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Thread: If you're not going to use a radio, at least use your eyes

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    Member Akheloce's Avatar
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    Default If you're not going to use a radio, at least use your eyes

    Last night, 7:45 PM, landing PAAQ, had a white with red tail dragger pull out in front of me on SHORT final. Called 4 mile final for 34, 2 mile final, 1 mile final, then again on short final. Guy holding short, never said anything on radio, pulls out, and takes off when I'm inside half a mile. Started go around, but was able to land behind him. I verified that my BRIGHT AS HELL LED landing light, position lights, and beacon were functioning fine.

    I know this happens all the time, but for cryin out loud. I get it, no radio is fine, but at least pay more attention.
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    Palmer is a pretty busy airport.... That could have been interesting...
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    the best thing is, is that you knew it was a distinct possibility, i am always ready for that chucklehead move.

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    I was sitting out in the yard in Butte with my at the time GF. Smoke Jumper plane from Palmer had been cruising by every few minutes practicing. Here they come, making a right turn almost above the Butte. Single engine plane coming from their right nearly collided with them. The single engine pulled up, but the Smoke Jumper plane never flinched. Closest one I have ever seen.
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    I believe that a mid-air collision is my greatest risk when I fly.

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    Funny thing is, it wasn't busy at all. I'm pretty sure we were the only 2 planes moving at the time in the area. Winds were calm too... pretty darn rare for Palmer.
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    4 mile final? If you flew a normal pattern he'd have know you were coming.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    4 mile final? If you flew a normal pattern he'd have know you were coming.

    No.

    I get where you are coming from, but that is no the case here. He was in a tandem aircraft. He could see right as easily as left. I was sillouetted by the sky. Almost no one flies a 45 pattern entry in Alaska when coming from the south, landing to the north (I'm sure you're aware). I saw him taxi, make the turn to the hold short line, do his run up (while remaining at the hold short- at a 90 degree from final)- and then pull out onto the runway at the last minute (for me). Don't try to make is sound like he was craning his eyes to look in the downwind/ base legs to see me. He just wasn't looking.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Pid View Post
    4 mile final? If you flew a normal pattern he'd have know you were coming.

    The more times I read this post, the more I get pissed at you're response. What if I were a bigger, high performance aircraft in which a 4 mile final WAS within the realm of the FAR's. Would that excuse me in your eye? How, based on my post, to you have any idea what I was flying?

    One of the reason's I find other forums as a rule to talk about things regarding Alaska, is that people like you like to sharpshoot every little thing. In other words, YOU are what is wrong with this forum.

    I used to respect you and your words of wisdom in the bush flying forum, and the remote cabins forum. I realize now that my respect was misplaced.
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    It is what it is. I don't favor long straight-in finals at uncontrolled airports. I have my reasons.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    No.

    I get where you are coming from, but that is no the case here. He was in a tandem aircraft. He could see right as easily as left. I was sillouetted by the sky. Almost no one flies a 45 pattern entry in Alaska when coming from the south, landing to the north (I'm sure you're aware). I saw him taxi, make the turn to the hold short line, do his run up (while remaining at the hold short- at a 90 degree from final)- and then pull out onto the runway at the last minute (for me). Don't try to make is sound like he was craning his eyes to look in the downwind/ base legs to see me. He just wasn't looking.
    Hey, Akheloc, as ususal, Mr Pid is right on this one. In more than22,000 PIC hours, I have never flown a 4-mile final, unless making an IFR approach.

    I recall a nighttime flight when the C-172 I was flying enjoyed a full electrical failure. No radios, no lights, no nothing! I flew the standard 45-degree pattern entry and proceeded with a standard pattern. On a very short base, an FAA plane shot across my nose, almost hitting my. I landed and taxied up to the FAA building at Merrill, to find the FAA pilot waiting for me. He told me to follow him inside, as he was about to write me up. I did, then asked for my own copy of the paperwork required for filing a violation against him! When he asked what that was all about, I explained that I was an airplane in distress and had the right-of-way.

    It was after 11:00 PM, and the tower had just gone off the air. The FAA rep was just another inconsiderate nut, flying a "final" that may have started from the mouth of the Big Su. Your inconsiderate approach was certainly NOT advised . . . in spite of the other inconsiderate pilot preparing to take off.

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    Perhaps you should read the OP a little closer. He took the active when I was on short final, inside half a mile (actually, the more I think of it, probable closer- I was just about over the fence). It doesn't matter what happened prior to that. Had I flown a 45 entry, and normal pattern, I STILL would have made the base-final turn further out than when he took the runway. Simple common sense answer to what happened- he didn't look right before entering the runway.
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    Geez, I think the main problem here is pilots not using radios or eye's outside. I here people calling long finals all the time at birchwood, I've even called a guy that said long final just to see how far out he was. He said five miles so I announced I was taking off. I do normal patterns but the whole idea behind the post is about good communication practices, not someones pattern habits.

