm taking steps to get an FRTOL, which would cover it, an interim might just be to get a strobe and / or keeping a good eye out. Or in other words, no change to current situation.

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:) Think you're right.  I will check it out next time I'm in Annecy free-flying - think that it is being taken on much more in the FF community and in the Alps especially.  Was just interested in what the target is in the top right of your screen (with + sign at centre) and whether that had anything to do with it - I haven't seen that on my screen yet.

 

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4 minutes ago, paul_grover said:

Was just interested in what the target is in the top right of your screen (with + sign at centre) and whether that had anything to do with it - I haven't seen that on my screen yet.

 

That's the radar which is configured in settings. Must admit, I too have found it to be a bit elusive but if you're around next weekend at the fly-in we can compare.

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Ok - I'll have a look. Thanks.  Was hoping to be in Cornwall but long way to come given the weather - got to be back on Sunday to be 'Birthdayed' by my kids. :/   Sure we'll meet up soon.

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