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Near midair over SFO

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Near midair over SFO

Old 31st Mar 2010, 08:32
  #21 (permalink)  
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Think that was San Diego.
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 09:01
  #22 (permalink)  
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In the past I have instructed out of San Carlos for years, and flown that stretch countless times.

Common ATC clearance is to remain west of the 101 freeway with an altitude restriction. The GA aircraft had a Bravo clearance if he was in that area. The other route southbound would be to hug the coastline and dip below 700 feet (if my memory serves me right), but that is so far north of the airport that any airliners climbing out would not be a factor.

I usually tell my students that the safest place in busy airspace is directly over the airport as most planes are usually near the ground. I've flown directly over SFO a number of times to stay well away from arriving and departing traffic; just had to keep an eye on a go-around. Listening to ATC, having a mental picture of what is going on, and anticipating ahead of the aircraft sure helps, It is busy airspace, but the controllers are often reluctant to give a Bravo clearance if it is too crowded.

Good thing nothing happened and it can act as a reminder to GA pilots to be careful when in busy airspace.
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 09:17
  #23 (permalink)  
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Only if the Cessna had a working TCAS, would the UA jet's TCAS be able to issue an RA.
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 09:42
  #24 (permalink)  
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Only if the Cessna had a working TCAS, would the UA jet's TCAS be able to issue an RA.
The Cessna only needed to have a transponder for the 777 TCAS to issue an RA.
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 10:29
  #25 (permalink)  
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Wouldn't a mode C transponder be required, rather than just mode A for the RA to be issued?
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 10:44
  #26 (permalink)  
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Legal Tender - Yes. SFO class B airspace (and all class B airspace in the States) have a 20 mile mode C 'veil'. No mode C, no flying within these areas.

Last edited by PA-28-180; 31st Mar 2010 at 11:57.
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 13:31
  #27 (permalink)  
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Thirty mile.
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 14:30
  #28 (permalink)  
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I've heard of emmy...but knew eileen.

and to the world, I have a feeling that too much is being made of this situation. the GA plane turned, the tower warned and TCAS sounded ( and yes, you get an RA even if the other plane doesn't have TCAS...but it does need mode C on and operating...even without mode C you would get a traffic advisory)

It is especially important for all planes to have their transponder on with mode C...unless specifically directed otherwise by ATC.

It is also important to have all lights on for increased visibility.

Initially, it sounds like the GA plane had a classb/tca clearance and that ATC just was late in warning the 777.. Is that everyone else's take?

I also think that the news media is making too big a deal out of this...now if they wanted one to report I remember when: fillin the blank
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 14:34
  #29 (permalink)  
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worthwhile to note also you may get TCAS warnings when 'standard' separation exists.
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 14:44
  #30 (permalink)  
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I'm pleased to see I'm not the only one who misremembers. Hope I don't screw this up:

1978 San Diego: PSA 727-200 on base leg to SAN overtakes C-172 in pattern. All lost. The quiet cockpit below 10K feet is one result.

1986 Cerritos: AeroMexico DC9-30 on long final to LAX collides with Piper Cherokee, reportedly at 6,500 feet. All lost. TCAS is one result.

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Old 31st Mar 2010, 14:47
  #31 (permalink)  
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Graybeard, affirm on both; time/place/aircraft. The Cerritos crash is about a mile from where I am sitting as I write this.
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 14:51
  #32 (permalink)  
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and to the world, I have a feeling that too much is being made of this situation.
As a PPL, I can empathise with the United crew.

It must not be very pleasant to get an RA when low and slow and then to see a light aircraft closer than you wish for.
Old 31st Mar 2010, 15:10
  #33 (permalink)  
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It was San Diego.
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 16:14
  #34 (permalink)  
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Checkout this website

1. Go to View Live Radar Tracks at SFO
2. Run Java application.
3. Pause
4. Change date and time to 03/27/10 and 11:13PDT
5. Press play and watch it all unfold.

The height readout from the UAL jumps around a little but you get a good indication of what went on.

Last edited by ACARS; 1st Apr 2010 at 22:36. Reason: editing to insert the correct time
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 17:36
  #35 (permalink)  
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Correction to Live Track

Doesnt work very well with Firefox use IE instead
When you get to the SFO web site, wait a bit for the little airplane to appear on the left, then click it. (that is the 'java applcation')
Wait some more for the map to start. Maximize it to full screen.
Click the 'Playback Control' box lower right and PAUSE

The time should be set at 03/27/2010 11:13 not 11:18

Select the parameters you want like altitude, type etc. Click PLAY

You might notice a few minutes later N227UA and N1145M also had a close encounter of the 'We need to talk' variety. Like this is Dr Phil.

This thread is so rife with wrong information, and we blame the media for bad aircraft reporting ?
Old 31st Mar 2010, 19:12
  #36 (permalink)  
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I finally heard the radio transmissions involved. yes the " we gotta talk" sounded more like a romantic breakup than what I would have said:

I would have said: we are reporting a tcas evasive maneuver and a near mid air collision.

sadly, I can't view the radar track.

also, the san diego bit was a 727 on final for runway 27 while the cessna had just finished a practice ILS to runway9 ouch.

always be looking for traffic.
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 19:14
  #37 (permalink)  
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SFO VFR Class B Clearance

The typical SFO VFR Class B Clearance for VFR traffic traveling Northwest or Southeast bound is to stay west and south of Hwy 101 at or below 2000 ft. MSL. At this altitude, we're talking to SFO Tower. Above 2,500 ft. to 3,000 ft. we usually talk to NORCAL Approach.

Hwy 101 is the road that circles the left of the field in the top two photos.

Chamois Moon - San Francisco International Airport

The 28s are the runways running lower right to left.

The type of small aircraft is still in question. I have a Helio Courier, however, SFO tower often refers to me as a Cessna since it's the typical small high wing aircraft. Aeroncas and Helio Couriers are not as well known, but they both also have high wings.

When I transit the area, I'm ready for anything. I've been asked to descend to 1,500 ft. for opposing VFR traffic, or to do a 720 so that traffic can clear the 28s, or turn left and cross mid field passing behind the departing heavy.

The trick is to listen carefully and obey instantly.

The system usually works well.
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 20:07
  #38 (permalink)  
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highway 101

Only ever had class bravo clearance once through SFO. 28L/R active for arrivals and 01L/R for departures. On the return leg south we passed over the extended centreline for 28L/R at 2000ft and was asked to make a right turn to get clear of this line. Plus we were asked to keep highway 101 off to our left (you can hear the atc comms 0:30secs into the video).

YouTube - C172 San Francisco Bay Tour
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Old 31st Mar 2010, 20:50
  #39 (permalink)  
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N9870E is a Cessna 182 R. But the radar track had United as 216ua.

Robert Campbell. very nice pix. Yours? Isn't that Otis Spunkmeyer's DC-3?
Old 31st Mar 2010, 22:49
  #40 (permalink)  
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My Photos

I was a Capt. on the Spunkmeyer DC-3s for 4 years. It was a part time gig. I kept my aerial photo biz going at the same time.
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