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WhatWasThat
3rd Dec 2003, 18:16
Just heard 3LO report a near miss (RA) involving a Virgin 737 and a "private aircraft" North West of ML
Confirmed by Virgin spokesman.
Anybody have any details?

Wirraway
3rd Dec 2003, 18:24
AAP

Virgin plane in air near-miss
December 3, 2003

A VIRGIN Blue flight activated its collision avoidance system today as it went within 20 seconds of crashing into a light plane north-west of Melbourne.

The air traffic controllers union, Civil Air, blamed the near miss involving the Virgin 737 and a twin-engine Cessna on the new National Airspace System.

The new airspace rules, which came into effect last Thursday, allow light planes into areas used by commercial airliners.

Civil Air president Ted Lang called on federal Transport Minister John Anderson to immediately suspend the new airspace system pending a full review.

Airservices Australia confirmed that Virgin flight DJ980 from the Gold Coast to Melbourne and the Cessna were 55 nautical miles from Melbourne when the 737's collision warning system was automatically activated 20 seconds before impact about 10am (AEDT).

The warning system tells the pilot to maintain his flight level to avoid impact.

Mr Lang said he understood the planes nearly collided when the 737 was given clearance to descend into the newly downgraded airspace.

The Cessna requested an alternative operating instruction - which is not required under the new rules - while "sandwiched" between the 737 and an air ambulance.

"This result is a direct result of the new airspace regime," Mr Lang said.

"Controllers and pilots are under immense pressure and unreasonable pressure.

"In this case not even the "see-and-avoid" collision procedures were effective."

Airservices Australia, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau and Virgin Blue are independently investigating the incident.

Airservices Australia spokesman Richard Dudley said it was the ninth incident since last Thursday under investigation that may by attributed to the new rules.

Mr Lang said the real figure was closer to 20.

"The safety of the public should not be determined by bureaucratic definitions of infringements or incidents, especially the same bureaucracy responsible for this debacle," he said.

AAP

==========================================

AirNoServicesAustralia
3rd Dec 2003, 18:57
I'm waiting for all the Pro-Nas AOPA guys to come on here now and say, "look the system worked, they didn't hit". Well ask the crew of the Virgin Aircraft how they feel about TCAS saving their lives and I think their opinion of NAS will be a little less complimentary.

It sounds horrible but the safest thing long term for the flying public would be to have a few more misses like this (with no hits!) and to show the system for what it is....DANGEROUS.

Wirraway
3rd Dec 2003, 18:59
ABC News Online

Wednesday, December 3, 2003. 10:36pm (AEDT)

Virgin confirms mid-air scare

A report has been prepared for the Australian Transport Safety Bureau about an apparent near miss involving up to three aircraft, north-west of Melbourne this morning.

There are claims the planes were about to share the same airspace before air traffic controllers stepped in.

Virgin Blue's head of strategy David Huttner has confirmed a Virgin 737 with 104 passengers on board from the Gold Coast was involved in what he calls an "occurrence".

"There was an occurrence this morning and we immediately filed a report with the Australian Transport Safety Board," he said.

Air Traffic Control Association president Ted Lang says a medical flight and twin engine Cessna aircraft were about to share air space with the 737, when the Virgin plane's collision warning system activated with a full alarm

"My understanding is that without the air traffic controllers' intervention, the light aircraft or the private aircraft and the 737 would have been occupying the same air space at around about the same time," he said.

Mr Lang says the situation is the result of Australia's controversial new air space regulations which came into effect a week ago.

==========================================

Airspeed Ambassador
3rd Dec 2003, 20:47
Did this near miss happen in "E" airspace? The Virgin 737 on a normal descent profile would transit the "E" airspace such that it would be at F180 around 55dme and back into "C" airspace at 40dme and F130. Surely at these levels the aircraft involved (the "Cessna twin") must have been IFR??

On the face of it, this incident would seem unlikely to be the "IFR Vs VFR conflict in E airspace" scenario we are all dreading. It will be interesting to hear the actual account.

Clothears
3rd Dec 2003, 20:51
What a sorry, misguided rabble you are.

I, for one, am with Mr Dudley (that admirable fellow) one hundred percent - when he eventually comes up with his usual reasonable, plausible and well researched analysis of this misconception of a perfectly normal procedure.

His experience and understanding of the operational aviation environment is far beyond any miserable understanding of yours.

In fact, I believe he may have been a Business Class Passenger several times! Can you imagine?

I know for a fact that he has far more knowledge of the application of spin techniques than any of you malingerers.

I also know that he treats truth and decency as a way of life. As evidence I offer the public handling of the various TAAATS (near) disasters and the last ATC EBA.

regards,

Clothears.

PS. I have heard that some misinformed souls cling to the opinion that the operational aviation environment is no place for PR spivs. FOOLS! GET WITH THE PROGRAM!

(edited to remove booze laden rant, and replace it with booze laden sweetness and light!)

tobzalp
3rd Dec 2003, 21:23
Clothears I actually had my nuts go into their caves in anger when I read the first 2 lines of your post. Thankfully the truth in what you said and the truth in what Dick Dud come out with are exactly the same.

p.s. I started a thread about this myself. Must read first. *deleted*

heres what I rotes thow

http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/s1002882.htm


The Air Traffic Control Association is calling for the immediate suspension of the National Airspace System after what it calls a "near miss" in Victoria yesterday.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) is investigating an incident involving up to three aircraft in the skies over Melbourne.

Virgin Blue's head of strategy David Huttner has confirmed a Virgin 737 with 104 passengers on board from the Gold Coast was involved in what he calls an "occurrence".

"There was an occurrence this morning (Wednesday) and we immediately filed a report with the Australian Transport Safety Board," he said.

Association president Ted Lang says a Cessna was travelling between a 737 and a medical flight when it requested clearance to move.

He says the Virgin flight was cleared to descend at the same time, and the planes were just 20 seconds away from impact when the 737's collision warning system activated.

Mr Lang says air traffic controllers helped prevent a disaster.

"The aircraft was already under some instruction from air traffic control, but the advice was to maintain their current level, otherwise they were going to be in very, very close proximity to the aircraft," he said.

He says the new airspace regulations are to blame.

"My biggest concern is that the air traffic controller involved is going to be the scapegoat out of this whole system, but unfortunately this is an outcome of the National Airspace System that's been recently introduced and the person that's responsible for this is the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson," he said.

Wirraway
3rd Dec 2003, 22:41
Thurs "Melbourne Age"

Virgin Blue in 'near miss'
By Adam Morton
December 4, 2003

A Virgin Blue aircraft activated its collision avoidance system yesterday as it came within 20 seconds of a possible collision with a light plane north-west of Melbourne.

The air traffic controllers union, Civil Air, blamed the near miss involving the Virgin Boeing 737 and a twin-engine Cessna on the new National Airspace System.

The new airspace rules, which came into effect a week ago, allow light planes into areas used by commercial airliners.

Civil Air president Ted Lang called on the federal Transport Minister, John Anderson, to immediately suspend the new system pending a full review.

Richard Dudley, a spokesman for Airservices Australia, the Federal Government body that manages Australian air space, said Virgin flight DJ980 from the Gold Coast to Melbourne and the Cessna were 55 nautical miles from Melbourne when the 737's collision warning system was automatically activated about 10am.

The warning system tells the pilot to maintain his flight level to avoid impact.

Mr Dudley said an air traffic controller had been stood down following the incident to provide information to investigators, but stressed this was routine procedure.

He could not say how close the planes had been.

Mr Lang said he understood the aircraft nearly collided when the 737 was given clearance to descend into the newly downgraded airspace.

The Cessna requested an alternative operating instruction - which is not required under the new rules - while "sandwiched" between the 737 and an air ambulance.

Virgin Blue spokesman David Huttner last night confirmed an incident involving one of the airline's planes occurred, but disputed that the two aircraft had been only 20 seconds away from crashing.

"The idea the two aircraft were 20 seconds away... certainly at this point in time nobody has all the facts to make such a statement," he said. "It's speculative at best." He said Virgin would investigate the incident and report to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

"We cannot say at this point in time whether these events were in any way related to the new traffic rules.

"Anybody that would be suggesting those rules were the cause would be making comments without the complete information," Mr Huttner said.

Airservices Australia and the Australian Transport Safety Bureau are also investigating.

Mr Dudley said it was the ninth investigation of an incident in NAS airspace since the new regulations were introduced.

But Mr Lang said the real figure was closer to 20. "The safety of the public should not be determined by bureaucratic definitions of infringements or incidents, especially the same bureaucracy responsible for this debacle," he said.

