At the field today a guy flying a Quickie 500 plane (at what, 100+ mph?)
plowed into a Funtana, pretty much destroying both planes. What's the
normal protocol on something like that - does the Quickie pilot pay for the
other guy's plane, or is it just an accepted risk of flying?
Normally we don't have Quickies flying at our field (this is the first time
in many years I've seen one flying other than in an organized race), but
today we had 4 other planes in the pattern and then a Quickie takes off to
do its zooming-through-the-pattern thing. A mid-air probably could have
Are you all club members, and do you have any rules in this regard, or
was this a "free-for-all" situation? Generally, a midair collision is
accepted to be one of the risks of flying unless a rule has been broken
(too many planes in the air, erractic pattern being flown, etc.).
At our club, if someone is determined to be "at fault", he/she must
replace the other persons airplane.
Joe Bill wrote:
Unless one pilot does something REALLY dumb, a mid-air is considered a risk of
flying. That being said, usually the faster, more maneuverable planes have the
obligation to yeild airspace to a slower, less maneuverable plane, just like a
power boat yeilds to a sailboat.
If the Quickie was out of the pattern, he was certainly at fault. If he
launched with 4 other planes in the air (not Quickie-types) he was dumb - go
back to sentence one of this post. When I fly my 1/4 Fokker Dr.1, I won't fly
with small, quick planes. The sheer size, speed, and maneuverability
difference is a good recipe for a mid-air.
"There's a Hun in the sun!"
As soon as the second bird went airborne the mid-air became possible. It is
BIG step top go from possible to PREDICTABLE. Even in combat the mid-airs
are at best only highly possible; the IF, where, when and involving whom are
all up for chance. Even indoor park fliers going
For what it's worth, the Funtana was just flying the pattern, making a turn
to come in down a line over the runway - it wasn't a hovering, static
Yes, mid-airs are always possible, but it seems like the probability goes up
quite a bit when you've got a Q500 screaming through the pattern 5-6 times
more often than your average plane can based on its extreme speed. And
based on this extreme speed, I doubt the pilot of the Q500 can do much in
the way of watching out for other planes, so it becomes a case of it being
everyone else's responsibility to get out of his way, as if they'd even have
a chance to see him coming (this is the part I'm having a hard time
Your average plane at our field flies at speeds where it's not too difficult
to visually watch out for other planes and maneuver if necessary to put
distance between them. This may be why this is the first mid-air I've seen.
I wonder what the owner of a $1700 Hangar 9 Ultimate 10-300 with a $1500
engine in it would think if he'd been on the receiving end of this
If I were king I'd say that if your aircraft is so fast that you can't do a
reasonable job of attempting to avoid mid-airs, then you should only be
allowed to take to the air when nobody else is flying. If your aircraft is
in the air first and someone takes off to fly too, then they do so at their
But, since I'm not king I guess if I'm in the air when something like that
takes to the sky, I'll bring mine in for my own protection.
It's been interesting reading people's opinions. Thanks for showing me how
naive I am.
where do you fly? I need to know, since I don't want to go there, what
with all those folks looking for somebody different from themselves to
Get a life-- mid-airs happen. If you don't want guys flying fast,
insist on speed limiters and/or ban them.
The best defense against mid-airs is the one I use--when I feel
uncomfortable with a particular airplane in the air, I land and watch
for a while..
Joe Bill wrote:
Weighing in for no apparent reason...I agree with the post above. Mid-airs
happen. It doesn't really atter what speed you are flying, you watch your
plane. Only when a another plane gets into your visual field do you see it.
Others, not committed to comanding a palne may watch two or three things in a
kind of scanning rotation. How often have you been at your field or a contest
when someone 'goes in' and you find yourself asking "what happened?" because
you were looking somewhere else?
One of the clubs i fly at just passed a 'spotter rule' to try and avoid midairs
and to be able to alert the pilot if an emergency arises. Also helps for
calling landings and checking to see if the runnway is clear.
FWIW, the planes at that field regularly include trainers, biplanes, all sorts
of sport planes, true maser project big birds and turbines. So, we have a very
wide speed envelope.
Everybody needs to pick up the rekitted parts and look at it as an opportunity
to move on and get to that next plane that has been so enticing...:)
We can make a box of wood.....FLY!!
Just out of curiosity, did the 2 pilots involved reach some sort
of agreement about blame afterwards?
