This is an excerpt from a report made to the Aviation Safety Reporting System. The narrative is written by the pilot, rather than FAA or NTSB officials. To maintain anonymity, many details, such as aircraft model or airport, are often scrubbed from the reports.
Me and my instructor took off from ZZZ in a Skylane 182. After following the noise abatement procedure, we flew almost direct to ZZZ1. As we are getting close to the waypoint, we turned right for a little to avoid traffic coming from ZZZ1.
Not long after our turn, we immediately saw two Hornet fighters blasting heads-on towards us on the left.
My instructor immediately took evasive action by going down and banking the aircraft left. After they passed us, another fighter immediately passed us on the right.
It all happened in a few seconds.
It felt like a very close call — we were probably only a few hundred feet away, if not less.
On the communication side, after we took off from ZZZ, we got in touch with Approach as we’re heading towards ZZZ3 and that is the nearest box for Approach frequency. We requested flight following to ZZZ3 and Approach just assigned us the squawk code.
The event took place right after I put in the squawk code to the transponder and Approach asked us if we saw the Hornet fighters right after the event.
We discussed the event with the ATC once we cleared the area and the adrenaline settled down. According to them, the fighters were on Center frequency while we were on the Approach channel, hence they weren’t able to give us a heads-up before it happened.
We also did not see the traffic coming. They did not show up on the ADS-B traffic display and, considering we were right on top of the lake, we probably were not in range of any ADS-B ground station and/or the fighters did not use Mode-C/S transponders or ADS-B out.
Reflecting on the event, we should’ve been more careful when choosing the frequency we talk to as the A/FD does specify Center for Approach.
Primary Problem: Procedure