[In behalf of hash86, originally posted on 20 Oct 2008]
I was flying on a PPL nav, solo, from PM to NP direct. Flight started just fine - nice weather, great pilot skills lol.
Leaving Ohakea military operating area, I changed to Wanganui frequency 120.4 and made my radio call to pass by, as well as Christchurch control. Flying past Wanganui, 3000' about 7nm out, i made sure i was known in the area.
I could see Mount Taranaki in the distance and was dead on track.
From, seemingly, out of nowhere, another […same school…] aircraft came from my Wanganui, coming within about 400' below me. This kinda freaked me out, obviously, because there was no call out from them. I asked if they had a visual of me, but no reply.
I finished my flight and talked about it on the ground.
Was a lucky escape this time!
[In behalf of hash86, originally posted on 20 Oct 2008]
[In behalf of Pasquale, originally posted on 20 Oct 2008]
u sure u didnt tune up 120.2 for WU traffic?
Frequencies can sometimes be miss-leading, on my recent flight, i wrote down all the required, in my nav log using the charts but one of the frequencies was wrong and had completely changed to a different frequency. I was tuning in the frequency which i thought was right and to use but then my instructor asked me if i was the right one, so to make sure i was right i pulled out the VNC map and confirmed what i had written was correct, it was correct but was old and no longer in use. I was supposed to use the AIP charts to find out the frequencies and use them because the VNC charts are only updated only so often while the AIP chars are up-to-date. If this was my solo flight then i would have never figured out this and i would have ended up transmitting on the wrong frequency and me eventually ending up in a mess!!!
[In behalf of Anonymous user, originally posted on 20 Oct 2008]
This incident happened during my first few solo's when i was heading down to the southern training area… to enter the southern training area i was cleared a university departure… being clear of the university and tracking towards shannon and tokomaru to practice my stalls i clearly stated my intentions of my intentions to operate between shannon and tokomaru… on my way to tokomaru an aircraft broadcasted that they were heading my way and at the same altitude as i was and they were tracking towards Palmerston north…. after searching and looking out for them frantically for about 10 mins. i later found that they were giving the wrong position report… rather than saying they were north west of tokomaru the were saying the were southwest of it.. this is a common mistake everyone does but being a student and just a few hours of experience thought me the value of effective communication and understanding why there is an emphasis on it.
Wrong position reports are common mistakes ab- initio pilots make during their training. However, these small mistakes are dangerous. Therefore, it is important to double check your position that before making any position calls on the radio. Use the Directional Indicator (DI) as assistance. Orientating the VFR map may also help to identify your position. There are many cases of near misses due to wrong position calls on the radio. In this case, when a position report is broadcasted which informs you of a potential mid air collision, it is important to not stay silent and query the other traffic. Ask them to confirm their position. If the traffic is not in sight or not responding, leave that altitude and broadcast your intentions for avoidance purposes. Never think you will not come into conflict. Communicate as frequently as possible. This Includes when entering or leaving an area, as well as when climbing or descending to another altitude. Always maintain situational awareness and communicate as frequently, and accurately as possible.
This must have been my fifth solo, still unexperienced and still nervous to be doing circuits, i went. everything was normal until about my second touch and go (i was supposed to do about 3-4) when all of a sudden i couldnt hear anything that was being said over the comms. i realised this problem whn i made my downwind call and didnt receive any reply. also i noticed i want able to hear anything that i transmitted over the radio. at this stage i was very nervous and my downwind leg was starting to get pretty long. i tried to figure out the problem but i was running short of time as i had to turn base before getting to far away from the aerodrome. so i decided to make a 'blind' call saying that i am downwind and unable to hear anything. in between my call, it came to my mind that i could use the speaker in the a/c which we normally use during pre-start t listen to the ATIS. after playing around a bit with the comms box i could hear myself on the speaker. it was a big relief. by this time i was on the base leg and i heard the ATC clearing me to land. i was lucky to be able to hear the clearance just in time before i landed or else i would have had to land without a clearance which i dont think would have been the best thing to do. after landing i taxied off the active runway and wanted to get out of that a/c as soon as possible, i was too scared. while trying to reach for the checklist i had a glimpse at the corner of the firewall where we insert the headphones and i couldnt believe what i was seeing. one of the two cables had come loose from the plug!!! i couldnt believe what had just happened. the first thing i should have done when i first encountered the problem downwind was to check that both the cables were in the plug and the volume was loud enough etc… but being so nervous and panicking my mind stoped working and i just wanted to get on ground as soon as possible. luckily i did so and after that day i knew what to do if you stop hearing things all of sudden!!
