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Uncontrolled Airspace Navigation

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  • Uncontrolled Airspace Navigation

    The thread about the crash in New Zealand got me thinking, in uncontrolled airspace, how exactly do pilots maintain separation? I know they call out their position, but isn't it hard to keep track of the position of every airplane in your vicinity?

    Do pilots use some sort of a chart or map to place other aircraft on? How does it work?
    "The Director also sets the record straight on what would happen if oxygen masks were to drop from the ceiling: The passengers freak out with abandon, instead of continuing to chat amiably, as though lunch were being served, like they do on those in-flight safety videos."

    -- The LA Times, in a review of 'Flightplan'

  • #2
    Originally posted by indian airlines
    The thread about the crash in New Zealand got me thinking, in uncontrolled airspace, how exactly do pilots maintain separation? I know they call out their position, but isn't it hard to keep track of the position of every airplane in your vicinity?

    Do pilots use some sort of a chart or map to place other aircraft on? How does it work?
    normally I use UNICOM (making regular position reports), and keep my eyes outside of the cockpit
    Christian Vlček Sullivan | Through The Fence Photography
    Forever New Frontiers

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    • #3
      Yeap, mostly eyes. If you're at an uncontrolled airport, there's a frequency called "Common Traffic Advisory Frequency where you broadcast what you are going to be doing so that other people know where you are. But when you're enroute and not in controlled airspace, you dont need to be talking to anybody if you're flying under visual flight rules. You use your eyes for traffic avoidance and navigation. Luckilly with the increasing popularity of Mode S transponders in the US a program that is sort of like TCAS is becoming more popular in light aircraft. The only difference is that this information is sent up from the ATC radar and you get to see where other traffic (as long as they're operating with a transponder) are on your GPS or MFD. Pretty neat tool, I've had it happen a few times where I was flying, thought I was the only one around only to hear "traffic traffic"

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