Pilot's tip of the week

Avoiding the Mid-Air


Subscriber question:

"I recently had a near-collision in the air. The most embarrassing part was that I just froze up when I saw the other airplane. Obviously, we didn’t hit, but what should I have done?" — Dennis M.


“It’s counter-intuitive, but the best way to avoid an airborne threat is to turn towards it. That’s unless, of course, immediate, aggressive evasive action is your only hope.

Otherwise, if you spot traffic that’s close, get a call from ATC, or you see traffic that could be a conflict on your ADS-B scope, maintain or establish some vertical separation and then turn towards the traffic to help spot it—and keep it in sight—while you maneuver to maintain separation.

Turning away (or going belly up) from the traffic, removes your ability to see it and thus take the best evasive action. It’s hard to avoid what you can’t see.

Next time you’re confronted with traffic that’s problematic, establish or keep your vertical separation and turn towards it for visual contact while you maneuver to maintain separation.”

Have you ever had a close encounter with another aircraft where you feared for your safety?

tip(NEW) IFR Mastery scenario #149 “Capital City Confusion” is now available. Loss of control on an approach is a terrifying thought—and you just recovered in a valley with limited visibility and no airport in sight. Is it better to climb to safety with a known issue or scud run a few hundred feet above the ground to find an airport and some terra firma? Watch the Intro video.

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