In a new blog post for the NTSB’s blog, “Inside the NTSB’s General Aviation Investigative Process,” John O’Callaghan, a National Resource Specialist for Aircraft Performance, which is government-speak for a technical expert in the aerodynamics and flight mechanics of aircraft, writes about how hard it is to see other aircraft while in flight.
He uses two high-profile accidents to illustrate his point: The mid-air collision between an F-16 and a Cessna 150 over Monck’s Corner, South Carolina, and a mid-air between a Sabreliner and a Cessna 172 in the busy traffic pattern at Brown Field in San Diego.
“When it comes to collision avoidance in VMC, we wink at risk management (“see-and-avoid!” “Keep your head on a swivel!”), when the reality is that we rely in great measure on luck,” he writes. “It’s a big sky, and it would be hard to hit somebody if you tried. The odds are against a collision, but on occasion, disaster strikes.”
Read the full post here.