A spokesman for Mr Anderson warned against assuming the incident was related to the new system, saying the ATSB investigated several incidents a year. He said both aircraft were in contact with the air traffic controller in Melbourne.

"The public should be reminded that Ted Lang of Civil Air has previously claimed there were near misses in Canberra and Tamworth," he said. "On both occasions he was utterly incorrect."

- AAP

=========================================

TIMMEEEE
4th Dec 2003, 03:27
My thoughts would be that if the Air Traffic Controllers Association felt so strongly they would attempt to cease these new procedures in order to protect their own members as well as the travelling public!

Bet your life Anderson will insist a controller be sacrificed in order to preserve the integrity of his almighty NAS.

Refusing to operate under the NAS guidelines would certainly make Mr Anderson look like an idiot and make the public wake up and support the Air Traffic fellas as well as AIPA on this one.

WhatWasThat
4th Dec 2003, 03:37
Our hands are tied to a great extent by the workplace relations legislation that would allow us to be pursued in the courts by both our employer and any other party that felt they were disadvantaged by our "illegal industrial action".

RTB RFN
4th Dec 2003, 04:07
Airspeed Ambassador- the NAS steps do not work for jets intending to remain A to C and of course their airways clearance applies A, C and E. They hug or slip out of the steps so companies may need to adjust descent profiles per location.

At certain locations they must transition A to E to D (eg no-RADAR Alice) where there is quadruple Whammy (without adding any reduced viz due PO etc):

No RADAR
Lower use or availability of transponder
E airspace - unannounced VFR (including at FL's)
No talking - naughty naughty,

Still counting,........

Aussie Andy
4th Dec 2003, 04:37
Maybe, before anyone gets too excited, we should await the incident reports to understand what actually happened in this case and draw any conclusions.

Mr. Lang is attributed as having said: He says the new airspace regulations are to blame.Meanwhile, the Virgin Blue spokesman is attributed as having said:"We cannot say at this point in time whether these events were in any way related to the new traffic rules.Surely it couldn't be that the ATC professional association is seeking to leverage any / every incident which occurs post 27 November to generate sensational news coverage, and seeking to link it to NAS to suit a particular agenda, coud it? Could it?

And look at the near salacious excitement that this has seemed to generate amongst many on this thread, climaxing with RTB RFN's ramblings ... something about No RADAR... Lower use or availability of transponder... E airspace - unannounced VFR (including at FL's)... No talking - naughty naughtyLets take these one at a time: Was it within radar coverage? Presumably so as it was within 55NM of sMelbourne. Did the incident occur in Class E, and if so where was that fact reported? Was the VFR unannounced / not talking on the radio? Have not similar incidents occured before, pre- NAS?

I suppose it may be frustrating and inconvenient when the facts don't fit your argument: but let's not let that stop us, eh boys!? I suggest that there may not yet be enough factual information available in the public domain, as presented so far, for pro- or anti-NAS to claim that this incident proves anything other than a concerted effort on the part of Mr. Lang to defend his colleague (admirable, for sure) and to try and simultaneously leverage the incident to advance the anti-NAS stance of his organisation.

That this is primarily a political rather than a safety issue is very clearly exposed by Mr Lang's final quotation above:"My biggest concern is that the air traffic controller involved is going to be the scapegoat out of this whole system, but unfortunately this is an outcome of the National Airspace System that's been recently introduced and the person that's responsible for this is the Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson," he said.Should the incident turn out to NOT be linked to NAS, then this tack may well back-fire. Vice versa, if NAS is proven to be a causal factor in the incident, then those who are pro-NAS will have to accept it. Until then, it might be smarter to keep an open mind.

All the best,



Andy :ok:

Hempy
4th Dec 2003, 04:52
VFR Conquest called "We are upgrading to IFR", controller "squawk ident"....omg "squawk Mode C" (because he didn't have it on !). Virgin "we have an RA". FL 175 near Canty

DirectAnywhere
4th Dec 2003, 05:05
Gotta love this quote:

There are claims the planes were about to share the same airspace before air traffic controllers stepped in.

Is that mediaspeak for a crash or what!!?? :D

F%^king scary if the bit about not having Mode C selected is true. Maybe very lucky the Conquest picked that time to upgrade.

Col. Walter E. Kurtz
4th Dec 2003, 05:15
The problem is, most of the 'supporters'have no idea about the reality of the increased risks.

No one will believe it has faults until there is an accident.

PS Andy, do us all a favour and stick to what you know about - cause you have no experience or idea about what the majority of us are talking about here- and you're just taking up our time & bandwidth. You get on this site and you split hairs and contradict the very experts - the ATCers who have to make this shite work - about the problems of the new system.

But you know better having flown 100 hours in a warrior (some of it even in Australia!)

Before you get your tits in a tangle, if you want to play, explain to us how the new system (not that you have operated in it) DOESN't degrade safety - I await to see some positives -so that I , and others) might just see something we have missed (no pun intended).

MIss Behaviour
4th Dec 2003, 05:37
First we had the accident vs incident scenario courtesy of BKK but now the latest Huttner spindoctoring is "occurrence". Wake up and smell the roses man & acknowledge the seriousness of what happened! :zzz: :zzz:

Maybe now we'll now be able to file a CAOR - confidential aviation occurrence report??? :8 :8

Bevan666
4th Dec 2003, 05:39
The agrument against NAS has been about those pesky unprofessional VFR guys flying their bugsmashers in Class E and forgetting to squawk mode C.

Here is our first possible incident and it was a pressurised turboprop probably flown by a professional pilot.

Be careful out there.

Bevan..

Home Brew
4th Dec 2003, 05:50
On checking the charts, its worth noting that nearly every airline will pass through this horrible "E" airspace on descent to every airport in Australia. To make matters worse, the airspace boundary changes at different airports (just to confuse everybody). It varies from 30 dme Cooly & Canberra, 36 dme at Adelaide, 40 dme at Brissy & Melbourne to 45 dme at Sydney. So for example, a B737 from the north, making a straight in approach to Rwy 16 in Melbourne, is probably down to 11,000ft at 40 dme, so is in class"e" airspace and has been for a few minutes - so the chances of a miss or hit ARE real, plus throw in that VFR are not even supposed to talk on the radio anymore!!

While this system may work if there is just one or two aircraft in the air at one time, throw in another dozen or so and with a couple of VFR unknowns and I doubt if the best controllers could guarantee us safe separation. This new system lowers the safety levels, just so a few "dopey ducks" can fly around VFR more.

Lets not forget that there will be occasions where jets will be cruising below FL245 in "E', during short sectors and on those days when turbulence and strong headwind necessitate being down lower than normal. So the risk is there and any one who believes that transponders, TCAS and Mark "1" eyeball will save the day in all situations, has rocks in their heads.

So its time "dopey duck" and supporters of NAS take it back from where it came and stay there. :*

Chief galah
4th Dec 2003, 05:58
The way they'll try and fix this is with Windows style "patches". There'll be hundreds of them, making life even more difficult for pilots and ATC's. None of them will address the root problem.

C'mon Bernie, get behind your troops and do something positive now, before we're buried in paperwork.

CG

RTB RFN
4th Dec 2003, 06:16
Ausy Andy - head back in terry toweling hat please (how many NdP's can a bloke have?) - clearly you have no idea - and that is all the time I will waste on you this lifetime.

On another note ;

Consider what needs to be done to get this reversed - change in reverse is complicated and has its own hazards - charts and AIP book amendments, RADAR system re-programming, pilot and ATC education If it ever happens (and I doubt it) you're looking at six months for a full reversal.

I wonder if there are some contingency strategy meetings happening right now - and I wonder who is and isn't invited (or who will turn up anyway).

Ah interesting times.

Oh and did I say "get %^&**" - Ausy Andy!

Blastoid
4th Dec 2003, 06:20
Easy.
Reclassify E as C.

Hempy
4th Dec 2003, 06:22
I wonder if there are some contingency strategy meetings happening right now - and I wonder who is and isn't invited (or who will turn up anyway).

Rumour has it this has hit Canberra already....big time

Aussie Andy
4th Dec 2003, 06:23
Sgt Kurtz, RTB: have I struck a nerve or what? The more you guys rely on childishness and insults, the more I doubt you.

Sticks and stones....

Andy :ok:

tobzalp
4th Dec 2003, 06:40
Here is the proof for you though Andy. F175 is in E. No correct Transponder usage. Obviously not avoiding the IFR route. Obviously failing to see and avoid. I guess one thing was that they were on the appropriate thing. This is obviously safer than pre 27th Nav. To the sun rising in the east mob, it appears that it has started to swing. Please be shutting up now.

Blastoid
4th Dec 2003, 06:49
tobzalp,
true ... although fingers crossed the DJ hadn't been tracked direct ... wouldn't want him to be off that published IFR route all those VFRs are trying to avoid, now would we? :ok:

Farcome
4th Dec 2003, 06:50
Blastoid

I've got a much better idea, and it will make the chance of a IFR v VFR collision impossible.....

Re classify E to A.

:ok:

Blastoid
4th Dec 2003, 06:52
Farcome,
Good idea ... except my guess is that that won't stop VFR above 8500', it'll just encourage them to turn their transponders off (because of course, they are all on now aren't they?!) :hmm:

Aussie Andy
4th Dec 2003, 07:21
plazbot: if its all the same to you mate, I think I will wait until there is a proper report, not your made up twaddle...

buzztart
4th Dec 2003, 07:25
It appears the education process did not work very well. Over 22 incidents already logged and being investigated, many involving VFR a/c not using mode C.

Yesterday a Be20 did a radical turn to avoid a no mode C a/c on climb out of LIS. Pilot tried contacting VFR to asertain level but that a/c was on an "appropriate" frequency and could'nt be contacted. Be20 asked for a radar heading to avoid traffic because could not get a visual on the VFR.

The VFR must have been above A045 due radar coverage, a unnecessary occurance for an air ambulance.

One of the safety mitigators for NAS was pilot education.

Here to Help
4th Dec 2003, 07:41
Aussie Andy,

You complain of childishness yet you call what tobzalp said "twaddle". Did you ever consider that tobzalp might actually know the details of the incident? For you to say that he has made it up implies that you know differently. Do you? Do you know differently?

If not, then until you know more, you should be taking your own advice and not comment on the incident, or on those who may know what happened.

gary gearbox
4th Dec 2003, 07:43
I flew past a class D non radar tower a few days ago, VFR in the adjoining class E airspace. Transponder & lights on, good look out, & monitoring the tower frequency etc. In line with the new regs I refrained from making any calls unless they were warrented. I was about 20miles west of the field and a jet called inbound at 50 or 60 miles from the same direction. I made a tower and all stations call and seperation was sorted out after four or five radio calls. There was no conflict but it was unorganised and inefficiant in comparison to the previous system in place. About 3 minutes later a turbo prop was airbourne at the same field and once again extra radio calls were required to maintain adaquate situational awareness. Previously I would have had an airways clearance, the tower would have know exactly where I was, and given the arriving & departing aircraft accurate traffic information. Someone new to that area or with minimal experiance would have had difficulty maintaining S.A. in that situation. Unable to quickly and accuratly broadcast their position and intentions. Overall safety in that area is without a doubt comprimised. Good luck to all!!

GG

Aussie Andy
4th Dec 2003, 07:53
tobzalp might actually know the details Does he? He doesn't say so... Let's just hope the Australian public aren't gullible enouh to believe everything they read in the papers, eh!?

Night night :ok:

RTB RFN
4th Dec 2003, 07:58
You're right Ausy Andy

- I should not have lowered myself to the level of mud-slinging but that was part humour and part frustration as I am seeing the result of what the experts informed the other experts of what the result will be.

Quite frankly I did not expect it to be this soon, of this quantity and this vivid.

I went home after a shift last week and felt quite sick from watching a bunch of people nearly die. It's happened a few times during my life in aviation, and I know death in aviation but I saw it and I knew it was directly the result of this change .

That's that mate - I am but human.

Red Moyayo
4th Dec 2003, 08:44
Up until this point I had tried to convince myself that the new NAS wouldn't be a problem if we were operating in Class E airspace with radar coverage. This incident would tend to disprove that theory.

I simply do not understand how this system is supposed to be safe. We are relying on transponders which must be switched on but at no point do we ever have to check that those transponders are actually working when the switch is in the on position. I would love to meet the individual(s) that came up with this 'fool proof' system.

I understand that this system is proven in the USA. I have not operated in the US so I cannot comment from personal experience. I would however suggest that the United States is very different because of the fact that the country is blanketed in radar coverage (probably to see the Russians coming in the old days!).

Furthermore, I do not understand this constant obsession with emulating the USA. Have you ever been to the USA? We should be doing everything possible to avoid becoming like the US!

The NAS should not only be suspended immediately, it should be squashed completely. I refuse to believe it is the only option for airspace reform.

RM.

Captain Noodle
4th Dec 2003, 08:59
Red,

That was kinda my question. Being only a pesky VFR pilot I am coming to terms with how NAS affects me.

I am trying to learn from the professionals what the mayor issues are with NAS and safety.

And my question was: if this new system is emulating the USA, (and RED rightly asks, why do we want to be like the US), why haven't there been accidents, issues, incidents in the US. If it is as bad a everyone is saying, then surely the US could not operate anywhere near like it does. Lots more traffice in the US etc etc.

There must be different circumstances here in OZ to make NAS so unsafe?

As I said, I dont know much about NAS only from a VFR point of view.

Regards
Noodle

Grog Frog
4th Dec 2003, 09:06
Right on Aussie Andy,


We'll shove our heads up our arses and pretend it didn't happen whilst three-six months pass while the official report is being compiled, and then another couple of months while the AsA spin is applied to blame
1) Either and/or both pilots
2) An individual Controller

In the meantime, thank phuque that this was 'only' a serious incident. How many more will occur while we are doing what Andy said and waiting for the report.


As someone who has seen the system as
A VFR pilot, IFR pilot, ATC (not necessarily in that order) can anyone tell me how post 27/11 is safer, more time efficient for both crew and ATC or going to cost less ??

What is it going to take for some people (read Anderson, CASA, AsA) to get the message.

Here to Help
4th Dec 2003, 09:26
Aussie Andy,

Does he? He doesn't say so... Let's just hope the Australian public aren't gullible enouh to believe everything they read in the papers, eh!?

I said that tobzalp MIGHT know the details, and again you imply that what he said is false. In doing so you imply that you know what the situation was.

I ask again - do you know any different? Do you know for sure tobzalp is incorrect? If not then, as I said before, you would do well to follow your own advice and not comment on this serious incident or the people involved until you know something about it.

Buster Hyman
4th Dec 2003, 09:39
I heard John Anderson calling this a "beat up", implying it was just discrediting NAS!

This, from the guy that thought ANZ's Ansett figures were incorrect & believed every word of QF's!!!!!:rolleyes:

Col. Walter E. Kurtz
4th Dec 2003, 09:46
Andy,

I have been trying to be nice. But you know sweet FA about what you talk about and try to 'mix it'with the ATCers who are directly involved in this day to day - never mind me.

I am just a pilot. My biggest concern is for me, my crew and my pax.

Frankly my worry is that if my aircraft cleans up a clown like you, on another frequency (might make a mistake with what frequency was 'appropriate') forgot to turn on your transponder, or had your head in the 'pit looking at your engine instrument for just that moment , well it's a waste of your life and it would be no consolation for (if we didn't go down a la PSA) me or your bereaved that you were operating in an airspace that was more reliant on flawed principles, was implemented without proper consultation or safety case, or just that one or two lines of defense were removed, (that resulted in your event) but was ádequately safe', based on a 'proven system (partly), and would provide 'cost savings'.

We play for keeps on a daily basis, which increases our risks exponentially as compared to guys like you.

tobzalp
4th Dec 2003, 10:21
If you keep encouraging this Andy he will not go away. Best thing to do is ignore him because his ramblings are as per the rest of the low time non professionals that are to blame for this stuff in the first place. To make it easy just click the link http://www.pprune.org/forums/member2.php?s=&action=addlist&userlist=ignore&userid=19584 and while you are at it I suggest you add winstun as I am yet to see anything of worth come from him.




why haven't there been accidents, issues, incidents in the US

Captain Noodle. I suggest you do a bit of research before sprouting this type of obviously uneducated comment. Even thread here on this board will show you that you should think first. I suggest to go to www.google.com and use they key words 'mid air collision united states' and have a real good read. Add 1998 to that search and you will see that there were 21 mid airs directly as a result of the pilots failing to see and avoid.

I posted the link in another thread here so go have a look. An assumption you make is that we have the US model here. We do not. The US have 550% the amount of radar that we have 20 times the controllers, 20 times the aircraft movements plus Flight Following and Flight Service Stations. Controllers in Aus have more movements per person that the Yanks and they also have flight service and Flight Following to further decrease their workload.

Howard Hughes
4th Dec 2003, 10:23
Lets look at it a different way, if a flaw is found in an aircraft component, the whole fleet is grounded until a thorough examination of each individual component is completed.

A flaw has been found in a component of NAS, should it not be grounded, till all, or most of the flaws have been erradicated?

Anyone agree? HH.

tobzalp
4th Dec 2003, 10:25
Yes Howard Hughes I agree. Unfortunately for some reason the minister refuses to acknowledge this. I reckon someone has pictures.