Things i learnt:
2-look for the obvious things that can go wrong in a not a obvious situation
There are many causes of a radio failure: simple breakdown of the radio itself, short- circuit wiring, failure of the electrical generating system (alternator failure), and many other possibilities. Loss of communication does not always have to originate in an aircraft either, the loss may be suffered by a ground station. Under Visual Flight Rules (VFR), loss of communication should require the following actions. Always maintain control of the aircraft, stay ‘visual’ and ensure terrain clearance. Also, maintain a very good lookout for other aircraft and for orientation. After ‘Aviating’, carry out onboard checks. Firstly, check the electrical master switch/ avionics switch is On, VHF- COM set is On and volume correctly set. Secondly, check the squelch function and level. Thirdly, check the circuit breakers/ fuses. Fourthly, check for the correct frequency selection. Fifth, check that the microphones and other leads are correctly plugged in. Lastly, check that whether you are surrounded by terrain, and whether you are flying in the lee of high ground. Climbing higher may regain communication. Always carry out these checks before coming to the conclusion that you have a communication failure!
[In behalf of Rnadom, originally posted on 23 Oct 2008 in Ab-initio MID-AIR INCIDENTS]
This happened to me about 2 months ago. I was helping my mate with his CPL check as a safety pilot. It was incident free at the start, and once we cleared Longburn to track towards the Low Flying Zone 366, I got him to put his hood on. We practiced some turning under the hood and I got him to do compass turns.
We made regular radio calls and it was odd that in a weekday afternoon, with clear skies, there wasnt any other aircraft in the area. We reported that we were operating in LFZ 366 and 3000 feet and below. I set the aircraft unusual attitudes and as the PIC was recovering from the "stall", I noticed an aircraft southbound, tracking on the eastern edge of Foxton, which is about 1 mile from where we are. The were abeam us within a few seconds and I was really relieved and I realy hope they saw us flying and heard our radio calls. But we did not hear their radiocalls saying they were going southbound.
There wasnt any evasive maneuvre taken as we were at diferent altitudes and they passed over us, probably about 1000 feet higher than us, which Might mean they were in controlled airspace. Or if they were not, they did not broadcast their intentions. We confirmed that our radios were working when there were people at foxton aerodrome communicating their intentions. We now know how important Lookout is.
I moved above post here because it seems it is more representative of lack of communication ([…] we did not hear their radiocalls saying they were going southbound) than of a mid-air near-miss (There wasnt any evasive maneuvre taken as we were at diferent altitudes and they passed over us, probably about 1000 feet higher than us, which Might mean they were in controlled airspace).
[In behalf of Anonymous user, originally posted on 22 Oct 2008]
Another one, is while on a nav from PM to NS, on the route from PM to overhead PP, i was flying at 3500 and made a radio call when i was approx 2nm north of levin i made a radio call, to which there was no feedback of any other traffic. When overhead levin, a cessena was sighted directly in front of my nose at approx 200ft away, we both made a right hand turn asnd missed each other by about mayb 100feet tops! (close enough to see the registration and the pilot in the cessena). He then made a radio call…WOW!!
I was on my very first commercial cross-country which was planned to go from PM-NP and back. I was flying up north when the weather sorta got pretty bad with the clouds lowering dramatically. So my instructor asked me to divert to Wanganui and he would figure out a route that was 200nm while I was working out the divert. Our new route was to be Taihape, Wanganui, Paraparamumu and back to Palmy. After an uneventful touch and go at Wanganui I started to head down the coast towards the Raumai Military Zone (M306). At this time the new FISB had been activated and was working, so I told my instructor that I didnt need to request clearance from Ohakea Control. He was weary and actually hadn't heard anything about the FISB (Flight Information Service Broadcast). So I tuned up Ohakea Control (125.1) and was about to call when I heard them broadcast my callsign… I was startled and thought that maybe I had busted airspace. Anyway I replied and a relived controller informed me that I had exceeded my Search and Rescue Time (SARTIME) and stage 1 SAR had been initiated… I couldnt believe it! Anyway I designated a new one and looked at where I had gone wrong. The mistake had been made when I calculated a time by adding 30 mins to the section B totals of the fuel plan, instead of adding 30 to the section A+B totals! Whoops!
Lucklily I had tuned up to control early enough that Massey Ops hadn't been contacted yet, so got away with that one! Still I learnt my lesson, and didnt get anywhere near busting it again.
Hi from ATC…
SARTIMEs! We get quite a few phone calls from the Flight Briefing Office about these. Not as many as we did when it changed over a few years ago - the old system was nominate a time, and SAR added 30min to it before initiating action - you can imagine how many people that caught out. Anyway…
Just a short note to say that the Stage 1 SAR generally consists of the FBO making phone calls to any controlled aerodromes you have on your plan, and checking with Flight Information, and your home base as well. No rescue teams are called out straightaway!
