Midair near St Hubert

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Midair near St Hubert

Post by 05480213 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:09 am

TSB report a17Q0030 midair report. Interesting read.
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Re: Midair near St Hubert

Post by 5x5 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:37 am

Part of the reality out there theses days is more and more foreign students. This leads to less effective radio communications and requires much better scanning and visual awareness. The radio has never been a replacement for the requirement of "seeing and being seen" - the basics of VFR safety, but currently the radio is even less helpful in congested areas especially. Add in all the moronic ACTPAs and it can be a real mess.

To save you having to search - http://www.tsb.gc.ca/eng/medias-media/c ... 180905.asp
Dorval, Quebec, 5 September 2018 – Today, the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) released its investigation report (A17Q0030) on a collision between two flying school aircraft that occurred over St-Bruno-de-Montarville, Quebec, in March 2017. The investigation determined that both pilots, who were flying solo under visual flight rules in controlled airspace, had deviated from the altitude restrictions provided by air traffic control before colliding in mid-air.

In the early afternoon of 17 March 2017, a Cessna 152 (C-GPNP), operated by a licenced pilot undergoing commercial training at Cargair Ltd., was returning to the Montréal/St-Hubert airport from a training flight in a local training area. At the same time, another Cessna 152 (C-FGOI), operated by a Cargair Ltd. student pilot, was departing the airport for a training flight in a local training area. At 12:38 Eastern Daylight Time, the two aircraft collided at 1500 feet above the Promenades St-Bruno shopping mall, less than two nautical miles from the airport. Substantially damaged, the C-GPNP aircraft subsequently struck the roof of the mall, seriously injuring its pilot. The C-FGOI aircraft, which fell in a parking lot, was destroyed and its student pilot was fatally injured. Both pilots were international students enrolled in flight training whose first language was neither English nor French, although both had their English-language proficiency assessed as operational, meaning they met the minimum international proficiency level acceptable for radiotelephony communication.

The investigation determined that the pilot of C-GPNP inadvertently descended 100 feet below his altitude restriction of 1600 feet while attempting to troubleshoot a radiocommunication issue. Meanwhile, for unknown reasons, the student pilot of C-FGOI climbed 400 feet above his altitude restriction of 1100 feet, and then collided with the other aircraft from below. Neither pilot saw the other aircraft in time to prevent the collision, partly owing to the limitations of the see-and-avoid principle, which is the basic collision avoidance method under visual flight rules. A pilot’s ability to visually detect another aircraft and avoid collision is affected by many factors, such as: proximity, reaction time, obstructions to field of view, pilot scanning techniques, in-flight monitoring of instruments, and radiocommunications.

The investigation also found that the density and variety of operations conducted at the St-Hubert Airport increase the complexity of air traffic control. The varying levels of flying skills and language proficiency among the student pilots of the four local flying schools add to this complexity. In this regard, the investigation found that Transport Canada’s oversight of aviation language proficiency testing (ALPT) is limited to administrative verifications. Therefore, it is not possible to assess whether and to what extent designated examiners administer the ALPT program in a manner that ensures validity, reliability, and standardization nationally.

After the occurrence, Transport Canada published a Civil Aviation Safety Alert recommending that flight-training units ensure that student pilots have been awarded an operational level of language proficiency in accordance with the language proficiency scale set out in the personnel licensing standards prior to their first solo flight.
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Re: Midair near St Hubert

Post by FL007 » Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:29 am

I'm surprised this doesn't happen more, honestly. Fredericton is a scary place to go sometimes, as an example.
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Re: Midair near St Hubert

Post by rookiepilot » Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:18 pm

Not to throw a wrench in, but I'm curious why it's appropriate at a controlled airport with lots of low time foreign students, to have them vectored In a converging manner, one on approach and one on departure, with a 500 foot separation.

I can't ever recall being vectored in such a manner, with such a small vertical separation at a controlled airport. There have been horizontal separation instructions as well.

From the report:
" The combined tower controller who was on duty at the time of the occurrence had taken up the position 44 minutes before C-GPNP and C-FGOI collided. In that period, as the number of departures and arrivals rose, the controller's workload and level of work complexity was increasing, and opening the coordinator position was being considered. When the collision occurred, the controller had 13 aircraft under his responsibility.

From the time when C-FGOI requested authorization for takeoff at 1234:35 until the time of the collision at approximately 1238:10, there were 45 transmissions on the tower frequency. Of those, 23 were transmissions by the controller; the rest were made by the numerous aircraft under his responsibility. The collision occurred approximately 3 minutes and 35 seconds after C-FGOI received takeoff clearance.

In the minutes preceding the occurrence, the controller's attention was directed to solving a conflict involving 3 aircraft to the north of the airport. Between 1236:32 and 1237:28, there were 11 transmissions involving this conflict, 6 of which were transmissions by the controller."