Howard Hughes
4th Dec 2003, 10:29
Thanks tobzalp, I am not anti NAS, just think it needs a thorough rework with true industry consultation. Otherwise myself, other pilots, ATC's and the fare paying public are all at risk.

Might need to go back to driving those trucks!!

HH

PS: Of course we can all contact the minister [email protected] and have our say.
I just have.

PPS: Woomera I hope its Ok for me to post the email as it is available in the public domain.

Binoculars
4th Dec 2003, 10:51
It seems to me that one massive factor in making NAS unsafe is going almost unmentioned, and what limited details we have of the Virgin episode would indicate it's possibly relevant there as well. That factor is the Pseudo-VFR flight.

We have heard from lots of proponents of the big sky theory scoffing at the likelihood of there being any significant numbers of VFR aircraft in E airspace, especially above 10,000, and on the surface that seems reasonable. But every ATC in the country and every IFR GA pilot know that IFR flights are blasting off into cloud calling themselves VFR to avoid charges. A chief pilot of my acquaintance with every instrument rating known to mankind admits that he plans VFR TL-MK because it saves him about $20 in enroute charges.

I accepted that before NAS. GA is a tough game and if my beloved employer was stupid enough to put into place a charging regime that encouraged pilots to lie, then more fool them. No skin off my nose; in Class C airspace, full separation was given anyway. But this is now a different ball game.

I'm not accusing anybody of anything here, but what was a high performance twin like a Conquest doing VFR? I suppose we should be grateful that he was at least on the right frequency.

If this abortion of a system is going to stay, I think individual ATC's will have to think about putting incident reports on "Pseudo-VFR" flights. And to ASA; as ye sow, so shall ye reap.

Beech Boy
4th Dec 2003, 11:03
Good grief!

Different flight categories with different airspace requirements on different frequencies all sharing the same airspace without radar separation is nothing short of stupidity – this is NOT a deregulated change– it is a completely unregulated change.

Not a change in the culture of safety at all, it is just plain unsafe.
If you believe I have it wrong – you just let me know.

Bargearse
4th Dec 2003, 11:06
It wasn't a Conquest guys, it was a C421.

Why was a VFR tracking to Essendon via a major IFR approach point for the area??? I guess this guy only looked at the pretty pictures in the educational comics that most of us got. I hazard a guess that the only thing that registered here with this guy is he doesn't need a clearance for E anymore.

YOU LITTLE RIPPER

Let's go.

Howard Hughes
4th Dec 2003, 11:12
Oh come on Barg be fair, he was on the "appropriate frequency" and hearsay indicates that he took action!!

:ok:

Dale Harris
4th Dec 2003, 11:48
And as long as there is money to be saved, however small the amount is, it will forever be so. (IFR/VFR) Can't wait till snarek gets here.........

Here to Help
4th Dec 2003, 12:24
http://news.com.au/common/story_page/0,4057,8060662%255E28101,00.html

Pilot denies collision threat
By Paul Colgan
December 4, 2003

THE pilot of the light aircraft allegedly involved in a near miss with a passenger jet over Melbourne yesterday says he is "surprised anyone bothered to mention it" because it "seemed nothing out of the ordinary".

John Knispel, a former air force pilot, said he believed there was never any threat his Cessna aircraft would collide with the Virgin Blue flight, and that air traffic controllers were in command of the situation at all times.

Union bosses opposed to the introduction of a new system of controlling national airspace have claimed the Virgin Blue 737 and Mr Knispel's Cessna were within 20 seconds of a mid-air collision.

Virgin and Federal Transport Minister John Anderson said today the matter was under investigation but they did not believe the incident threatened safety at any time.

Mr Knispel's account of the matter adds weight to Mr Anderson's argument that unions were exaggerating aviation incidents to stifle change in the industry.

The pilot-turned-executive, who now runs a family citrus business in Adelaide, disagreed with the assessment that his plane was within 20 seconds of a collision. "My general impression was that everything was under control," he said. "I'm rather puzzled to find there's quite a bit of media interest in it today."

Three separate investigations are underway into the incident after a collision alarm sounded in the cockpit of the 737 as it descended into Melbourne after a flight from the Gold Coast.

Mr Knispel said he was in contact with radar controllers and the pilots of other aircraft in the area at the time.

"There were two aircraft behind me going into Melbourne," he said.

"As far as I am aware, the radar controller was watching all of us on his screen. He was telling us what to do.

"As the Virgin aircraft approached me from behind, he asked me to turn right.

"(The Virgin plane) went past me. As I understand it, he had a device on board which tells you when other aircraft are around, and it was triggered off.

"The Virgin aircraft advised that this had happened, but it was all very relaxed. I formed the opinion from the way it was discussed that it was nothing out of the ordinary.

Mr Knispel did not see the Boeing 737 passing him. "I understood he was 500 feet higher than us. We had turned off the track we were following, so in addition to the altitude separation, the air traffic controller was watching us."

The air traffic controllers and the 737 pilot seemed relaxed, he said. "I was surprised that anybody concerned bothered to mention it after the event. I was rather fascinated to hear that the device had been triggered off, but I'm not familiar with what the parameters are for triggering it off."

An Air Ambulance Victoria plane operated by the Royal Flying Doctor Service was the other aircraft involved. Air Ambulance Victoria said today the pilot of its plane was under the guidance of Melbourne air traffic control.

"At no time did the Air Ambulance represent a safety risk to the Virgin aircraft or the Cessna," Air Ambulance Victoria said.

NEWS.com.au

Capn Bloggs
4th Dec 2003, 12:40
A TCAS RA: a very relaxing experience. Yeh right. WTF was an RPT jet in a situation where a TCAS RA was issued anyway??!! Because of NAS, that's why. Can't wait til it's an A380 in a few years. But then, I guess it would simply be a case of "Melbourne, I think we've just had a birdstrike". At least you still have to put in an ATSB report for a birdstrike...

"No big deal, I didn't see nuffin (thanks snarek) until a nice shiny red jet appeared in front of me going like the clappers...".

Funny the cesspit ace didn't mention anthing about his quick upgrade to IFR. I Wonder if the AsA meter kicked into action when it heard "request IFR"?

Dale Harris
4th Dec 2003, 12:44
Yep, that'd be about it Capn.

Here to Help
4th Dec 2003, 13:21
http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/12/04/1070351697164.html

Anderson labels mid-air close call reports irresponsible
December 4, 2003 - 11:36AM

A union was today accused of scaremongering over claims a plane was within 20 seconds of a mid-air disaster near Melbourne.

Transport Minister John Anderson said the claim was horrendous.

He said it was simply one of more than 60 incidents from the past week since new airspace rules took effect that would be reported to the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB).

Ted Lang, president of the air traffic controllers union Civil Air, claimed Virgin flight DJ980 from the Gold Coast to Melbourne was believed to be 20 seconds from colliding with a twin-engine Cessna yesterday when an alarm was triggered yesterday as it was descending north-west of Melbourne.

Mr Anderson said he could not guarantee there would never be a mid-air crash but said the government would not have implemented the new system if it did not believe it was safe.

"Can I guarantee there will never be an incident? No I can't, of course I can't," he said.

"You can't guarantee wherever human beings are involved, wherever mechanical contrivances are involved, total and absolute safety, you can't."

He described claims of a near miss by the union representing air traffic controllers and Mr Lang, as outrageous.

"I hear all of this irresponsible talk about close collisions and 20 seconds and so forth," Mr Anderson said.

"The ATSB has a responsibility now to investigate it.

"This happened in controlled airspace, all the scaremongering that Ted Lang's been engaging in has been about uncontrolled airspace.

"The aircraft, both of them were in contact with the tower."

Mr Anderson said he believed the new airspace system would enhance safety.

"A lot of this centres on so called incidents and it is horrendous to describe something as a near miss when a responsible person knows full well that an incident does not constitute a near miss."

Mr Anderson said there were around 50 incidents reported each week and this had risen to more than 60 in the week since the new rules were introduced.

Earlier, Virgin Blue spokesman David Huttner said the airline would consider in its investigation whether the new National Airspace System was to blame. But he said anyone speculating on the possible cause of the incident "would be doing so without all the facts".

Mr Huttner cast doubt the claim that the aircraft were only 20 seconds from crashing. "Certainly at this point in time nobody has all the facts to make such a statement. It's speculative at best."

AAP

Edit: Sorry just noticed this also posted in the "NAS Reform..." thread. I'll leave it up here as it seems quite relevant to this thread.

puff
4th Dec 2003, 13:48
Someone made a comment that VFR pilots are to keep away from IFR reporting points and/or IFR approachs, great in theory but 90% of your local VFR pilots don't have DAPs or any idea of where locations IFR approaches are at.

Dehavillanddriver
4th Dec 2003, 13:49
The statements made by the Adelaide pilot are PRECISELY the problem with NAS.

We are relying upon people who quite obviously don't have a clue to determine if there is a problem between themselves and RPT jet and turboprop traffic - that is assuming that they are on an "appropriate" frequency and know about the potential problem in the first place.

"As the Virgin aircraft approached me from behind, he asked me to turn right.

"(The Virgin plane) went past me. As I understand it, he had a device on board which tells you when other aircraft are around, and it was triggered off.

"The Virgin aircraft advised that this had happened, but it was all very relaxed. I formed the opinion from the way it was discussed that it was nothing out of the ordinary.

IT WAS ALL VERY RELAXED....it sounded all very relaxed because the people in the jet and the ATC are professionals - they don't burst into tears and sob hysterically everytime something goes wrong - but is "it sounded very relaxed" a measure of risk??

This guy had no reason under NAS to speak with controllers as a VFR aeroplane and I wonder how he knew he was going to be told "to turn right".

The very people that we now rely upon to determine if they are a problem to us and then let us know - if they are on the right frequency - are the ones that have no appreciation of what we would consider to be a problem.

Here is a question for Snarek - if you missed a jet by half a mile and a couple of hundred feet would most of your members consider that to be a reasonably large miss?

I reckon that most VFR pilots would consider that if they don't look like ACTUALLY hitting an aeroplane they will keep quiet as it isn't a problem.....

The 'ole wouldn't hit in a fit standard!

Just as a matter of interest Snarek and all of you pro NAS people. If I said to a VFR pilot that I was 57 DME Melbourne on the 308 melbourne omni radial - would they know what I was talking about?

Would they appreciate that I cover about 6-7 miles per minute on descent, and decend at about 2-3000 feet per minute?

Would they respond with a geographic location if asked for a position " I am just crossing the Gullagargabone to Timbuktoo road near bugeredifIknow"? cause of they did I wouldn't know where they are - I rely upon navaids etc to fix position..

How precisely are these people - who probably won't appreciate that there is a problem in the first place - tell me where they are if they do reckon its a problem???? and am I likely to hit them during the resultant confusion because they didn't allow for my ground speed or rate of descent when they called me initially????

for these and other exciting answers stay tuned to NAS - 'National airspace STUFFUP

PS maybe Open Mike or Dick Smith would like to give me a sensible answer???

Sperm Bank
4th Dec 2003, 14:07
AMAZING STUFF.

Just heard Mr Anderson on 7 news saying that he comes within 1/2 sec of a semi-trailer every time he is on the road. The analogies this guy is using are remarkable to say the least. What a semi-trailer (on the ground and very visible from a long way off and very very slow) has to do with a near miss is beyond me..

I agree that we should wait to see and hear the facts but as Bloggs says, an RA is an RA. It is an collision avoidance manoeuvre . Nothing emotional or upbeat about that, just the facts. B737 RA's are activated approx 25 seconds from the closest point of approach (to use boeing language), depending on may variables.

So Mr Anderson, 25 secs before you drive into the semi, you will see him mate. You can follow his progress all the way to your impact point. You will probably only kill yourself and the unfortunate souls with you. We on the other hand can not generally see the other traffic and will take out a large group of innocent victims.

Will someone please give Mr Anderson a big dose of reality prior to his relaese back into the main stream community. This guy is fast becoming the biggest joke in Oz politics.

Ushuaia
4th Dec 2003, 15:22
I've been flying RPT between MEL-SYD-BNE for the past 8 years. TCAS RA's around this part of Aus are, as far as I know, extremely rare. Can any ATC's comment, please? And now: we get one, just ONE WEEK after Nov 27, apparently at D55 MEL, which is clearly in Class E if DJ was on a normal descent profile. Kinda says it all, huh? :(

WALLEY2
4th Dec 2003, 15:31
To those who know,
How often would you expect to get a TCAS AR in say flight hours ?

thanks,

PS: spare a thought for airports in G class which under NAS 2c will have 737, Bae, etc mixing with Ga no calls no radar and no transponders and no big sky as they are crowding in to a single point.:(

Capt Claret
4th Dec 2003, 15:34
Heard on ABC Radio National in Darwin on the way home today (Thurs) that "an ATC controller has been stood down over the Virgin incident. I can't say that I am at all surprised as I and others predicted that the NAS would be devoid of blame and pilots or ATCOs would be the scape goats.

On a related note, a colleague descending out of A, through E, and on into D the otherday, did manage to contact a VFR who happened to be on the correct appropriate frequency, except the dill was maintaining F105!!!!! :uhoh:

VFR Drivers

Reading many of the posts on NAS in the various threads, it seems to me that VFR pilots may well form the opinon that they are not welcome in our airspace.

I can only speak for myself but believe many IFR pilots would share my view, that in reality VFR pilots are more than welcome. The airspace is there for all of us to use.

All I'd like is to know where you are so that I can make my own decision as to whether there may be a conflict and thus take appropriate action.

Similarly, if you decide there's a conflict and want something done, it's incumbent upon me to accept your wishes and come to an agreeable separation arrangement.

As things are now with NAS, I must rely on you to determine that there is a conflict and you to speak up. Effectively I've been taken out of the loop to a signifficant degree.

To steal from Alice Welcome to our airspace!

As I type Mrs Claret is in-transit in BNE enroute to Canberra. As an extremely nervous, ney frightened passenger, she has just phoned asking why the Virgin pilots had been stood down? She thinks that she heard the story on a terminal telly but is not sure. Can anyone confirm or deny this possibility?

She also expressed disgust at Anderson's analogy of a 20 second semi-trailer. Her fear levels rise! :{

SM4 Pirate
4th Dec 2003, 15:56
Good post CC;

Having spent a good deal of today dealing with this incident, I feel qualified to discuss it (although not allowed to).

But...

The B737 got traffic, the Golden Eagle called, the BE20 got pushed down to get out of the way.

The VFR Golden Eagle did call for a clearance VFR through C (inside ML TMA) for ADES YMEN; this was not available for many reasons, including inclement weather. So the GE requested an IFR clearance.

This is why it is complicated, not only is it a VFR and two IFRs, it's now possibly three IFRSs.

I can safely say that the ATC involved not only had a sleepness night; but so did many of his colleagues. (Including me)

Calmness over the air, maybe it is because he's a professional, total wreck emotionally is another way of describing it... Everything is OK hey SNAREK, shame on you and your kind.

This is a totally NAS realted problem; the aircraft involved got 'over serviced'. The C421's transponder wasn't showing mode C until he recycled it as part of the request a clearance procedure and subsequent identification, hence the TCAS (RA) trigger.

The ATC involved did an outstanding job, fact.

The system is absolutely dangerous, as predicted. It only takes one small error, such as this type of transponder issue and all the system defenses (sic) are gone.

They would have been a very close miss (or hit) if the VFR had of requested his clearance ten miles later. He's only required to call at 46 ML, he requested it a 65 ML... As it was it was 1NM and 400 feet...

Luck saved the day, lets hope we stay lucky.

John Anderson, stop this and stop it now, you have been tragically miss advised. "in contact with the tower" indeed, you fool.

Bottle of Rum

Hempy
4th Dec 2003, 15:58
TCAS RA's around this part of Aus are, as far as I know, extremely rare.
TCAS RA's anywhere in Aus were extremely rare, because the aircraft carrying TCAS equipment were almost always in Class C airspace and being provided with a full separation service. The only time there were RA's were;
a. ATC error
b. aircraft malfunction/emergency (e.g decompression/descent)
c. TCAS malfunction
d. In the TMA, sometimes an a/c or helo on high rate of climb to a vertically separated level beneath a jet on approach would set off the TCAS based on CPA (although this was mostly a TA and the jet was given traffic and new the a/c below was climbing to a safe level)
Mr Knispel did not see the Boeing 737 passing him. "I understood he was 500 feet higher than us. We had turned off the track we were following, so in addition to the altitude separation, the air traffic controller was watching us."
This guy was VFR in class E at FL175 AND WAS NOT SQUAWKING MODE C :confused: (so much for the briefing material). He had called ATC to request a clearance to EN just before the RA, and had he not called at that time and been told to squawk Mode C, the VOZ wouldn't have got an RA, and the ATC would have given no "separation" advice. Makes you wonder how many other poorly educated (either through appathy or *shudder* poor training) private pilots are out there. Oh, and while there was 500" between them, the VOZ had been cleared to A090.
it was all very relaxed. I formed the opinion from the way it was discussed that it was nothing out of the ordinary.
Concur with Dehavillanddriver, this was sheer professionalism. Whilst the ATC didn't deposit anything in his undies, he was shaken and unplugged as soon as he organised a relief.
ust heard Mr Anderson on 7 news saying that he comes within 1/2 sec of a semi-trailer every time he is on the road.
The only semi's I know that do 300 knots travel on the Hume between 3 and 6 am
:mad:

Blastoid
4th Dec 2003, 15:59
Capt Claret

It is standard procedure to stand down the ATC who is involved in an incident, and is meant to be devoid of any blame at the outset, it is just procedure. Any RA is classified as an incident, therefore the stand-down. This, of course, is not to say that I don't disagree that ATCs will be made scapeoats ... the design of the system is perfect for that.

