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Thank you to the Dornier 228 Pilot who Buggered up my flying lesson @ HKNW

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Thank you to the Dornier 228 Pilot who Buggered up my flying lesson @ HKNW

Old 16th Jul 2018, 16:29
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Thank you to the Dornier 228 Pilot who Buggered up my flying lesson @ HKNW

Very rarely do I vent in Public about things, however this I feel is worth a mention, as we always hear stories of Cowboys in the Air, and today, I came across one, wingtip to wingtip !

Happily concentrating in circuits this morning with my instructor, in-between dodging all the mid morning returning flights from South Sudan, Somalia, Mombasa, Kisumu and everywhere else, when I hear tower, " you are about to be overtaken by a Dornier in circuits on downwind, follow behind nos 3 for finals ".

Saw him approach so we climbed to give him room to slip in under and behind and didn't think anything more of it as we maintained our extended downwind, reported position and was granted right turn onto base leg, so checked right, centre and left before turning and WTF … 80ft off my wingtip and just below was the Dornier. Called tower and confirmed we were nos 3 for finals, behind this guy, " yes, you are and you can turn in now ". So turned in and there he was matching every move we were making, so back onto tower and confirmed with them again what his intentions were, this time, tower gets on to him and asks and his reply brought silence to the airwaves " we are currently formation flying with a 172 " …. 1stly we were not a 172 but a 152 and secondly, neither of us recall inviting him to formation fly, before, during or after formally or informally.

At this point, my instructor says, I am taking over, this guys is a ^%$^$^$&&$^$$&^*&^ …... calls tower and declares a right orbit to get out of the way so he can continue past onto finals. Tower approves very quickly and we spin off to the right, halfway through the turn my instructor says, have a look and see where he is please, my answer, 80ft off the wingtip still following us ! I wont repeat the internal discussion we had but it was flowery and very much to point , so headed back onto long final now, with him on the right upper lane, us on the lower left and both heading roughly at the same speed towards the runway.

Needless to say at this point, we requested a runway change and headed off into the opposite direction listening to the calls of Tower telling him to land immediately on a full stop and expedite the runway. I must say that Tower was extremely good in stepping in, I know in the past they have been a little lax about the odd thing, but on this occasion they were spot on considering the volume that they were handling today.

So, if you ever read this and were him at HKNW this morning, thank you for cocking up my hours flight time, it was a Great Lesson Learned about Cowboys in the Skies and one I wont forget in a hurry either, the practice was good experience, but just remember you are 4 tons and we are 1 and a hell of lot more under powered, had you done something foolish, chances are we would be having this conversation in another place in the sky higher up.
Igundwane is offline  
Old 17th Jul 2018, 08:03
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This might be better in the African forum?
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 09:26
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Maybe he had arranged some formation flying with the pilot of a C172, and mistook you for him.... ?
Pretty stupid anyway, in a crowded circuit.
.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 11:49
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Several things:

The regulations I am familiar with include the requirement that any formation flying be briefed and agreed in advance. So, if another aircraft forms up on you without your agreement, that could be a breach of air regulations.

As a responsible pilot, you have to maintain a lookout for less responsible pilots, or pilots who otherwise are not able to exercise appropriate airmanship. There is little excuse for poor airmanship (and no reason I can think of for careless formation flying), but in the case where an aircraft might have to maneuver unexpectedly, it is wise for other pilots to be able to increase their separation if that seems necessary for safety.

Lessons, like day to day flying, don't always go as expected, nor provide the full value of the intended flight. You gotta keep calm and accept that every now and then, it's not going to work the way you planned, and just relax. The notion that a flight has to be accomplished as planned causes "get home itis", which can be fatal - learn to accept and adapt.

A number of times in my flying career, I have been in communication, in busy airspace, and been advised by ATC of an aircraft in my immediate area. Perhaps my vision is too good, but several times, I have seen an aircraft fitting the description, and thought I had visual contact - only to be alarmed by a similar, closer aircraft seen subsequently. Recently I was jump seat in a large transport aircraft, and we were advised of a gyrocopter at our 11 o'clock. The left seat pilot reported the gyro in sight. A moment later, I saw another much closer, which had blended better into the background, and instructed an immediate right turn to prevent a mid air. Never relax about thinking you're aware of all the traffic!

Then, relax and enjoy the flying, planned, or slightly otherwise!
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 12:34
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Should’ve put the flaps out and slowed to Vx that’d have got rid of him by about 25 kts.
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 15:56
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Seems to me that in the absence of the other side of the story, this is all rather a lot of speculation...?
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Old 17th Jul 2018, 16:59
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Originally Posted by Sam Rutherford View Post
Seems to me that in the absence of the other side of the story, this is all rather a lot of speculation...?
I and a few others would love to hear his side of the story and his reasoning for his antics... Believe you me.

