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  #31  
Old 03-21-2013, 12:22 PM
pvalovich pvalovich is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Ridgecrest, CA
Posts: 439
Default What is Low?

As a former Navy A-4 / A-7 guy who spent many hours on low level missions without incident, allow me to share a couple very important points about low level flying:
1) The risk factor is a function of the environment. Roaring low level through te deserts of CA, NV or Utah was a lot less risky than doing the same thing over farmland or rural populated areas. It's Pierre's tower thing.
2) The goal was to develop a comfort level through a step-down approach. We started at 360 Kts at 500 ft and worked down. Simulated nuc deliveries required 500 kts as low as you could go. Once over the Bravo 16 target at Fallon after 2 weeks of workups I was clocked at 520 kts at 35 feet. Normal low level routes were flown at 200 ft agl and 360-420 kts (made the miles per minute correction times easier).
3) I regularly fly my -8A low throgh the deserts near Death Valley. I have discovered an interesting phenomena - probably because of relative size compared to an A-4 / A-7 I'm nearly always lower (AFS-4500 give AGL readout) than I think. When I visually think I'm near 500 ft. AGL, I'm actually closer to 300 ft.
4) Always in the back of my mind at low level in an ever changing presentation - Where am I going to put this thing if the engine quits?
5) For me personally, the adventure of flying low over the desert is worth the admitted additional risk - your take may vary.
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  #32  
Old 03-21-2013, 05:41 PM
hydroguy2's Avatar
hydroguy2 hydroguy2 is offline
 
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Location: Townsend, Montana
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Not an RV or low altitude....but here's what happens at 185kts and 11000' when a goose makes contact with a Beech Baron. Pilot injured, but landed.

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  #33  
Old 03-21-2013, 06:07 PM
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kinger kinger is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: USA
Posts: 257
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luddite42 View Post
I'd say that 'Treetop flyer' could do this all day every day without incident, assuming no engine trouble. I don't see anything impulsive about it. If his engine quits, he's either going in the water, or pulling up and landing in the trees. In many parts of the country, there are areas where you're going in the trees (or other inhospitable terrain) no matter how much altitude you have. And have you ever seen the terrain Alaskans fly over? I'll take an engine failure over this creek bed over that, any day.

Yes, 'Treetop flyer' is sustaining some degree of risk higher than cruising at 2000' over the fields of Kansas. That's his risk alone, and he's got the skill and manages it well. The OP may construe this as off topic "ego", but it bothers me when people condemn others' flying as "dangerous" when it simply comes down to varying degrees of skill and risk tolerance. For some, there's nothing worse than seeing another pilot having fun, taking marginally higher risk, and displaying more skill than they have. Unless of course it's at an airshow, where it's perfectly acceptable to kill yourself. Just don't do it on your own out in the country without the proper FAA and ICAS waivers and paperwork allowing you to kill yourself.
Quote:
Originally Posted by RV8R999 View Post
Beautiful! +1
+1 Agree

risk management: they all exist
?flying
?flying single engine as opposed to twin (or more)
?flying recip as opposed to turbine
?flying at night
?flying IMC
?flying IMC with low ceilings
?flying over mountainous terrain
?flying over forest
?flying over open water
?flying single engine at night with low IMC over mountainous terrain
oh almost missed
?low level flying
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  #34  
Old 03-22-2013, 07:17 AM
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YellowPeril YellowPeril is offline
 
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Location: Bowdoinham
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I hate to be an Internet legend buzz-kill, but it that photo was more like the result of a Cessna 180 at 5,500 feet than a goose at 11,000...

http://www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/br...4FA095B&akey=2

Either way, make sure to grease the swivel on your noggin attach fitting before every flight...
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  #35  
Old 03-22-2013, 07:57 AM
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DanH DanH is offline
 
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Then, he heard the words "traffic, traffic" in his headphone. The pilot reported that he recognized this voice sound as being a "traffic alert" signal instigated by activation of the Ryan TCAD. The position of the conflicting traffic was displayed on the GNS 530. In response to the alert signal, the pilot glanced at the display and observed a yellow dot in the 1 o'clock position, relative to his airplane. The pilot stated that the display of a yellow colored dot indicated that the traffic was in close proximity to his airplane.