John Anderson quoted in the article above "This happened in controlled airspace, all the scaremongering that Ted Lang's been engaging in has been about uncontrolled airspace."
Hmmm ... obviously our honourable Deputy PM doesn't understand that this is exactly the airspace (Class E) that Civil Air has been taking a stand against. And yes, it is controlled. For IFR. Not VFR. Somebody should feed him the facts.

And..... "The aircraft, both of them were in contact with the tower."
Ummm... not the Tower as such, but how did solve the situation? It was the third aircraft we should be concerned with here!!

Nice work. :ok:

Hempy
4th Dec 2003, 16:06
Mr Anderson, calling Class E airspace "Controlled" is a contradiction in terms........... duckhead

RTB RFN
4th Dec 2003, 16:51
".......course we could maintain F180 till 40 Nm and then descend A into C"

Long time since I've seen a decent sideslip from flight levels - Thumpas used to do a beautiful job on 500 feet final.

This NAS, it's really all a matter of ATTITUDE.

(with apologies to our friends in the Regionals - still fighting for you K.M.)

Gunner B12
4th Dec 2003, 17:16
I was interested by Mr Andersons analogy to a Semi but I of course recognise that He should be looking at it from the Semi drivers position. in which case lets look at that analogy

The Virgin plane would be doing in excess of 200 knots so lets round that to an equivalent of 400Km (probably more in fact).

Now with 20 seconds warning at about 4 times the max speed of the Semi that would equate to 5 seconds for the Semi.

this means that if a mini popped out of the fog in front of the semi he would have 5 seconds to see and avoid the mini or (if my math is right) about 140 metres.

Now a mini is relatively big for this comparison as you would see it straight away so perhaps we should liken it to a childs pedal car (much more emotive). Perhaps someone could point out to Mr Anderson that we currently have radio campaigns running about not pulling out infront of trucks because the accidents in this analogy are all too frequent.

All this from a low hours PPL who also doesn't like NAS because if it happens it could be me. Besides can anyone tell me who offers training yet apart from glossy brochures?

:( :( :(

assymetric
4th Dec 2003, 17:19
"I don't know how close he was vertically, but he was at least 500 feet (150 metres) above me horizontally.

This is what the former "Air force transport pilot" involved in this said.

Can someone please explain? :confused: :confused:

Bargearse
4th Dec 2003, 17:43
Yeah, I reckon SNAREK and DICK HEAD have already got to him. Sounds like there kind of spin coming out of his mouth.

HOSTILE WITNESS

ferris
4th Dec 2003, 17:55
Don't rip into the pilot. What was he doing wrong? He was flying in that old-fashioned airspace called NAS. How is he to know if his transponder is working (c'mon, any controller knows how often you have to ask for a modeC recycle)? He was using the system EXACTLY as envisioned by Dick.
The insinuation by both AsA mouthpiece, professional liar Richard Dudley, and the minister that the controller is a little to blame (what other interpretation of announcing 'controller stood down'??) is reprehensible. YOU MAKE ME SICK.


We tried, fellas, we tried.

Astroboy
4th Dec 2003, 18:36
I think we all need to put some pressure on the "Duckhead" that has so blindly put this crazy system in place.......but I have an idea. Why don't we all ensure and infact pass on to ATC that we require descent profiles that keep us in class A & C airspace. Can you imagine the complaints being sent to Canberra re aircraft noise if we all join a holding pattern over the northern suburbs of Sydney. We start at FL200 and go round and round until we are at 3000 and can shoot the ILS.

Mighty hard on the poor ATCOs, but I'm sure they can help us out and publish a NOTAM requiring 60 mins Traffic holding. :ok: :ok:

Just a thought.

Santaclaus
4th Dec 2003, 19:19
Virgin near miss a non event: pilot

" It's pretty much a non-event," John Knispel, a former air force transport pilot, said.

The Adelaide based citrus grower was flying from Loxton on the New South Wales border to Melbourne at 17,500 feet on approach to Essendon Airport when he was asked to turn right by air traffic control.
"The Virgin flight was on the same path and descending at about twice my speed and halted at 18,000 feet," he said.
He then continued his descent once we had moved and we resumed course, just like the way it is supposed to happen ...
it was all very relaxed and there was no panic or concern in anyone's voices.
" I didn't see the Virgin flight and dit not attempt to sight it ...
I was too busy concentrating on making sure I followed the traffic controller's directions.

DownDraught
4th Dec 2003, 19:28
posted 4th December 2003 18:34 Heard on ABC Radio National in Darwin on the way home today (Thurs) that "an ATC controller has been stood down over the Virgin incident.

If this is true than I reckon all ATC should go on stike immediately for at least 24 hrs, and as the miners used to say, give em another 24hrs for their attitude!!!!!

HotDog
4th Dec 2003, 19:37
To qoute Blastoid above:

It is standard procedure to stand down the ATC who is involved in an incident, and is meant to be devoid of any blame at the outset, it is just procedure. Any RA is classified as an incident, therefore the stand-down.

Hempy
4th Dec 2003, 20:00
Innocent until (Dick, John, Mike, Richard et al) prove you guilty.............:mad: :ugh: :ooh: :yuk:

GoGirl
4th Dec 2003, 21:40
Hotdog

That quote from that post was not lost on all of us ;)

Thanks for reiterating the point, seems some people choose not to read a thread thoroughly in order to push forth their own opinions.

Food for thought ladies and gents :)


GG

Here to Help
4th Dec 2003, 21:59
Transcript of last night's 7:30 Report (http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2003/s1003753.htm)

Note that the last two lines of the transcript were spoken by John Anderson, but mistakenly not attributed to him:

"We are moving to a safer system, yes.

And I can assure you I'm flying just as freely as I always do, and not many people fly more than I do."

Wirraway
4th Dec 2003, 22:18
Fri "The Australian"

Air alert link to new rules
By Steve Creedy
December 05, 2003

Confusion over new airspace rules appears to have contributed to an incident near Melbourne in which a twin-engine Cessna came close enough to a Virgin Blue jet to activate a collision alarm.

Air traffic controllers and pilots yesterday claimed the incident backed up their safety fears about the new system, while the federal Government dismissed the complaints as scaremongering.

Ted Lang, president of air traffic controllers union Civil Air, said the incident was a significant breakdown in separation between the two aircraft and a direct result of the new airspace system.

"It's what we were forecasting and, within a week of it starting, it's happened and it's a commercial aeroplane," he said.

But Mr Lang was attacked by Transport Minister John Anderson for suggesting earlier that the two planes were within 20 seconds of a collision and had nearly hit each other. He described the near-collision claims as outrageous and said the Government would not have implemented an unsafe system.

Details obtained by The Australian confirm that Virgin flight DJ980, from the Gold Coast to Melbourne, was in no danger of an imminent collision.

While the vertical separation between the two planes was only 400-500ft - instead of the 1000ft minimum required - they were almost 2km apart horizontally and travelling in the same direction when the alarm was triggered.

However, the incident is being treated as a significant breach of separation standards by the Australian Transport Safety Bureau. An air traffic controller has been stood down by Air Services Australia, pending an investigation.

Sources said the twin-engine Cessna 421 was about 10 nautical miles northeast of Bendigo, operating in E class airspace at 17,500ft under visual flight rules, when the incident occurred.

Under the new rules, pilots of light planes do not require clearance to enter E class airspace but are required to have a working transponder - a device that informs air traffic control and other aircraft of the plane's position.

In this case, however, sources said the Cessna's transponder was on a setting that did not indicate height.

The Virgin crew received a resolution advisory - designed to help them avoid a collision - which told them not to descend. Under the previous system, the Cessna would have required clearance to enter the airspace and would have been separated from the Virgin jet.

===========================================

Suffering Sucataash
5th Dec 2003, 02:48
Personally I've not had an RA.

But then again, generally the TCAS has shown me the traffic long before I even get a TA. I would have an idea of where he/she is climbing/descending etc and adjust my rate of Climb/Descent so as to avoid a conflict and possible RA.

