Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: What is considered a close call

  1. #1
    Senior Member Vinny Ohare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    NYC - Queen Creek AZ
    Posts
    160

    What is considered a close call

    Just wondering what the safe distance is between airplanes while in the air. Is it a few thousand feet? Last night I was flying at 34,000 feet and I look out the window and a commercial plane went under us and if I had been looking I probably could have read the letters on the tail as it went by.

    I am very curious.

  2. #2
    Senior Member moose135's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Long Island, NY
    Posts
    8,040
    If the pilot needs to change his shorts...
    8-O

    At that altitude, there should be 2,000 foot (vertical) separation unless you are operating RVSM (Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums) where it is 1,000 foot separation.

  3. #3
    Senior Member lijk604's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    4 air miles SE of ISP.
    Posts
    4,143
    RVSM airspace starts at FL290 to FL410, so at FL340 separation can be 1000 feet (above or below), traveling in opposite directions. It's 2000 feet for those traveling the same direction.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Vinny Ohare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    NYC - Queen Creek AZ
    Posts
    160
    Moose I felt like changing mine. Is there a way maybe using planefinder to see exactly how close it was? I don't want to put exact details here on the board.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    brooklyn
    Posts
    60
    I'm certain the distance was 1000 feet, otherwise you would have felt the aircraft suddenly climbing. Generally speaking, there is a bubble around the aircraft that is 5 miles in diameter and 1000 feet above and below. That bubble changes - larger in some en route areas, and smaller in terminal (slower airspeed areas).

  6. #6
    Senior Member cancidas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    traffic two o'clock two miles southbound flight of four C-130s
    Posts
    6,088
    also, at RVSM altitudes airplanes need to be separated by 5 miles laterally.
    it is mathematically impossible for either hummingbirds, or helicopters to fly. fortunately, neither are aware of this.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Houston, Texas
    Posts
    123
    Quote Originally Posted by cancidas View Post
    also, at RVSM altitudes airplanes need to be separated by 5 miles laterally.
    At the same altitude that is. It is perfectly legal (and quite often happens) for aircraft to pass directly over/under with 1,000 foot separation. To someone not used to seeing them at that distance, they DO look close!

  8. #8
    Senior Member hiss srq's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Around here and near there.
    Posts
    5,565
    When you notice that the Captain on the Copa 737 going the other way was wearing knock off Ray Ban's called Rey Ban...
    Southwest Airlines-"Once it pop's it's time to stop" Southwest Airlines-"Our Shamu's are almost real" Southwest Airlines -"We blow our top real easy" Southwest Airlines- "You can't top us..... really"

  9. #9
    Senior Member Vinny Ohare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    NYC - Queen Creek AZ
    Posts
    160
    I have tried to replicate this using planefinder but it doesn't show it. Any idea's

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by hiss srq View Post
    When you notice that the Captain on the Copa 737 going the other way was wearing knock off Ray Ban's called Rey Ban...
    Happens the same always

  11. #11
    Program Coordinator
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Washington
    Posts
    2,076
    Flying this weekend from Boston to Seattle we were somewhere around 2hrs in when my wife (to whom I gave the window seat) was startled and started pointing out the window while yelling to me to look out the same window she was occupying. Sure enough a 4 engine plane was streaking very close overhead (looked to me like a Finnair A340, but I couldn't get a positive lock on it) had crossed us heading north (we were heading west). I don't know how close it actually was when my wife first saw it, but I do know it's the closest I ever seen a plane out the window outside of a formation setting.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Vinny Ohare's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    NYC - Queen Creek AZ
    Posts
    160
    Jerslice that was exactly my reaction. I was surprised that the plane didn't shake from the crossing planes wake it was so close.

  13. #13
    Moderator USAF Pilot 07's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    1,669
    _________
    Last edited by USAF Pilot 07; 09-07-2013 at 09:07 PM.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •