Should one accident change the rules?

8/11/2009:

Micheal Roston – Senior Producer at TrueSlant.com – sent Hoboken411 an email about Saturday’s tragic air collision:

should-flights-be-restricted-on-the-hudson-river

Don’t ban Hudson River Flights

“Congratulations to you guys for all the great coverage you’ve provided of Saturday’s disaster – I’ve really enjoyed it and found it very informative. I thought you might be interested in this post from Miles O’Brien, a former CNN anchor who primarily writes about aviation now, and says that Saturday’s crash is not an occasion for greater restrictions on civil aviation over the Hudson River:”

Those of us who fly through this airspace are responsible for seeing and avoiding each other. There are no air traffic controllers serving as traffic cops here.

And before you get yourself all spun up about this (I am talkin’ to you Sen. Schumer!), before this tragic crash there has never been a mid air collision like this in New York City.

Over the years, many thousands of airplane and helicopters have successfully and safely plied their way through this corridor of airspace wherein the responsibility for collision avoidance rests entirely in the cockpit.

And the real truth is it makes flying in the New York City airspace safer – because all the aircraft who fly in this zone are not taxing already maxed out air traffic controllers.

If tour helicopters had to check in with ATC every time they alighted with a load of tourists, the system would bog down in a hurry.

It is NOT the Wild West up there – as one congressional staffer suggests. Not by a long shot. There are rules that pilots follow and the safety record speaks for itself.

– Miles O’Brien

Thanks,
Michael Roston
Senior Producer
TrueSlant.com

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21 Comments on "Should one accident change the rules?"

boatguy
Member
boatguy

If only nyc area residents knew that some of these “crummy airplanes” were in the experimental category. “You mean you built that in your garage!?”

boatguy
Member
boatguy

Well I only fly vfr so its possible the encounters I’ve had were with airlines flying the visual for 4. There are a few other spots where I’ve seen stuff similar to what I’m describing, but most of the time its in that area. I don’t have tcas so I always monitor NY approach anyway when I fly under it.

They have blocked 3000-7000, they should use it. They should bump the corridor to 1500 to allow more spacing and give northbound and southbound traffic separate cruising altitudes…keep all the helicopters below 5-600 because that’s where they seem to like it anyway. Set everyone’s altimeter to newark’s atis. I have no idea how they would show this on a chart, they’d have to redraw it or maybe put it in the note block on the terminal chart where it gives the freq for the rivers and the rule not to exceed 140kts.

Or just keep it the same, like mentioned above, accidents happen.

iratevoter
Member
iratevoter

I like the idea of altitude seperation of fixed-wing and helicopter traffic. I like a speed limit too. And mandatory position reporting. I also like the idea of fixed-wing “entry points” into the corridor above the GWB or below the Verrazano. That way, everyone can expect you.

In response to boatguy who said:
Well I only fly vfr so its possible the encounters I’ve had were with airlines flying the visual for 4. There are a few other spots where I’ve seen stuff similar to what I’m describing, but most of the time its in that area. I don’t have tcas so I always monitor NY approach anyway when I fly under it.

They have blocked 3000-7000, they should use it. They should bump the corridor to 1500 to allow more spacing and give northbound and southbound traffic separate cruising altitudes…keep all the helicopters below 5-600 because that’s where they seem to like it anyway. Set everyone’s altimeter to newark’s atis. I have no idea how they would show this on a chart, they’d have to redraw it or maybe put it in the note block on the terminal chart where it gives the freq for the rivers and the rule not to exceed 140kts.

Or just keep it the same, like mentioned above, accidents happen.

KenOn10
Member
KenOn10

Okay, now, those are rule changes. Didn’t we all JUST say the one accident shouldn’t change the rules?

In response to iratevoter who said:
I like the idea of altitude seperation of fixed-wing and helicopter traffic. I like a speed limit too. And mandatory position reporting. I also like the idea of fixed-wing “entry points” into the corridor above the GWB or below the Verrazano. That way, everyone can expect you.

iratevoter
Member
iratevoter

I like those proposals because they’re no more than what you would advise a prudent pilot to do, it satisfies the numb-nut politicians and it actually does make the corridor safer without sacrificing it’s utility.

Better to get ahead of any other stupid proposals with something that makes good sense.

In response to KenOn10 who said:
Okay, now, those are rule changes. Didn’t we all JUST say the one accident shouldn’t change the rules?

KenOn10
Member
KenOn10

Point taken, but I disagree. You’re talking about legislating prudence.

Altitude separation is a fine idea, but I don’t think there is enough room. Don’t helicopters require a certain altitude to establish autorotation? Forcing them to stay low sounds unsafe in event of engine failure.

Mandatory reporting? I report entering the corridor at Alpine, southbound and again crossing the GWB. At the Lincoln Tunnel the frequency is occupied, so I can’t report… now, I’m in violation!

It will be interesting to see what the NTSB concludes… some time next year!

In response to iratevoter who said:
I like those proposals because they’re no more than what you would advise a prudent pilot to do, it satisfies the numb-nut politicians and it actually does make the corridor safer without sacrificing it’s utility.

Better to get ahead of any other stupid proposals with something that makes good sense.

iratevoter
Member
iratevoter

I hear you. I’m just trying to minimize the damage. I wouldn’t propose those rules unless the FAA was proposing something much more draconian.

As an aside, I think helicopters need to avoid the “dead man’s curve” altitude/airspeed profile. If they’re low, their airspeed needs to be relatively high to successfully autorotate. Fascinating stuff. I wish I could afford to fly one of them whirly-bird contraptions :-).

In response to KenOn10 who said:
Point taken, but I disagree. You’re talking about legislating prudence.

Altitude separation is a fine idea, but I don’t think there is enough room. Don’t helicopters require a certain altitude to establish autorotation? Forcing them to stay low sounds unsafe in event of engine failure.

Mandatory reporting? I report entering the corridor at Alpine, southbound and again crossing the GWB. At the Lincoln Tunnel the frequency is occupied, so I can’t report… now, I’m in violation!

It will be interesting to see what the NTSB concludes… some time next year!

Easy-E
Member

No accident in 20 years? Didn’t a plane flown by a ball player crash into a building along the East River a few years ago?

iratevoter
Member
iratevoter

That wasn’t the Hudson VFR corridor. That was the dead-end airspace up the East River. The only reason that VFR airspace exists is to allow the Hamptons seaplane and helicopters to land up there. For the life of me, I don’t understand why Lindle flew up there… tight airspace (the width of the East River), low altitude… and he had to execute a U-turn to get out of it… no good can come of that!

In response to Easy-E who said:
No accident in 20 years? Didn’t a plane flown by a ball player crash into a building along the East River a few years ago?

cheeky
Member
cheeky

Yes, Cory Lidle flew into a building. I am not sure this would be considered the same as 2 pilots crashing after or during sharing the same air space.

In response to Easy-E who said:
No accident in 20 years? Didn’t a plane flown by a ball player crash into a building along the East River a few years ago?

jc5201
Member
jc5201

The only regulation we need is WWMD – what would maverick do!

Seriously though, I’m impressed with the number of pilots on 411.

CharlieAParker
Member

boatguy, I stay to the north so I haven’t noticed that, but that’s just wrong, I had look up the reference. In 7110.65S (ATC handbook) the note for 7-9-3 says about allowing large turbine engine‐powered airplanes below Class B airspace: “Such authorization should be the exception rather than the rule.”

Most people can understand how 2 cars racing towards each other 120 MPH manage to miss each other by mere inches because of some paint. It’s accepted that if someone doesn’t follow the paint rule people may/will die. But most people don’t get airplanes.

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