Very few RA's could be generated from lower speed traffic such as a Cessna twin without at least some other prior indication they are about.

Just a thought!

Duff Man
5th Dec 2003, 04:49
So every time there's a TCAS-RA incident in class E, the ATC on duty is stood down for the investigation. I presume Airservices would take appropriate relief measures either calling in extra staff on overtime or traffic mitigation via holding or timed departure slots. This is supremely efficient. :confused:

Lodown
5th Dec 2003, 05:30
The next part of NAS to be implemented might be the removal of an RA as an 'incident'.

ozbiggles
5th Dec 2003, 05:36
It was mentioned yesterday in the senate that one of the supporters for the NAS was the RAAF. I am reliably informed that ain’t the case at the coal face for the vast majority. In fact RAAF pilots are still waiting for their ERC with the NAS airspace! The other interesting part of that argument is there are a lot (most) of Airforce aircraft that don’t have TCAS. Of course if there is an incident/accident then it will be the pilots fault for not seeing the threat so all the politicians can sleep easy at night.
I’m also informed that Saddam has been in contact with the ministers office asking where he can find a bunker as deep as his. The transport minister has become so defensive he is completely ineffectual and living in a world of denial. The job should go to the Senator who answered questions yesterday. He may be following the party line but at least he was rational.
Funny how it took one week for someone not professional enough to know how to operate their transponder to prove how many extra holes there are in the cheese now with NAS!

DirectAnywhere
5th Dec 2003, 05:37
Hey Duff Man. Surely this is the whole point? Before considering whether it's efficient let's consider whether it's safe!!

The ATCO - who from what I've seen so far did nothing wrong (and I know it's an assumption) - would probably be somewhat shaken and would probably - as I reckon I would - spend the rest of his/ her shift trying to decide what had happened prior to the inevitable interviews. This would obviously distract them from their primary task of keeping the little dots that represent up to 450 people apart from one another.

As one taxpayer, I am happy to spend x dollars to get a replacement ATCO out. Like the NAS SHOULD be, it's a question of safety before dollars.

It's normal procedure to stand the ATCO down - as much for their protection as for that of the travelling public.

Oh, and to quote someone else from another forum. Apologies to the person involved but it sums up the 7.30 Report's interview with the pilot concerned quite well.

On ABC 7.30 report tonight the GA pilot involved went on to say that it wasn't very close or dangerous because "IT WASN'T LIKE FORMATION FLYING OR SIMULATED COMBAT."
And in response to that wonderful comment on the state of Civil Air Safety in Australia:
And we are now teamed with this type of pilot to maintain our safety record.
Nicely put.:hmm:

L G Cooper
5th Dec 2003, 05:42
Succatash, the operation of TCAS (both I AND II) is dependent on the "target" traffic having a mode C transponder operating. Earlier in the thread it was indicated that the 421's wasn't and it was only when he asked for an IFR upgrade that instructions to "ident" then select mode C were issued from ATC. It would have been then and only then that the VB aircraft would have gained SA on this guy :eek:
Whilst he was legal to be there, good airmanship would dictate that it wasn't prudent, given the proximity to a busy terminal area and IFR tracks to said terminal.
Similarly, the dependence on the "see and avoid principal", which I will agree is completely flawed, even for individuals with Yeager-esque eyesight, was made a mockery of when the 421 pilot indicated that he had dropped that scan to follow the instructions issued by air traffic. ASA take note!

Cougar
5th Dec 2003, 05:46
ozbiggles,
I certainly don't believe that the RAAF was a supporter of NAS. Take a look at the C130H. No TCAS, a good proportion of ops in the new class E airspace. How could they support the change? They do have skinpaint, but without TCAS (which NAS unfortunately seems to be predicated on) they are in a lose-lose situation. Not sure who in parliament said that but i disagree with their statement.

Only 3 of the RAAF aircraft types have TCAS (BBJ, Challenger, C130J), with all other types utilising Mk1 eyeball and aircraft radar. I cannot see how they supported the airspace changes with such poor odds.

With the new changes of military MBZ's changing to mil CTAF's in 2004 (no requirement to broadcast), it is an accident waiting to happen. Even in MBZ's at present we have enough problems, imagine what will happen when you don't even have to enter! Richmond is the perfect example with many Herc movements on weekends.

In my opinion i don't think the RAAF was a supporter of NAS in any way, shape or form.

mr hanky
5th Dec 2003, 05:57
Probably a bit like the Class G trial of a few years ago which the RAAF was also supposed to have supported. Only problem was they forgot to ask anyone who actually had to fly in it - I guess the 'support' came from a dusty corridor somewhere in Russell Offices.

Has anyone else noticed an increase in terminal area non-Mode-C TCAS returns in the past week or so? Hopefully just a coincidence.

L G Cooper
5th Dec 2003, 06:11
The KA350 at 32Sqn (NTA) also has TCAS Cougar and the aim has been to enforce its use as an SA builder rather than take the place of getting one's head out of the cockpit. Its a struggle, particularly with the spurious returns you get from non-mode C aircraft.

Apparently the military has voiced its concern (within the sponge, particularly DFS), but really, we have no-one to lobby for us at appropriate levels. My theory is that we're considered just another government body in this issue and we're to take the crumpet 'twixt the cheeks without blubbing.

ozbiggles
5th Dec 2003, 06:22
Cougar
The 'apparent' RAAF support for NAS comes about because the 'RAAF (very high up, one of)' had a rep on the board (I believe there was a board/commitee/something, it was all so hush hush for some strange reason wasn't it?!). The flying pilots however recieved their info packs a few days before the new world began and are still waiting for their ERC charts and for something all big modern aircraft have, TCAS (let alone EW kits!!!!).
There have always been bad/ignorant/unprofessional pilots flying. Over the years the system was designed to defend/protect against this threat. We now seem to be removing the system to save some people about a $1 a flight.

Col. Walter E. Kurtz
5th Dec 2003, 07:08
How do you do a visual scan for BEHIND the aircraft?:confused:

So, see and avoid won't work for sure for a hit from behind.:uhoh:

But that's OK, it is after all, a big sky.:yuk:

capitan
5th Dec 2003, 07:11
Im sure the RAAF f111 pilots are not in favour of this lovely system we now have. One of the new rules we have in class E airspace is that we cant issue block level clearance anymore. So our good friends at amberly who used to go in a formation of 4 f111's at a block level FL140 to FL150 now go at F140 F150 F160 F170. They take up loads more space and im sure it takes away a bit of their fun in close formation flying.

Dale Harris
5th Dec 2003, 07:20
Anyone else disappointed by the lack of input from the other side of the trenches?

Adamastor
5th Dec 2003, 10:12
That's an interesting point, capitan. I was under the same impression, because I distinctly recall in the training package that block levels were banned to ALL aircraft, however, I noted in MATS yesterday that block levels are now banned to CIVIL aircraft only.

We all know that see and avoid is totally, 100%, they-couldn't-hit-in-a-pink-fit safe, right?! So why ban block levels? And why only to civvies? Are our ADF personnel deemed 'more worthy' than our civil bretheren! Or was it a case (as I suspect) that there were some very late and very unannounced changes in the NAS back corridors. Don't get me wrong - I don't want to see block levels banned - if anything, they should be freely available to everyone in this secure, dependable system!

This whole thing continues to stink worse than my kids' nappies - and will probably end up looking as bad too!

Four Seven Eleven
5th Dec 2003, 10:24
A question:

Why would a TCAS trigger an RA if there was at least 500 feet between the B737 and the Cessna?

If the answer is that an RA will be generated whenever the TCAS logic detects that less than 1,000FT will exist, does TCAS logic need to be updated to account for the effective reduction in separation in Class E (between VFR and IFR)? If not, are we going to have TCAS RA’s every time an IFR aircraft encounters a VFR aircraft in class E?

More to the point – what happens in the United States?

Capt Claret
5th Dec 2003, 10:28
If I understand properly the Virgin 73 was on descent, thus the TCAS would be calculating a rate of closure, so when our erstwhile ex military jock who's in Class E without having his transponder correctly set to ALT, subsequently selects ALT, the 73 TCAS screams Get me outa here!

Home Brew
5th Dec 2003, 11:04
And IF his transponder had remained non-altitude reporting........20 seconds could have been OHH so close..

DELETE all class "E" airspace immediately!!!!

dingo084
5th Dec 2003, 11:06
Dear Woomera

Kindly take your key to this speculative drivel.

I will wait for the ATSB report rather than give any credence to the manure expoused by most here.