Also, don't forget that when you enter a control zone, we automatically provide an alerting service for you whilst you are in the airspace. So, you can request that your flight plan be terminated as soon as you get an entry clearance, rather than waiting till you've landed and then getting caught up in finding pickets and transport from the airport into town.
This was happened last year when i started my PPl nav. My plan was from PM-HA-NP-PM. I prepared my flight 2 hours before. And I recognize that there was a NOTAMS for Hawera. It said that the frequency change to 124.1 for PAL (Pilot Activation Light). At that time i did not know what does PAL mean. It means that the frequency at night for the use of the light is change to 124.1. And I just assume to my self that the frequency for Hawera change to 124.1 from 119.1. Then I took-off from Palmy and flew towards Hawera. On my standard overhead rejoin, i saw somebody was cutting the grass runway with a little truck. I transmit my self to 124.1. And no one replies. There was no traffic at that time as I was looking out of the window. I then continue to fly downwind and I still see that person who was cutting the grass. On my final I transmit my self again, and the truck was exactly on the tresh hold. The truck did not move at all. I still continued my final at about 100 feet then I went around. I then continue to NP after that.
After I landed in PM, I talk to one of the instructor and at that time I realized that I was transmitting at the wrong frequency. I was lucky that it wasn't a flight test situation, otherwise i will failed straight away..
From this incident I learn that to be a pilot we have to know anything that is related to our flight and also to make sure and cross check that what we have done is actually the correct procedure to apply.
A thorough preperation is very important, especially when we fly a long route. The more we prepare in the ground, the easier it will be when we are in the air.
Approaching WB, i got given instructions on how to enter controlled airspace for a touch and go. As I established long finals, I got given instructions on how to vacate the control zone after take-off. Here is how the radio calls went:
WB tower: "MsyXXX, After touch and go, turn right and vacate controlled zone to the north-east, 2500 feet and below."
My readback: "Cleared to land. Correction, after touch and go, turn right and vacate controlled zone to the north-east, 2500 feet and below, MsyXXX."
WB Twr: "MsyXXX, readback correct, cleared touch and go"
Mt Readback: "Cleared to touch and go, MsyXXX"
The reason why i said "cleared to land" in the first instance when i was only supposed to read back the vacating clearance is because i was used to the procedures at PM, when we establish on finals here at PM we expect the tower to say cleared to land but at WB i was told to do a straight in approach and given my vacating instructions while i was on long finals. Seeing the runway in sight and flying the approach path for a landing i had a mind-set that the next radio call form the tower is going to be my landing clearance but it wasnt and i got tricked!''
I learnt to listen out more carefully, think about what was said and then read-back accordingly instead of just reading back false information or reading back something else and carrying out different instructions from what was said. This can be quiet dangerous and lead to a disaster in a busy environment. I got away that day but had to think about what i had to say.
On a solo navigation flight in my early flight training, I was joining overhead at Wanganui, there was one aircraft in the circuit already that was just taking off. When I tried to make radio calls I could here loud distortions that put me off my calls so I was trying to change over to comm. 2 and join down wind I joined a bit close in front of the aircraft because my timing was off and the other aircraft told me to make radio calls I conducted a orbit to let the aircraft go first managed to change the radio and proceed behind. I debriefed with my instructor and found that I should have joined behind the aircraft because it was faster (CT4vsPA28) and that orbits shouldn’t be done at uncontrolled aerodomes as they are dangerous. After this incident I grew more confident in joining overhead and had no problems since.
It was coming to the end of the year and I had to finish a certain amount of sorties before I went home. So I decided to take advantage of a beautiful day and I joined my 300nm and 200nm into one flight, bringing my flight time to about 5.5 hours with a lunch break in the middle. My planned route was PM-DV-NR (T&G)-GS (Full Stop)-GA (T&G)-AP (T&G)-RU-PM. After my touch and go at Galatea I wanted to get in touch with Base to let them know I was running a little late. I couldn’t get in contact with them and I was hoping someone closer could relay the message but no one was around. I was approaching the Taupo MBZ so I made the standard entry radio call and proceeded to track to join right-base for RWY 35. The weather had started to close in and the only traffic around was a Cessna finishing the approach for RWY 11 and a Beech which was starting up on the apron. I made a 5nm position report and then a right-base call. During my finals checks I suddenly realized that I had left the radio selection dial on COMM 2! I quickly changed onto Taupo Traffic and immediately did a radio call. Fortunately the Beech had noticed me on finals and hadn’t lined up. I guess the stress of the weather closing in and the fatigue of a 5.5hr flight took a toll on my situational awareness. I have never left my radio on COMM 2 again.