January 19, 2022 at 1:29 PM #14326
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.January 19, 2022 at 2:30 PM #14327
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!January 19, 2022 at 2:37 PM #14328
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.January 19, 2022 at 2:39 PM #14329
Anyhow, we are probably at far more risk from other free flight pilots!January 20, 2022 at 2:38 PM #14335
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!
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