Tuesday, March 20, 2018

AOPA Flying Safety Seminar

Yesterday after work, I met up with Peter and we drove to Ypsilanti to attend an AOPA Safety Seminar.

This one was certainly valuable. Titled Collision Course: Avoiding Airborne Traffic it went into the causes and methods of avoidance of inflight collisions - the lack of avoidance of which can really wreck your day.

Taught again by Andy Miller, a presenter with an excellent and dynamic friendly manner it was to a capacity crowd of 200 in the room. Interestingly, we were some of the youngest people there and really brought the average age down - this doesn't bode well for aviation.

As it turns out, most collisions are in clear weather, in the summer and on weekends - Why? Because that's when most people are flying and the skies are crowded around airports and other choke points such as practice areas or particularly scenic areas. The big sky really isn't.

One of the biggest problems is that pilots aren't looking outside the airplane enough. 80% outside, 20% inside is a good number but most people don't even come close.

Learning about physiology of vision, we got to see the Troxler effect in action.

Give it a try, it's kinda cool:

In short, don't focus on just one area of space, keep your eyes moving scanning sectors of the sky.

Best habits for radio calls in pilot controlled airspace were also gone over.

We also went over right of way as well as how technology is both hurting by making us look inside more, and helping through ADS/B and the TIS-B traffic notifications.

AOPA's Air Safety Institute definitely puts on some good programs, and if you fly, attending those hosted in your area to keep up to date nd keep learning is a great idea. They're free and well worth your time, and they give you Wings credit which is a good thing for your pilot file.


jon spencer said...

Wonder if motorcycle riding pilots have a lower accident rate?
Because when one is a motorcycle rider you rapidly learn that "everyone / everything is trying to kill you", so you try to scan and maintain situational awareness all the time.

Aaron said...

Jon: Hard to say. As an overall risk, general aviation flying is pretty similar to motorcycle riding at least according to insurance companies.