I sometimes wonder if any of you are actually in the industry at all, purely on the basis that if you were (and had been for more than 5 minutes) you would not be saying some of the things written here.:yuk:

ding:ok:

HotDog
5th Dec 2003, 11:26
If the answer is that an RA will be generated whenever the TCAS logic detects that less than 1,000FT will exist, does TCAS logic need to be updated to account for the effective reduction in separation in Class E (between VFR and IFR)? If not, are we going to have TCAS RA’s every time an IFR aircraft encounters a VFR aircraft in class E?

The answer to the last question is yes.

TCAS II sensitivity level in layer 4 (10,000ft MSL-20,000ft MSL) is:

SL6

RA Alarm time (seconds) - 30
TA Alarm Time - 45
Protected Area (nm) - 0.8

Layer 4 (Feet between Aircraft)

TA Vertical Threshold (ft) - 850
RA Preventive Threshold - 600
RA Positive Vertical Threshold - 400

TCAS II tracks aircraft by interrogating and monitoring their ATC transponders. TCAS II can not detect aircraft without operating (replying) transponders.

Captain Noodle
5th Dec 2003, 12:11
Tobzalp,

Hello,

"............................................................ ..........................."

Post edited severely in the interests of acting my age.

Noodle

Blastoid
5th Dec 2003, 12:16
Isn't it strange that every thread related to NAS gets reduced to mud-slinging. Nice work people.

Captain Noodle
5th Dec 2003, 12:23
You are right. I just wanted to make a point.

Post will now be deleted.

Hope this attitude is not rampant throughout the profession.

Noodle

Hempy
5th Dec 2003, 12:31
Sadly, I think we have to face the facts.

Everyone has stated their own personal pros/cons on NAS, and there has been a lot of ill will floating around here. But, at the end of the day, Dick Smith gets his airspace, John Anderson doesn't have to face a candidate backed by Dicks money at the next election, Airservices senior management all get a fat Chrissy bonus for being compliant, Civil Air have their hands tied because any industrial action is illegal, and NAS is all systems go.

Any complaint by Aviation professionals is shouted down as "Union Scaremongering" or "Job Protection" by those who think 100 hours in a Warrior constitutes "experience", but the truth of the matter is that Dick Smith has the ear of Joe and Jane Citizen thanks to his portrayal by Ray Martin as a "top bloke and good guy" etc etc. I was explaining NAS to my mother on the phone the other night, and she wouldn't hear a word against Dick. Unfortunately, thats political muscle.

Email the Minister, post on PPRuNe, lobby your boss until you are blue in the face, the fact remains that NAS is here (probably to stay), and it is doubtful that even a mid-air could change it. Honestly, if the unspeakable does actually happen, who do you really think the shit will stick to? John Anderson? Dick Smith?

Blastoid
5th Dec 2003, 13:53
Well said Hempy.
And we all know the answer to your last question :eek:

maflsc
5th Dec 2003, 14:13
I have read all the posts on this thread. Listened to both side and seen all the mud slinging. The bottom line is NAS is here and we have to be able to work with it. So how are we going to do this? I don't fly the heavy iron, I do however operate a flying school. Remember those places guys, you all had to start somewhere.

1 Educational Resource Material is on its way from CASA

2 Contact as many pilots in my area as possible

3 Run Seminars on NAS

olderbutyzer
5th Dec 2003, 17:42
The Adelaide based citrus grower was flying from Loxton on the New South Wales border

Eh? ******!!! Someone musta shifted it since I was there last!!

Lurk R
5th Dec 2003, 20:35
Earlier post said that issuing of block levels no longer allowed. How does that impact skywriters?

Binoculars
5th Dec 2003, 21:04
Dingo084; apart from requesting that all posts that disagree with you be removed as speculative drivel, do you have any valid points to raise? I think this thread is supposed to allow intelligent posts from either side. Where is yours?

WALLEY2
5th Dec 2003, 22:26
Dingo084

Sorry, but I get a heap of help from infomation from pprune. If you doubt the bonafides of some people here at least apologise to HOTDOG who succinctly explained the TCAS AR limits.

I am sorry to say but it is persons like you not the ATC, Captains and Techs that bring this important information exchange forum to a lower level than it deserves.

If not for this thread I would not know what happened to VB until the ATSB report and that would be too late for NAS 2c.

To Others here,

Do not be defeatists, your imput is vital to some who are fighting these airspace changes based on proper risk analysis and have the ability and position to be heard.

To be truthful, I thought the Big Sky would ensure an incident like this would be months in coming and not such a near thing.

Lies and stupidity come unstuck when the resulting system produces the predetermined outcome, that the perpetrators try to say does not exist. The earth is not flat, the sun does not revolve around the earth and NAS, in its present form is, less safe by such a degree that the system will demonstrate its flaws.

My real fear is that if the Deputy Prime Minister can't hear alarm bells now, I wonder how close does it need to get?

Woomera, please keep this thread open we need the info and this issue is vital to our industry. Also keep backups of the NAS threads, as when this issue comes before a judiciary it will be helpful.

Let us all hope it is the Federal Court and not a Coronial Inquest. The money for the costs of a challenge is not the problem nor is the scientific evidence, the nefarious actions by some will speak for themselves.

The problem is to find the legal avenue to get persons protected by Soveriegn Powers before the court.

When that avenue opens and there is an even playing field, we will see how the processes and contradictions of the NAS plans and implimentation stands up to a QCs questioning before an independent intelligent and enquiring mind.

Until then keep providing what facts you can it is very important.

Cheers and thanks

dingo084
6th Dec 2003, 03:21
I don't have the time/inclination/responsibility to highlight the speculative drivel in this thread.

However on just a couple of points

WALLEY2 offered
"Sorry, but I get a heap of help from infomation from pprune."
&
"If not for this thread I would not know what happened to VB until the ATSB report and that would be too late for NAS 2c."

WALLEY, yes I agree there is a heap information on pprune but to credit this thread with now knowing what happened to VB is dangerously stretching things just a bit far. Sensible people directly involved in incidents don't normally jump on pprune to air their unique knowledge. It's a rumour network :ok:

Binoculars, I have no side to play. My observation was of the degree and volume of irrelevant, assuming, ill informed and wildy speculative drivel that permeated this thread. Yes I know, it is only a rumour network. I am appalled that somebody could actually believe that they know all about the VB incident having read about it on pprune.:confused:

Like it says down the bottom of these pages

As these are anonymous forums the origins of the contributions may be opposite to what may be apparent.

A sensible person would test thoroughly anything they read on pprune before giving it any credence, something I fear has not been done on this thread.

ding

Blastoid
6th Dec 2003, 03:53
LurkR,

You should find that this has no impact on skywriters:
- Skywriting abouve major capital cities would be in Class C airspace, block levels are allowed
- Block levels not allowed to be assigned in E airspace to IFR (including military at the moment) becuase of the chance they could clean up a VFR, and E airpace is heavily dependent on all aircraft cruising at the hemispherical levles outlined in AIP. If you are a skywriter and operate in E airspace, you would be VFR and not require a clearance ... and as for operating at block levels (since you don't need the clearance), check AIP, but I am guessing "operationally required" would fall under that category? However, if you were a skywriter and operating in E airspace and operating at different levels, making yoursepf known to ATC might not be such a bad thing if there is IFR traffic opertaing in the area (although I am not suggesting this as the books don't say to do this and after all VFR is see and avoid in the new system).

Lurk R
6th Dec 2003, 05:43
Thanks Blast - makes sense. :ok:

Hempy
6th Dec 2003, 09:20
Dingo
Sensible people directly involved in incidents don't normally jump on pprune to air their unique knowledge
I beg to differ

dingo084
6th Dec 2003, 12:50
Hempy, go ahead and differ but do not beg.

If at some time in the furture you do get directly involved in an incident then you would be wise to speak only to those with a statutory right to speak to you (check out who they are, you may be surprised who you don't have to speak to). And then only when you are comfortable with being interviewed and only do so with a "friend" at your side. Never speak to an investigator on your own.

I say again, do not beg or I might feed you.

ding

OverRun
6th Dec 2003, 13:47
Dingo,

I fear that you are pushing a dead dog [no pun intended].

It may be that you are well intentioned, and for those good intentions we thank you. But speaking in accordance with "statutory rights" works in the perfect world or the abstract world, not in the real world. It is insufficient to move us forward in what are very difficult days, when progress will come from those with the courage to speak out against the one-eyed king[s].

In the meantime, Walley 2 has said it politely, and Hempy has said it subtlely. Let me say it explicitly - p#ss off.

dingo084
6th Dec 2003, 14:04
Oh dear, somebody is getting a bit agro. Pity emotion clouds reason.

And Overun, respect my right not to take your advice.:yuk:

ding