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Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

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Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

Old 06-11-2007, 06:14 PM
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edh13
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Default Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

Party One: Non-member, pay per day, seen at the field occasionally. Flying a 40 size Kaos ARF, 2 stroke. Accomplished pilot.

Party Two: Member, Flying a scale 60 size P-40, w/flaps and robarts, 4 stroke. Accomplished pilot.

Occurrence: Party One was in the air along with one other uninvolved third plane. Both were doing large fast “pattern” type aerobatics from one end of the field to the other but not over the runway. They had both been up for a while and seemed about ready to come down. Party Two took off and was in the air about three or four minutes with the P-40. It was in a high fast pass, slightly climbing, just about show center a hundred feet or so on the other side of the runway when it struck or was struck by Party One’s Kaos. The Kaos was also fast, it came from below attempting to pull vertical. The P-40 blew apart and rained down in several large pieces scattered for a couple hundred feet. The Kaos lost most of its right wing and came down vertically but fairly intact. Neither were in the “pattern” it was pretty much open air.

Damage: At the seen it looked like the P-40 – Airframe total loss, receiver lost, retracts salvageable, engine salvageable. Kaos – Airframe total loss, radio salvageable, engine probably not.

Aftermath attitudes: The Kaos guy and his young son picked up his parts and took the mess to his side of the pits where he had been all morning mostly alone. A half dozen friends helped the P-40 guy pick up his plane which was scattered. And returned it to the populated side of the pits where the IMAC guys hang out. The Kaos guy came down from the other end of the pits and expressed some concern over the loss of a nice P-40. But he was careful not to apologize or accept blame. The P-40 guy was nice enough, not happy, but not complaining. Nobody went down to check on the Kaos. Although not a whole lot was said it was obvious that some there were waiting for an apology or more from the Kaos guy.

Should he have?

I ask the question because I am the Kaos Guy. And as I left the field I had the distinct impression that I owed somebody something. I’ve always been of the opinion that if two planes hit in open air that’s just bad luck and there is nothing to be done about it. No matter who’s a member or not, whose cost more, an ARF or a scratch built, experienced or a rookie, you pick up the pieces and smile your best. The P-40 guy did that but others there seemed a little indirectly accusatory. I have a feeling if the P-40 guy and I were alone we probably would have scratched our heads, laughed about what a cool crash it was and offered each other a Coke. Pitty that wasn't able to happen.
Old 06-11-2007, 06:32 PM
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Robby
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

Typical third party imvolvement... *sigh*

If you and the P40 guy talked and are satisfied with out come then heck
with what any other has to say... Especially if you and P40 guy are both
in the wrong/right..
A no fault mid air is just that.. A -no- fault...
As for 'member' or 'pay per day',, how or why would that even be of
a concern..??? (not really a question)
Old 06-11-2007, 06:48 PM
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

I agree. Unless someone deliberatly violated the club rules regarding flight plans (some clubs are anal about circuits) or was flying recklessly, it was simply a matter of chance with no one at fault. I can imagine how it felt to be the odd guy out at the end of the field with no one helping you out....maybe you need to find another field or get to know the other guys better. Most of the guys at my field won't hesitate to climb into the thorns and weeds to help me find a lost plane. Better luck next time.
Old 06-11-2007, 06:48 PM
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meaden
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

I would say the situation would have a lot to do with the club rules. Being a non-member puts you in the bad spot.

At our club 4 in the air is the limit and we depend a lot on verbal communication "taking off left to right!" "landing left to right!" kinda thing. The wind direction usually determines the traffic pattern. We have guys that fly competition pattern and they usually fly further out from the regular traffic pattern to do their turn around maneuvers. But we'll still verbally check with the other pilot(s) on their intentions.

If you both were flying within the club rules. Two planes occupying the same space at the same time is just bad luck.
Old 06-11-2007, 07:19 PM
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

I too agree. Just an unfortunate flying incident. Member or not has no bearing. You two guys probably couldn't have done that if you tried deliberately. You were well beyond any sort of depth perception. Maybe you need to talk to the P40 guy and get his opinion.
Old 06-11-2007, 07:46 PM
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

Since you asked for opinions, here's mine.

Membership status is irrelevant. You were flying, and had permission to do so.

The P-40 also had permission to fly.

As to the collision, the P-40, by your description, was flying essentially a constant course and speed. You on the other hand made a drastic change in course and speed with the vertical maneuver. Since you made the change in course and speed, it is your responsibility to ensure that the airspace you are maneuvering into is clear. Consequently, you were at fault. Had the situation been both planes flying constant course and speed from opposite ends of the field, fault would be equally shared.