Should we cross paths at one of the local watering holes, I won't be shy in asking.
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Old 19th Jul 2018, 15:53
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AeroClub? Otherwise, if you're really bothered, the ops room at base of tower should be able to tell you the name of the PIC.

You should really post this in the African forum though, unlikely your target is here...
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Old 19th Jul 2018, 20:05
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Originally Posted by Igundwane View Post
Happily concentrating in circuits this morning with my instructor,.
So are you a student pilot Igundwane ? If so , it's rather odd that you precede your post with the remark that it's unusual that you "vent your feelings here" .

If you are a student , ask your Instructor who is responsible for separation when flying VFR !
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 11:34
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Sounds to me as though the only Cowboy here is your instructor.
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 14:04
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What did the instructor do wrong?
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 15:47
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As far as I'm concerned, the radio is a safety tool first, and a means to communicate with ATC second. That means that if there's a direct safety issue, I'm going to talk to the relevant aircraft directly, instead of indirectly letting ATC know that I'm not happy about the situation and hoping they're going to do something about it.

"Dornier blah blah blah, this is a student pilot in G-ABCD, get away from me please." or something more strongly worded.
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Old 21st Jul 2018, 20:49
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Okay, fair point. Still not sure that the instructor's failure to do this warrants him or her being described as a 'cowboy'?
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 08:32
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What did the instructor do wrong?
Climbing in the circuit to allow overtaking below; extending downwind; orbiting in the circuit, foul language and it would seem little or no instruction to the student in a busy circuit. The Dornier pilot simply joined as cleard by ATC. The instructor should have gone around though this may not have been possible at a large airport, but he could have made the student aware of the correct procedure.
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 11:20
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At the end of the day if you are made number 2 to a faster aircraft behind you it is their responsibility to pass clear and yours to hold course unless otherwise instructed by ATC. To climb to let them pass underneath is a strange airmanship decision guaranteed to cause you both to lose sight of each other at some point in the manoeuvre.
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 14:13
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Climbing in the circuit to allow overtaking below; extending downwind; orbiting in the circuit, foul language
* Overtaking in the circuit is a NO NO as I remember from tuition days; neither should other pilots encourage or sollicit such a manoeuvre;
* extending downwind and orbiting in circuit (or at least in downwind) OTOH are perfectly ok; but I'd not like to see anyone orbiting in base leg;
* foul language is of course a NO NO everywhere and everyplace, let alone among the highly educated and well-mannered pilot-community (no comments, please).

But - except for the last point which I consider beyond discussion - isn't it all under the authority of tower? At a controlled field, that is. At my non-controlled homefield, extending downwind is standard procedure and indeed mandatory, if the situation so requires; the standard example would be a fast plane following too close on a slower one. Orbiting in downwind seems risqué to me but might be appropriate in certain cases, and I have known tower controllers to instruct thus. It certainly is one of the many attractions I warily watch out for, on downwind and beyond.

@T/S: was the aerodrome controlled, i.e. under the authority of "Wilson Tower" or whatever it is called, at the time?

Last edited by Jan Olieslagers; 22nd Jul 2018 at 18:49.
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 14:44
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Originally Posted by Sam Rutherford View Post
What did the instructor do wrong?
Turned right onto base / advised student to turn right onto base with traffic 80ft off the right wing? What if the traffic didn't turn? Then following insane radio calls executing an 'evading' right orbit with known-insane traffic in close proximity on the right? Maybe they only turned before due to coincidence!

What has the student learnt from this? Nothing good!
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Old 22nd Jul 2018, 17:23
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Without wishing to open the subject,yet again, orbits at uncontrolled fields are highly suspect manoeuvres. They are not permitted at many airfields in the UK.
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Old 23rd Jul 2018, 06:53
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I had misread the first post, thought the Dornier was off the left wingtip (the last area they checked after right and centre). So, if the Dornier was on the right, then turning right seems very odd... (at best).
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Old 23rd Jul 2018, 11:57
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Originally Posted by Sam Rutherford View Post
I had misread the first post, thought the Dornier was off the left wingtip (the last area they checked after right and centre). So, if the Dornier was on the right, then turning right seems very odd... (at best).
Just in discussion, say the Dornier was on their left so their turn in was 'safe', skip that part.

I'm not entirely convinced any type of maneuvering - even evasive - is sensible after hearing "we are currently formation flying with a 172". They've said they're doing it, they appear to be doing it, let's not maneuver further and give them a chance to screw it up. Two aircraft not maneuvering in proximity are less likely to collide than two aircraft maneuvering in proximity.

I think that an immediate mayday call following their "we are in formation" message would have put a very quick stop to this whole nonsense and been the best course of action.
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