    I have noticed over the last couple of years that pilots are communicating way better with one another. Some pilots will think that there is to much communicating going on but as a rookie 200 hour pilot flying off a small strip with a lot of float planes around it is comforting to know whats out there! Even Mr. Pid lands there............................. but I know his pattern habits!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    Perhaps you should read the OP a little closer. He took the active when I was on short final, inside half a mile (actually, the more I think of it, probable closer- I was just about over the fence). It doesn't matter what happened prior to that. Had I flown a 45 entry, and normal pattern, I STILL would have made the base-final turn further out than when he took the runway. Simple common sense answer to what happened- he didn't look right before entering the runway.

    Oh, I don't excuse the fool taking off! I certainly sympathize with you on that account. I was once landing at the South Lake Tahoe airport in a C-180 when I looked up to see a Bonanza landing from the other direction. Downwind, and with no radio contact whatsoever. On the other hand, I was once trying to raise Dillingham while approaching for landing in a C-206, but an obviously inebriated local native flying a Super Cub wouldn't get off the radio.

    It takes all kinds, and I guess we've got all kinds. . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grizzly 2 View Post

    Oh, I don't excuse the fool taking off! I certainly sympathize with you on that account. I was once landing at the South Lake Tahoe airport in a C-180 when I looked up to see a Bonanza landing from the other direction. Downwind, and with no radio contact whatsoever. On the other hand, I was once trying to raise Dillingham while approaching for landing in a C-206, but an obviously inebriated local native flying a Super Cub wouldn't get off the radio.

    It takes all kinds, and I guess we've got all kinds. . .
    Thanks, I just couldn't disagree more with Mr.Pid's post. Like I said, what if I were flying a fast mover that needed a greater than 4 mile final? What if I were flying the RNAV Palmer A approach? (I basically was flying this very approach- just not purposefully). I just think that his response was uncalled for, and I know his type- the guy who just HAS to nitpick a basically irrelevant part of a post that ignores the greater intent of the post. I bet he's the kind of guy who, if he were an NTSB investigator, would note the nose tire PSI being a pound low as being a causal factor in a CFIT.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    Thanks, I just couldn't disagree more with Mr.Pid's post. Like I said, what if I were flying a fast mover that needed a greater than 4 mile final? What if I were flying the RNAV Palmer A approach? (I basically was flying this very approach- just not purposefully). I just think that his response was uncalled for, and I know his type- the guy who just HAS to nitpick a basically irrelevant part of a post that ignores the greater intent of the post. I bet he's the kind of guy who, if he were an NTSB investigator, would note the nose tire PSI being a pound low as being a causal factor in a CFIT.
    Now I have to pick a nit . . . If you were flying a Palmer RNAV-A approach, my Jeppesen plates (now out of date) shows you 21-degrees to the left of a final approach. So you weren't REALLY on a "final" approach. And, if you were truly on a 4-mile final, you were pretty hard up against some definitely high hills.

    Over the years, I have found that I very seldom pick a nit with Mr Pid. He's experienced, highly capable, and specifically technical. And he's usually right. As to the Palmer airport, I've flown in and out of there since the mid-fifties. I've always flown a standard traffic pattern. Both you and the departing aircraft were a little on the inconsiderate side of the ledger in that instance.


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    In Mr. Pid's defense I will say that he is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to aviation. My only problem with him is he won't get on the CB to tell everyone where the good party is! And Grizzly is too! Also I know he's smart because we have the same last name!

    I think we can all agree the post was about communicating. Now that we have established the nuances of patterns can we go back to talking about communicating with one another?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Akheloce View Post
    Last night, 7:45 PM, landing PAAQ, had a white with red tail dragger pull out in front of me on SHORT final. Called 4 mile final for 34, 2 mile final, 1 mile final, then again on short final. Guy holding short, never said anything on radio, pulls out, and takes off when I'm inside half a mile. Started go around, but was able to land behind him. I verified that my BRIGHT AS HELL LED landing light, position lights, and beacon were functioning fine.

    I know this happens all the time, but for cryin out loud. I get it, no radio is fine, but at least pay more attention.

    I have done the same approach you describe and may do so again. That said, I realize that I am not following the recommended procedures and adding more variables to consider for others involved, especially for a no radio aircraft.

    Would the pilot of the no radio aircraft have seen you had you flown a standard pattern. To say definitely "YES", would be speculation, however it would have presented more opportunities to see and be seen.

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    John:
    You should have just noted that while all lite-up on a 1/4 to 1/2 mile final somebody pulled right out in front of you without a radio call. And of course also noted the color of your socks. As you know, here in Homer it is rather commonplace to have a couple aircraft on the runway at the same time, while others are on final and departure.
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    LOL, right?
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