I'm with you on the 'landing for your own protection' approach. There are a
couple of guys who I don't feel comfortable flying with, so when they take
off, I land. Much simpler than all the finger pointing etc after a crash!
MrBonk (at work)
Your comment about "all those folks" is misplaced -- everyone who responded
to my post seems to have the same opinion (except me) that mid-airs happen,
as did the one person at the field I talked to. I'm guessing since the
community response seems to be "mid-airs happen", I expect most people at
our field would feel the same way.
I think you could have made you point without your first paragraph, or the
get-a-life comment. I wasn't trying to tell anyone they were wrong, I was
just asking a question and ventured to put my opinion out in as neutral a
manner as I could and was looking for some comment, expecting it also to be
neutral. I guess it's now two lessons learned today.
Mate, this sort of behaviour is rife on Usenet. People who probably
wouldn't say 'boo' to you if they were face to face with you turn into
veritable keyboard warriors in here! Consign them to the killfile and
they'll never bother you again :-)
MrBonk (at work)
Another way to read this "mid-airs happen" idea is another way of simply
saying: "Not my fault!". In other words, it seems everyone wants to duck
the possibility that they may someday be RESPONSIBLE for the loss of someone
else's model. Because then they might be expected to do the right thing and
replace it! Sad comment on the state of maturity at club fields.
However, to a point I have to agree with the concept that mid-airs happen.
But only to a point. In this case I would say, based on what I know about
it that the Q-500 pilot demonstrated poor judgment. The planes being
overtaken have the right of way and it's the job of the pilot doing the
overtaking to avoid them. This isn't written in law anywhere. It's simply
the way gentlemen and men of values and ethics would behave and it is borne
out of respect for each other.
My suggestion is to lobby a complaint to the club officers each and every
time this Q-500 pilot or any other pilot behaves in a similar manner. Try
to get others to do the same. Make it known that you think the Q-500 was in
the wrong and should replace the other plane. Depending on the mood of the
club, you may end up having to find a new club to fly with. But you might
be better off doing just that.
I agree, Chuck. Sometimes s**t happens, and sometimes it's encouraged to
happen. The minute the Quickie pilot took off into crowded airspace, with a
plane vastly different than the ones flying, the POSSIBILITY of a mid-air
changed to a PROBABILITY of one. I'm not saying you must allow only planes of
the same type to fly together, but there is a legal phrase called "reasonable
care" that can be applied.
Yes they do; as do slower, and less maneuverable planes.
Chuck, sadly, this is a nation of "not my fault'ers". No one wants to admit or
assume responsilbility for their own actions. That's why the courts are filled
with lawsuits today. You have to force someone to face up to the consequences
of their actions.
It's a sad comment on maturity everywhere. No one wants to do the right thing.
"My fault" is a dirty word now-a-days.
"There's a Hun in the sun!"
I have never seen a situation where ANYONE has been deemed responsible
for paying for another's aircraft, even when the fault obviously lies with
I commonly see situations where someone OFFERS'S to pay for damage to
another, but even then, that offer is always turned down by the other
In this hobby, we seem to have adopted a "no fault" policy with regard
to pretty much every situation other than intentional damage. I mean, hey,
it's a hobby with hazards... if you accept the hobby, you accept the
Several years ago at one of our fly-ins, we had a similar incident. A gent
flying a 1/4 scale Cub decided to do a loop, and was about 1/4 of the way
into it, when a .25-sized Quickie-type went right through the middle of it.
Both models were totaled in the mid-air. The two pilots involved shrugged,
said "s**t happens", brought out another plane and kept flying.
Call it even. When you crank up an RC model, you should accept the risk that
go with the hobby. An occasional mid-air will happen in spite of the best
efforts of everyone.
We are becoming a nation of fault finders and litigators. We all need to do
our part to stop the madness.
There were only two of us at the field. I was flying basic pattern
maneuvers with my 4*60 and the other guy was flying an ultra stick 40. He
was all over the place with no regard to pattern. I let him fly first
thinking we could alternate turns flying. However, every time I started my
engine he would start his and fly too. On the last flight, I let him fly
twice before I tried to fly. Sure enough, as soon as I started my engine he
went up too. I almost asked him to please wait until I was finished before
he flew again. I was flying the pattern, when all of a sudden there was a
sickening smash and my 4* came down in a slow spiral. He had flown up
through my right wing. My plane and os91 4-stroke were totalled. All he
had to say was "I can't believe that happened". He then said "What are
the chances of that happening?" I said about 100 percent. What can you