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    Dan DeWeese
    General Member
    CSS Instructor

    That midair out in Texas that claimed a powered pg and an airfreight pilot got me thinking about our situation here under the Ziggy STAR approach. I signed up on Flightradar 24’s free trial and downloaded some flight tracks into ONT and SBD as well. Surprisingly, the west coast flights cross right over the billboard after rounding their HITOP turnpoint. From there they fan out quite a bit. More remarkable is the precision with which these routes are flown. Once again, should you find yourself at 7k and climbing at the BBoard, check to the north often. Linked is a google earth KMZ file with 30 some odd tracks.

    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    Don’t Panic!
    The BB crossing are more like 8K to 9.5K. The Santa’s Village Crossings are in the 9 to 12K range.
    It’s been my experience that commercial jets tend to appear 3-4X closer than they actually are.
    GA aircraft are a different matter and I’ve had a few encounters that I wish I hadn’t. The fatal Cessna in TX is more like a fat GA aircraft about the size of an Elsinore jump plane.
    Thanks for the reality check by running and uploading those tracks!

    Ziggy Billboard + Santa's

    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    Watch the whole video. There are 3 encounters in one afternoon. The commercial jet encounters that seemed close in my imagination were not that close. But this shows you how fast it happens.

    Jonathan Dietch
    General Member

    Anyhow, we are probably at far more risk from other free flight pilots!

    George Stebbins
    General Member

    Last summer, I was flying Marshall, and got very low – basically a few turns from setting up my landing.  But, I managed a save, and climbed to 10+k!  Being thrilled to have pulled that off, I went on glide toward Pine Flats.  Most of the way there, I saw a commercial jet 50′-100′ or so above me and maybe a few hundred yards in front of me!  We were pointed at each other.  (I had been so stoked by the climb that I had stopped looking around for a bit – silly me!)  I did an aggressive high-banked right turn and flew rapidly 90 degrees to the path of the plane and then went to the billboard to stay out of the turbulence from the jet.  Lesson learned.  Keep a lookout, my friends!  Don’t count on quick reflexes and skill to save you from what you could avoid just by paying attention!

    Dan DeWeese
    General Member
    CSS Instructor

    Reminder. Dont be that guy.

    Coming back toward landing field from east points Thursday 3pm ish, 8k over cloud pk., looking north for the glint of aluminum. None to be seen. Did, however see a pg behind BB quarter mile or so, pointed SSE, also around 8k, not turning noticeably, ambling slowly into the headwind.  Dont know who it was, dont care.  Wonder if he was just lingering around, ignorant of where he was? Not looking behind for 40 tons of aluminum enema. Taking selfies, oblivious? Hangin out just waiting to be “that guy”.



    Dusty Rhodes
    General Member
    CSS Instructor

    We really need to have ADS-B onboard. Haven’t found an affordable option for it.
    Here’s Mark Hoffman on 9/30/2008.
    Looked close to me.
    Mark Verses Alaska Air copy

    Mark Hoffmann
    General Member

    Dusty, That was a fun day… I guess i was at around 10K trying to catch up to you. Guess you were at around 11.5K climbing out to 13K maybe. do you remember the top out alt that day?

    I saw that airliner while 60 seconds out. looked like a baseball; hard to see ( until 30 seconds out, then 20, then 10 then; See Ya. , I could tell we we 350 to 450 feet apart so i just kept thermaling with a GREAT climb rate. :)  if i remember correctly i never did catch up to you.

    I like the way you stitched a few images together.

    Just looked at my flight log for that day…. Mics info;

    Tuesday, September 30, 2008
    Flight 895 >>>> 3 hours 30 minutes
    Launch: Crestline >>>> Wind: S @ 6 then still then N @ 4 then S at 8
    Max Alt. 12,215 Ft MSL >>>> Left lift to go on glide… Cloud Base at approx 15,000 ft.
    Total Ascent 29,445 feet
    Max FPM Averaged: 1,100fpm
    Max Sink: 1,450 fpm
    Mileage Logged on GPS >>> 140 Miles


    Jonathan Dietch
    Anyhow, we are probably at far more risk from other free flight pilots!

    An turning opposite directions ? I wonder who was in the thermal first ?

    A large percentage of both PG and HG pilots , who fly at CSS , have no clue about, “thermal etiquette” ; (first guy in determines the circling direction for everyone who enters the thermal after him). So knowing that ; just assume that other guy doesn’t even see you , and ya might live a bit longer … DANG I’ve bailed on a lot of thermals in the past , to go find another one ; because I didn’t like the other pilots , (it’s MY right-of-way) flying attitude, and I’ve never had a midair because of it.


    Screenshot 2024-04-16 7.40.18 AM



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