Might I suggest that if you're going to be flying pattern maneuvers with multiple planes in the air, you really should employ a spotter to help you identify other planes. Talk with the spotter and announce your intended maneuvers before you make them. Allow them to help you identify if its unsafe.

I know that many flyers believe collisions in open air are an unavoidable risk, but I disagree with that mentality. I believe every pilot has a responsibility to everything in their power to avoid mid air collisions. For example, it would be good for clubs to adopt a standard practice that if two planes are approaching from opposite ends, the pilots should both break to the right to avoid collisions.

Brad
Old 06-11-2007, 08:33 PM
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wc524
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

I would agree with Brad that you were at fault. Only because you were the one that incurred the damage by pulling vertical. Had you stayed on your straight flight path the two would not have collided. Either way in-air collisions do happen, but what can be avoided should. Use a spotter next time and learn from this mistake. We ALL make them, whether it's crashes or radio mistakes.
Old 06-11-2007, 09:26 PM
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

yeap agreed. Bkdavy did hit the full scale nail right on the head. its a rule (so I hear) that if two planes are headed toward each other both planes are to break right, therefore both planes are pulling away form each other.
Old 06-11-2007, 09:55 PM
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rcuman
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

Something similar happened to a friend of mine with another friend of mine at a flyin. They were both flying p-40s and doing some scale manuevers when one of them got a little too close a nipped the other guys Stab, thus making it fold up but not break off. The guy with the broken Stab got it down in one piece amazingly and afterwards they just laughed about it and he eventually fixed it. If I had a midair I would look at it as another challenge for me to bring the plane down in one piece without harming anyone. If it was a total loss, I would probably roll on the grass laughing about it wishing I had a picture. It happens and there is nothing no one can do about it. It is a risk we all take every time we head out to the field. I usually like to communicate to the other flyers while doing that type of stuff though. I usually say:
Hey Low Pass!!
or
Hey don't pull up I am above you!!
Old 06-11-2007, 10:04 PM
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rcuman
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

I had to comment on the Breaking right procedure for RC.
In an RC case with a head-on collision on a low pass I would stay on course and either go up or down. If you both go right then one of you is heading towards me in the pit. Also if you both go right and if you clipped each other I would be in a even worse situation because I have a out of control plane heading towards me in the pits.
Old 06-11-2007, 10:25 PM
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

I would have to agree that you have some fault here. due to the curcumstances already refered to (radical course change). You esencially changed course to a collision course with the P-40. Inadvertantly I am sure due to your concern on the matter. But let's face it. If I am driving my car in the parking lot and turn suddenly into another car... It's my fault... right? Accedents happen but we have to take resonsability for the ones we make. I have on several ocassions aborted certain manouvers due to a visually close proximity situation with another plane. 99% of the time I could probably continue the manouver without incedent. I am sorry, but it seems you got the 1% on this one.
Old 06-11-2007, 11:51 PM
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RC MANIAC119
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

I also have to agree with bkdavy.........It's your fault, for several reasons.

1. Your were flying without a spotter.
2. By your VERY accurate description of the other guys movements......you obviously were aware of his location, and either..
A. didn't care where he was.......or
B. somewhere in your head decided that your flying was more important than his!

I'm not saying you did it deliberate.......BUT.....deep in your gut you knew that you had probably caused this, and what you do owe him is a great big apology!

By your description, it appears that you didn't even go talk to the other Pilot! Of all the problems in this example, thats the biggest mistake you made. Now, all of his buddies will look at you like this totally uncaring, self righteous S>O>B>, that crashes other peoples planes ON PURPOSE!! (YOU KNOW HOW ONE LITTLE STORY GET BLOWN OUT OF SHAPE)

When you see the guy again, at least tell him you're sorry.......then you both can laugh it off........
Old 06-12-2007, 01:09 AM
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

Hey I asked for opinions and all are welcome.

A little more clarification and history:
I’ve been flying for about 35 years on and off at various club sites any very busy rogue sites. Only had one other mid-air about 15 years ago when I sheared my Super Sportster’s wing off on a Eagle’s main gear. My plane hadn’t even hit the dirt yet and I was going over to help the guy with the Eagle. The whole time I was landing it for him I had to listen to he and the Field Commandant tell me what a jerk I was for hitting his plane. I was doing aerobatics and he was doing high orbits building time. I kept my mouth shut and packed up my pieces. He was flying again right after the epoxy (I gave him) hardened. I see where that mid-air the blame could have ridden more with me. He was inexperienced flying in circles and the hotshot jerk came and ran him over (under). I think I did offer an apology although their attitude bugged me.
And for this reason:
This hasn’t been brought up yet and it may not mean much but in both cases I was up first and for quite awhile doing nothing but fast, large, pattern type aerobatics. In fact in yesterdays case there were two of us up there trying to out do each other. The P-40 guy just like the Eagle guy figured it was safe enough to put his airplane up there in the middle of it.
I was aware of the 3rd plane in the air in fact I even knew it was the P-40. I caught glimpses of him and like everyone else does, “listened” to his position and tried to generally avoid it. But I have always avoided other acft by adjusting altitude not course. The “always turn right” method is fatally flawed and just silly. With model acft depth perception isn’t such that you would be able tell which plane is in front of the other. You could both turn “right” INTO each other. Sounds like a couple people have basically said the plane that had the last control input is at fault. So does that mean if you don’t move the controls during an impending mid-air you can never be blamed? Or since I pulled vertical I’m at fault. So this means the closer your nose is to level the less at fault you would be? I’m not sure what the P-40 was doing just prior to the crash. So I could only fairly report what I saw the split second before the hit. He could very well have just pulled level from a dive or been doing aileron rolls I don’t know. He could have changed his course to avoid me or not. I can’t say, so I won’t. I routinely push or pull elevator to avoid other acft. I didn’t do anything yesterday it happened too fast.
I guess my opinion boils down to; Regardless of the guy flying “aerobatics” and hitting the “straight and level” guy or the “straight and level” guy flying into the guy doing “aerobatics” neither of them thought they were going to hit each other and neither of them took the proper evasive action. And although it was hard to swallow neither of us outwardly blamed the other. It’s just a big air box out there shared by a few model planes. If all parties are doing what is allowed, I find it odd that someone would take a position one way or the other. But it seems to be also reflected in a few of these replies.

RC maniac – Uh…. I’m I to believe that I’m being admonished for a lack of manners by a member of the Profile Brotherhood? Crazy World….

1) No spotters are required for sport flying and are rarely used. I don’t know if the P-40 guy had one, if he did it didn’t help.
2) Yes…
A and B are the same thing and don’t deserve a response.

The only thing my gut told me was, it was lunchtime.

In your hurry to accuse, you skipped the part where it said I came down to his end of the pits to offer some words of concern over his loss of a nice P-40. A move that was not reciprocated. The P-40 guy and I talked a couple times post-crash actually. Myself and my 8 year old (a big WWII acft nut) were down there looking at it and talking to the guy pre-crash. I didn’t mention this earlier, but I didn’t think I would need to defend my character either, until "RC manners119" piped in.
Old 06-12-2007, 03:12 AM
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

YOU GUYS NEED YOUR OWN TV SHOW!!!! I WOULD BE THE BIGGEST FAN OF ALL. IDEA FOR A NAME??
CRAZY OLD FOLKS WITH AIRPLANES...
JKIN.
scott
Old 06-12-2007, 05:31 AM
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tlgibson97
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

You guys must have the depth perception of an eagle. How can you possibly know when two planes are on a collision course. Especially with 2 different types of planes. We had a pattern competition this weekend and we had 2 planes flying at once. Anyone who knows anything about pattern planes knows that most look about the same and are pretty much the same size. That gives you some possibility of telling how far the planes are away from you. If you have 2 different planes that are different sizes there is no comparison of size to base the distance off of. You guys say if both planes are headed towards each other that each should break right. What if they break right into each other? Just becasue they appear to be heading towards each other doesnt mean they are anywhere near each other. I have seen what appears to be close calls but I can't say for sure if they were.

You guys probably couldnt crash again like that if you tried. It was just bad luck and nobody was at real fault. It just happens sometimes.

If I had a midair with my plane I would be upset on the loss of a plane I have put so much time into but I would feel worse about the loss of the other plane just because I had something to do with it. I wouldnt worry about the other guys. It has nothing to do with them. I would at least talk to the other guy just to get each others opinions on the matter. If he wants to be a crank about it I would just leave him alone and mind my own business as it appears you were doing in the first place. If the people at the club think you were wrong and dangerous then they have the choice not to be flying when you are. Then only thing I would worry about is havng all them gang up at a club meeting and get you banned from flying or something stupid like that. You never know with some people.

Good luck and soory for both your losses.
Old 06-12-2007, 08:22 AM
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

He could very well have just pulled level from a dive or been doing aileron rolls I don’t know. He could have changed his course to avoid me or not. I can’t say, so I won’t. I routinely push or pull elevator to avoid other acft. I didn’t do anything yesterday it happened too fast.
It does seem as though there was/is a huge lack of communication between you and P-40 guy and that responsability is shared by both of you. You were the "bigger man" for taking the first step and aproaching him ,in his element, first. If possible get back with him and discuss the events leading to the collision. After reading your second post it apears your not sure what he was doing prior to the crash, just that he was directly above you some time after you pulled into the virtical. If he had just leveled out of a loop then it would be nearly imposible to predict his location. I would have to say it is easier for me as I fly with the same people everyweek and have spent hours BS'ing with them in the pits over the last year and a half so it would be much easier for me to talk with them. It seems to me that you do not have this relationship with your fellow flyers so it would be a very difficult position to be in. For the time being, I will retract my statement that "you have some fault" because you changed your statement that he was flying level accross the feild. I also agree with you that you do not need or require a spotter for this type of flying.
Old 06-12-2007, 09:12 AM
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waydown2low
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

Holy crap what a swarm!!, those of you that think someone is at fault in a midair need to get your heads fixed!!! Having done this for more than 15 years, involved in pattern, scale, racing and just about every other form of aircraft including full scale, there is just bad luck involved. We have tried to do nose to nose midairs for hours on end and it cannot be done. I don't care what people say about ubrupt maneuvers or spotters or what ever, a pattern is for landing or taking off and aircraft should give in to other aircraft in that position, but other wise the airspace is fair game, if your afraid to lose a plane you need to get out of the hobby because every plane has a expiration date, and you have to live with that. I have seen flying clubs die over the years because old grouchy men that can't fly with the young lads getting mad at everybody and making rules in the club because they have been there 30 years and suddenly think that everything everyone else does is unsafe or stupid.[:@][:@][:'(]

I do agree that rules do need to be made for certain events and for safety to people, property ( excluding other aircraft in the air ), and spectators. But, as for flying in general just go out and have a blast. When I was a youngster of about 16, I was a guest at a field in Oklahoma, and one of the seasoned pattern guys at the club was flying his sequence, and I got the frequency pin off the board. I fueled my plane checked my battery, turned on my radio and did a control check next thing I knew the guys spotter was screaming 55 and I got my radio shut off. The guy saved the plane and landed, he came over to me ready to kill me. His spotter saw the pin on my antenna and grabbed the pilot and got him cooled down, the other members made him apologize to me and he said that no one else at the club is ever on that frequency so he was out of the habit of getting the pin off the board. And to this day, I have never been back to that club to fly just for that fact that for a few minutes, I felt unwelcomed.

Now if that situation arose again, I would probably hit the guy in his arrogent face and fly while he was trying to figure out what just happened. And as for the midair I would turn around and take a bow, and say d*mn that was cool. Keep your head high, drink a cold beer and laugh about it because you were getting bored with that plane anyway. And those that say there was fault, need to retire or get a few more years under their belt. CAUSE, that is part of the game like it or not[>:]

Old 06-12-2007, 09:20 AM
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

Wow.

I just can't believe some of these 'answers'. If I had been involved in such an incident, well, unless I had been doing something extraordinary, or profound, I would simply relay regret that it had happened and let it go at that. Mid air's happen, and as I said, since this was unintentional, hey.. no one turned on a third transmitter to cause inteference did they.. blame can be placed in that situation... but no, this was simply a mid air collision.

Try it some time.. fly your plane and try to watch someone else's at the same time. Then try to find your plane again.. unless you have one eye that focuses to the right and another that focuses to the left, then you probably cannot see both at the same time. Then if you do look at the other plane, plan on using that plastic bag you put in the fuselage to clean up the mess as your plane smashed into the ground.

Nope, no one is to blame. These things happen, and are truly unfortunate, but they can, do, and will happen.

Someone's 1-2-3 step to blame is way out of line here and is in the least, absurd.
Old 06-12-2007, 10:08 AM
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RC MANIAC119
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??


ORIGINAL: edh13

Hey I asked for opinions and all are welcome.


RC maniac – Uh…. I’m I to believe that I’m being admonished for a lack of manners by a member of the Profile Brotherhood? Crazy World….

1) No spotters are required for sport flying and are rarely used. I don’t know if the P-40 guy had one, if he did it didn’t help.
2) Yes…
A and B are the same thing and don’t deserve a response.


In your hurry to accuse, you skipped the part where it said I came down to his end of the pits to offer some words of concern over his loss of a nice P-40. I didn’t think I would need to defend my character either, until "RC manners119" piped in.
I was not admonishing anyone .........you ask for an opinion and I gave mine, and by the way.......if you have ever flown with ANY PROBRO's.....you'll find them to be the friendliest, most courteous, and quite probably the highest skilled pilots on any field!!