In a written statement subsequently provided by the pilot, he reported that the first traffic alert he heard was for traffic at his 2 or 3 o'clock position. He searched to his right and did not observe traffic. Thereafter, upon again looking again at the GNS 530's display screen, he observed traffic in his 1 or 2 o'clock position and close to the airplane symbol. He began a turn to the left. The pilot looked again at his 1 to 2 o'clock area and did not see traffic.

The pilot stated that he could not recall what altitude value was displayed for the approaching airplane. But, he recalled the altitude was not "zero zero." He believes that it may have been plus or minus 100 or 200 feet, but he did not have a specific recollection. The pilot did not recall seeing the numeric altitude value change when he subsequently glanced at the GNS's display.

The pilot reported that the collision avoidance system had no provision for resolution of the alert warning. He indicated that, on previous flights, he had observed the display of a "ghost target." He indicated that initially when a ghost target is detected, it might move from the left side to the right side or be in various positions until it finally is permanently displayed. Because of his experience with the unit, he was initially uncertain whether the depicted yellow target was to the airplane's right or left side.

The pilot stated that after he saw the yellow target, he then "looked around," but did not see any approaching aircraft. He indicated that the accident occurred several seconds thereafter. Upon further questioning by the Safety Board investigator, the pilot reported that less than 1 minute elapsed between the time the collision alert system first activated and the time of the collision.


I've posted this excerpt from the accident report because it illustrates a personal belief....that ADS-B traffic systems will give pilots a nice warm fuzzy feeling by making them aware of aircraft which have no chance of actually hitting them.....and they'll likely be head down, looking at the screen when they do get hit.

Returning to topic...in my part of the world (Deep South USA) the greatest "low altitude risk" extends up to somewhere around 2000 AGL....buzzards. They're everywhere.
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Last edited by DanH : 03-22-2013 at 08:01 AM.
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  #36  
Old 03-22-2013, 08:09 AM
David-aviator David-aviator is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Chesterfield, Missouri
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanH View Post
Then, he heard the words "traffic, traffic" in his headphone. The pilot reported that he recognized this voice sound as being a "traffic alert" signal instigated by activation of the Ryan TCAD. The position of the conflicting traffic was displayed on the GNS 530. In response to the alert signal, the pilot glanced at the display and observed a yellow dot in the 1 o'clock position, relative to his airplane. The pilot stated that the display of a yellow colored dot indicated that the traffic was in close proximity to his airplane.

In a written statement subsequently provided by the pilot, he reported that the first traffic alert he heard was for traffic at his 2 or 3 o'clock position. He searched to his right and did not observe traffic. Thereafter, upon again looking again at the GNS 530's display screen, he observed traffic in his 1 or 2 o'clock position and close to the airplane symbol. He began a turn to the left. The pilot looked again at his 1 to 2 o'clock area and did not see traffic.

The pilot stated that he could not recall what altitude value was displayed for the approaching airplane. But, he recalled the altitude was not "zero zero." He believes that it may have been plus or minus 100 or 200 feet, but he did not have a specific recollection. The pilot did not recall seeing the numeric altitude value change when he subsequently glanced at the GNS's display.

The pilot reported that the collision avoidance system had no provision for resolution of the alert warning. He indicated that, on previous flights, he had observed the display of a "ghost target." He indicated that initially when a ghost target is detected, it might move from the left side to the right side or be in various positions until it finally is permanently displayed. Because of his experience with the unit, he was initially uncertain whether the depicted yellow target was to the airplane's right or left side.

The pilot stated that after he saw the yellow target, he then "looked around," but did not see any approaching aircraft. He indicated that the accident occurred several seconds thereafter. Upon further questioning by the Safety Board investigator, the pilot reported that less than 1 minute elapsed between the time the collision alert system first activated and the time of the collision.


I've posted this excerpt from the accident report because it illustrates a personal belief....that ADS-B traffic systems will give pilots a nice warm fuzzy feeling by making them aware of aircraft which have no chance of actually hitting them.....and they'll likely be head down, looking at the screen when they do get hit.

Returning to topic...in my part of the world (Deep South USA) the greatest "low altitude risk" extends up to somewhere around 2000 AGL....buzzards. They're everywhere.
I agree. With no resolution the alert is useless until the target is sighted visually. A full blown TCAS system presents a resolution the same time the alert is given. Evidently ADS-B is not that smart.

