13 December 2009

Crowded Skies?

He was just a small dot in the center of the windshield when we first saw him. But he was comin' at us at about 200 mph and we were doin' about 120, so our two aircraft were closing on one another at a little more than five miles per minute.

Mechanic in the left seat and me in the right, I was ferrying this LongRanger to Kansas City, MO. where I would leave it then ferry the LongRanger waiting there to another location to have major maintenance performed on it. We both saw the Bonanza at about the same time. It was soon obvious we'd miss one another, but it was gonna be closer than I would like if he suddenly appeared out my left door.

"You think he sees us?"
"I dunno."
"Keep an eye on him."

We watched as the Bonanza got bigger and bigger in the windscreen, then noticed the pilot had his nose buried in something...
He passed at our altitude, going exactly the opposite direction, 100 or so feet off our left side.
I'm not sure he ever saw us.

Not everyone out there has good sense.
Keep your eyes open and your head on a swivel, folks.


Capt. Schmoe said...

Descending into my home airport (Controlled)on a CAVU day. 7 miles out or so, switching from ATIS to tower I look up and see a Piper twin directly in from of me, crossing from my left. Two guys in the aircraft, the guy in the right seat wearing a blue shirt and dark frame eye/sun glasses.

I couldn't tell for sure if the were sunglasses or not as he was facing forward, not out the side toward me. Neither was the guy in the left seat.

It appeared that they were climbing out of another controlled airport off of my left side, about 7 miles away. I had been looking, but hadn't seen him before fiddling with the radio. I almost crapped myself, he was that close.

I know he never saw me.

I filed a ASRS report when I got home.

Cissy Apple said...

So, what happens when you're in the clouds? Just hope and pray you don't run into anyone that just happens to be headed your way? The first time I flew, we were above the cloud layer when I saw another jet at about 2 o'clock. I kept wondering if the pilot saw it too.


Greybeard said...

Different rulebook Cissy-
If you are navigating by use of instruments only, which you obviously would be if you were in the clouds, you'd be following an assigned "flight plan" route and you'd be at a much higher altitude than the one where I encountered this guy.
You were in an airliner when you saw this other jet?
No need to worry...
I know it's hard to believe, but you were safer than if you'd been at home walking from the living room to the kitchen.

cary said...

This reminds me of an old joke:

A guy goes to a small town on the coast of Mexico for a vacation. He hires a taxi to take him across town. All the way, the taxi driver is talking to the guy, not really watching the road, and running EVERY SINGLE LIGHT no matter what color it was.

The guy finally yells at the driver to stop running the red lights.

"Oh, it's OK, meester. My brother is the only other one who drives."

"Still, you could run into him!"

"Oh, no, meester - he is taking the day off!"

Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Omigawd! I hope you had clean underwear later available!