Once again, I was not accusing you of anything........just stating the facts as you wrote them.

And finally, I do apologize for missing the part where you walked down there. It was a rather confusing explanation of the facts...pilot A did this....Pilot B did that..........it was a litle hard to understand.


Good Luck with your re-build
Old 06-12-2007, 02:18 PM
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rlipsett
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

As They say bleep happens and if no one was flying in an unsafe manner and no one called for the field for a problem or landing or take off it is a little hard to focus your periphreal vision on another plane. Many a time have planes crashed spectacularly while is was flying and the only part of the crash I ever noticed was the sudden whump and silence from their aircraft. With sound you can only be aware of a general position, if he is electric you are both out of luck. I have had a mid air far out in the field with another member and he was cool about the incident. We occasionally joke about it and other members make comments that they never see us fly at the same time even though since that time we have been up together but it is fairly rare because I like to admire his flying of biplanes.
Old 06-12-2007, 04:14 PM
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

I'll pipe in....IMHO if your flying alone the sky is all yours to do with as you wish. the pattern doesn't exsist. As soon as you hear "coming out?" then the pattern is back in effect, in other words flying the rectangle. The wind determines the direction of the pattern. It makes no difference who was up first. the most experienced pilot should try to avoid the lest experienced
You can do a 360 deg turn to give yourself space, or stay high, etc. Ask the other pilots what they are planning to do. if all else fails announce to the other pilots what you'd like to do. you can still do areobatics either on the downwind leg or over the runway. If you're uncomfortable with the number of planes up, or someones flying ...land
All involved share the blame for a simple lack of communication. Plus not looking around your aircraft while flying.
I'd like to compliment edh13 for talking with the P-40 driver.
Oh yea the pay for the day vs. member thing doesn't matter
Old 06-12-2007, 04:18 PM
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edh13
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

Just to remind you guys that it wasn't a "big" deal and that the P-40 guy was a pretty good sport, especially for loosing a nice plane. I wasn't directly accused or threatened by his buddies. I only heard a couple under the breath comments like, "...well he lost a hell of lot more than that guy did" … "he hit him from underneath, flew right thru him..." I guess it was more the lack of comments when I was down there more than anything else. I might be reading more into it than what was there, but I knew I was uncomfortable and shouldn't have been.
I only posted this because my old theory about out of the pattern mid-airs being "no-faults" was being challenged and I was directly involved. I only mentioned the member / non-member thing because I think that was a big player. (Actually I'm not positive he is a member I'm only assuming because he was down there with the crowd and seemed to know everyone and everyone seemed to know him). I do know that I'm one of only a few pay-per-day flyers because it's hard to find a club officer that knows what to do when I hand him my money and AMA card. I fly there every couple months or so, everyone is friendly and talks. But I'm aware of the pecking order and know my place. I think I'm extra careful there, if I screw up it could easily spell the end of me flying on "their" field. And it's the only paved one for 20 miles. (everything else is dirt, not grass… dirt) Maybe that's what I'm worried about. I've never been in trouble there before and now I feel that I am. I can hear next weekend's pit talk even now… "hey ya know that guy who comes in sometimes with that cheapy Kaos ARF… you should'a seen him take out Billy Bob's P-40…" Great.
Old 06-12-2007, 05:07 PM
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

The way i see it (from someone that has been in a MAC) he took off after you... He decided to venture into your maneuvering airspace.

And most of all.... IT WAS AN ACCIDENT! I am sure edh13 did not do it on purpose neither did the other guy. I say this is a NO-FAULT case.
Old 06-12-2007, 05:30 PM
  #24  
2HI2C
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

I have been flying for 30 yrs (Once a member of the Odessa Propbusters)(now fly on my own runway) and have never been in a midair but have seen a few and it was always considered a no fault thing. It was always laughed off as a hazzard of the hobby. There was a guy I used to fly with alot many years ago we called SWISH & he told me there are 2 kinds of planes, the ones you fly & the ones you keep. The ones you keep you never fly.
Old 06-12-2007, 07:05 PM
  #25  
JPMacG
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Default RE: Mid-air this weekend. Anyone to balme??

I vote no fault. I believe mid-airs are an unavoidable freak thing. In my experience, two pilots who deliberately try to achieve a mid air will be unsuccessful. I don't think anything is accomplished by finding fault. If you are in this hobby you must accept that you will crash, for any number of reasons.

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