No calls were made to C-FGOI to warn its student pilot of the proximity of C-GPNP.

This part of the report appears relevant to me.
On several occasions, with less aircraft than this being handled by a controller, I have approached a controlled airport and told "remain clear of the zone" -- or "orbit here" -- obviously the controller was saturated. Wonder why this didn't happen here.
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Last edited by rookiepilot on Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:07 pm, edited 4 times in total.

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Re: Midair near St Hubert

Post by pianokeys » Sun Sep 09, 2018 2:29 pm

5x5 wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:37 am
Part of the reality out there theses days is more and more foreign students. This leads to less effective radio communications and requires much better scanning and visual awareness.
Yes, but sir.
FL007 wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 9:29 am
I'm surprised this doesn't happen more, honestly. Fredericton is a scary place to go sometimes, as an example.
Sir, senior student told me.
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Re: Midair near St Hubert

Post by Old Dog Flying » Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:23 pm

As an old retired controller at the scariest airport in the country, I've used "climb runway heading until: or some such restriction many time...in a shift. When you have people from off shore not understanding our language then they should no be allowed to fly in our airspace.

I have a lifetime of controlling both military, CYMJ, and civil ATC in the Fraser Valley dog fight.
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Re: Midair near St Hubert

Post by Old Dog Flying » Sun Sep 09, 2018 3:30 pm

As an old retired controller at the scariest airport in the country, I've used "climb runway heading until: or some such restriction many time...in a shift. When you have people from off shore not understanding our language then they should no be allowed to fly in our airspace.

I have a lifetime of controlling both military, CYMJ, and civil ATC in the Fraser Valley dog fight. and 65 years/5k hrs flying...so I know the problems from both sides
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Re: Midair near St Hubert

Post by looproll » Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:38 pm

Am I the only one that thinks something like this is going to happen at Red Deer (YQF) very soon?

Craziest training airport I've ever seen. I went there once and students were cutting off each other and other planes in the circuit, not listening to FSS "suggestions" and generally having a hard time communicating in English.
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Re: Midair near St Hubert

Post by youhavecontrol » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:46 am

I remember listening to the tapes and thinking, "Good grief, what a messed-up airspace." Not just because of the ESL students in the China program, but with the added complexity of English/French radio transmissions in there as well. I can't remember, but did the pilots even read-back the altitude restrictions?

While working with ESL students can be extremely difficult, successful schools work very hard to train their students for situational awareness with ground instruction, often in simulators, reviewing arrival and departure procedures and appropriate radio calls. Good communication between the ATC staff and flight school staff is also extremely important, so both parties know the challenges and hazards they each face and work together to create better arrival, departure and emergency procedures.

Also ensuring your students actually KNOW how to use the radios, set the volume, switch frequencies... cannot be under estimated. You'd be surprised how many pre-solo students I've flown with during the supervisory evaluations that don't understand how the mic squelch works... all because their instructors were too busy to show them and the radio volume was already set before they jumped into the plane. I've had to de-brief with students involved in incidents caused primarily for things like accidentally pushing the Volume/Squelch button on the Garmin 430, or not noticing Comm 2 volume was down and assuming a Comm failure once they switched to Comm 2.

An important thing to realize is that some foreign students have never operated a machine before, having lived in a city and always commuted by train or whatever... and often we assume too much about their capabilities and end up stunned when we hear there's something they can't do that to us seems so basic.
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Re: Midair near St Hubert

Post by pianokeys » Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:21 am

looproll wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:38 pm
Am I the only one that thinks something like this is going to happen at Red Deer (YQF) very soon?

Craziest training airport I've ever seen. I went there once and students were cutting off each other and other planes in the circuit, not listening to FSS "suggestions" and generally having a hard time communicating in English.
I agree with you.

Thats a busy piece of airspace that YBW schools love to send students to for x-country flights.
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Re: Midair near St Hubert

Post by yhz41 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 10:53 am

pianokeys wrote:
Mon Sep 10, 2018 9:21 am
looproll wrote:
Sun Sep 09, 2018 7:38 pm
Am I the only one that thinks something like this is going to happen at Red Deer (YQF) very soon?

Craziest training airport I've ever seen. I went there once and students were cutting off each other and other planes in the circuit, not listening to FSS "suggestions" and generally having a hard time communicating in English.
I agree with you.

Thats a busy piece of airspace that YBW schools love to send students to for x-country flights.
They do but I think this is in reference to Montair operating out of there.
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Re: Midair near St Hubert

Post by YYC650 » Mon Sep 10, 2018 8:38 pm

Flying anywhere within radio range of CYQF I will hear numerous position reports on 126.7 that are completely unintelligible. I have no idea what position is being reported, and can only hope it is nowhere near me. Not a recipe for safe skies.
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