With regard to the buzzards, this unusual cold air is keeping them down south, as soon as temps return to normal they will migrate north. We have them around here all summer, but not right now.
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  #37  
Old 03-22-2013, 09:17 AM
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hydroguy2 hydroguy2 is offline
 
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Ok sorry about the mis-information. I just got the pics and short description in the email yesterday. I also wondered how a goose cut such a perfect slot and where were all the feathers and blood.

But still a good photo concerning risk. Each of us has to decide what equipment is needed and where we are going to fly for our own personal safety/benefit/enjoyment.

I fly low quite often around here and at high speed. 200mph at 500' over the ice is pure therapy for me.....not many birds this time of year. Summer is a different story for me. Local conditions and terrain obstacle awareness dictate how low or fast I'll go. During races, I try to prefly the course at slower speed to evaluate things. During our briefs problem spots or abnormal conditions are discussed. If I haven't pre flown or something sticks out in the brief I may fly the course differently, including slowing down.....maybe that's why I've never won a race.
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  #38  
Old 03-22-2013, 09:54 AM
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longranger longranger is offline
 
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Location: 45G, Brighton, MI
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hydroguy2 View Post
Ok sorry about the mis-information. I just got the pics and short description in the email yesterday. I also wondered how a goose cut such a perfect slot and where were all the feathers and blood.

But still a good photo concerning risk. Each of us has to decide what equipment is needed and where we are going to fly for our own personal safety/benefit/enjoyment.

I fly low quite often around here and at high speed. 200mph at 500' over the ice is pure therapy for me.....not many birds this time of year. Summer is a different story for me. Local conditions and terrain obstacle awareness dictate how low or fast I'll go. During races, I try to prefly the course at slower speed to evaluate things. During our briefs problem spots or abnormal conditions are discussed. If I haven't pre flown or something sticks out in the brief I may fly the course differently, including slowing down.....maybe that's why I've never won a race.
I knew what that photo was the instant I saw it on the front page, as it seems to come around about every other year. A friend of mine lost a friend and his airplane in that accident. Nothing against you at all Brian; I would have believed it too, had I not been familiar with the case. My beef is with the guy who started that urban legend in the first place. It's a good enough object lesson in traffic avoidance; why start a lie about a bird strike???
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Last edited by rv6rick : 03-22-2013 at 02:01 PM. Reason: removed expletive
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  #39  
Old 03-22-2013, 04:17 PM
RV8R999 RV8R999 is offline
 
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Location: na
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David-aviator View Post
I agree. With no resolution the alert is useless until the target is sighted visually. A full blown TCAS system presents a resolution the same time the alert is given. Evidently ADS-B is not that smart.

Its not so much the ADS-B isn't smart enough to provide RA because the informaiton needed.. location, altitude, speed, crs, time...etc are included in the TIS-(B)roadcast. Post-processing of TIS-B information is where the RA should and I suspect will eventually reside - although it will likely not be in coordination with the target as it is in TCAS-II.

I disagree the alert is useless without RA. What do you do when you visually see the target? You create your own RA. If I see a TIS-B target on my screen and cannot find it visually I can make a decision to alter my course, my altitude or my speed (or all three) to provide separation. I've done it many times during development and for real when the visual method fails.

All of our airplanes have a restricted Field of View (FOV). TIS-B provides the eyes in the back of our head, or below, where a visual scan cannot help.

It is a tool to be used within its design and intent. It has limits, so do our eyes.
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  #40  
Old 03-22-2013, 09:38 PM
V111Pilot V111Pilot is offline
 
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Location: Roswell NM
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I believe he was using TIS (Traffic Information Service), which is NOT ADS-B. TIS in my experience is allot better than nothing, but not as accurate as ADS-B as it relies on a target being interrogated by ground radar and then translating that information. This results in a delay that could cause several thousand feet difference between the displayed target and where the target actually is. Just this past week the TIS on my G1000 showed traffic ahead and to my right about 1 mile away and it was actually behind me and to my right. So it gives you a general idea and certainly has alerted me to traffic that I otherwise would not have seen.
Also, it does sometimes show your own return as traffic (that get's your attention, a yellow dot right on top of you), and there seem to be some areas where it will display "ghost" traffic that tends to be close and following you.
So, yes, it has limitations but I would be careful comparing it to ADS-B as it is not apples to apples. Just my 10 cents...
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