So the FAA called me today.

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BrianL99
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So the FAA called me today.

Postby BrianL99 » Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:48 pm

According to the Voice Mail, they're investigating a near "mid-air collision" and would like to talk to me.

I don't have a clue what it's about and haven't flown my airplane in a month.


Advice?
Last edited by BrianL99 on Wed Jul 20, 2016 7:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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drseti
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Re: So the FAA called me today.

Postby drseti » Wed Jul 20, 2016 6:53 pm

If you're an AOPA member and subscribe to their Pilot Protective Services, call them first, then FAA.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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MrMorden
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Re: So the FAA called me today.

Postby MrMorden » Fri Jul 22, 2016 11:44 am

I would be reluctant to say anything unless compelled to do so through subpoena or threat of certificate action. You can't gain anything by speaking voluntarily, but you could lose quite a bit.
Andy Walker
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Re: So the FAA called me today.

Postby 3Dreaming » Fri Jul 22, 2016 12:23 pm

MrMorden wrote:I would be reluctant to say anything unless compelled to do so through subpoena or threat of certificate action. You can't gain anything by speaking voluntarily, but you could lose quite a bit.


When I did my IA renewal training this year there was a fellow from the FAA who did a presentation. His job within the FAA was to investigate and bring cases to trial. To hear him talk he was not happy about it, but the FAA has changed their policy in the last year to more of a training instead of enforcement policy. I know that is how they are treating things around here.

Unless you did something that you knew was blatantly wrong and you have no remorse about it, you should have nothing to worry about.

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MrMorden
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Re: So the FAA called me today.

Postby MrMorden » Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:25 pm

3Dreaming wrote:
MrMorden wrote:I would be reluctant to say anything unless compelled to do so through subpoena or threat of certificate action. You can't gain anything by speaking voluntarily, but you could lose quite a bit.


When I did my IA renewal training this year there was a fellow from the FAA who did a presentation. His job within the FAA was to investigate and bring cases to trial. To hear him talk he was not happy about it, but the FAA has changed their policy in the last year to more of a training instead of enforcement policy. I know that is how they are treating things around here.

Unless you did something that you knew was blatantly wrong and you have no remorse about it, you should have nothing to worry about.


Maybe so. But having been a police officer, I know not to talk to cops, it can almost never benefit you. Even if you "have done nothing wrong". I consider all enforcement officials like the FAA under the umbrella of "cops". :)

This video, given by a defense attorney and a police detective, will explain why in great detail:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wXkI4t7nuc
Andy Walker
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CharlieTango
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Re: So the FAA called me today.

Postby CharlieTango » Fri Jul 22, 2016 8:21 pm

My experience was that I was far better off responding and even honestly fessing up. The FSDO was very understanding but I was quite guilty. They had already done a check on me and got good reports but they had to follow up on a complaint.

It was all very friendly and and they asked if I would mind terribly if they revoked my certificate for 30 days and they even let me pick the month. Living in Mammoth and flying a skyhawk you can't fly in April anyway so I gave up my ticket for 1 April.

If I wouldn't have been cooperative the end result for me would have been much worse and expensive.

In this case I would think they are looking to talk to someone. If you were involved in a near miss and were not aware there is not much you can tell them.

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Re: So the FAA called me today.

Postby drseti » Fri Jul 22, 2016 10:23 pm

eyeflygps wrote:You might ask Paul since he just had a near miss and see what the FAA had to say about it.


No need to ask; he'll reply uninvited! After my NMAC I was asked to call the tower, which I did - they then asked me to call Jax TRACON, which I did -- gave them a very brief report. I later received a call from the safety inspector at Orlando FSDO. He asked me what had happened; I answered freely (but filed a NASA ASRS report afterward). He questioned my choice of route, I told him I was vectoring myself around a particular restricted area, and he thanked me for not causing him to have to write up an airspace incursion! All in all, very straightforward and pleasant, with no repercussions.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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Re: So the FAA called me today.

Postby FastEddieB » Sat Jul 23, 2016 7:45 am

Just speaking for myself, I would call out of courtesy and curiosity.

But...

I would be very circumspect in answering questions.

Like Andy, I spent some time in law enforcement. To charge a motorist with a violation, you had to be able to place him or her "behind the wheel".

In this case, even a question like, "Were you flying your plane on such-and-such a date?" might be best left politely unanswered until one knew the purpose of the inquiry. It's not enough that your plane might have been involved in something, they need to be able to prove that you were the pilot, which I think they might have a hard time doing, unless a flight plan was filed or they have someone who saw you exit the plane post-flight.

In short, I'd attempt to be cooperative, but not admit to anything until I knew where the inquiry was going.
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Re: So the FAA called me today.

Postby HAPPYDAN » Sat Jul 23, 2016 10:21 am

Wow....This all sounds so ominous! Now I'm having second thoughts about flying. Last year, on a training flight (with CFI on board), I busted the Mode C veil of SEATAC w/o clearance or contact (That low time Skycatcher climbs like a scared cat) exceeding 3,000 feet accidentally. Got yelled at by ATC, ordered to descend and follow a specific heading and do not deviate. Got a real good look at the bottom of a 737 in the process. Nothing else was said, except "Don't do that again." Now we always head west, away from that unbelievable airspace. Please get back with the results of your inquiry; I'm hoping the skies are still (somewhat) friendly.

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MrMorden
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Re: So the FAA called me today.

Postby MrMorden » Sat Jul 23, 2016 2:36 pm

Don't get me wrong, 90% of these calls will be friendly, no big deal kind of calls. But you won't know for sure until AFTER you talk to them. Best to not answer specific questions. Eddie and I are on the same page. I'd be curious and would call back, but if asked specific questions a polite reply of "May I ask the nature of this inquiry, and what facts you are trying to determine?" might give you some more information.

Just be aware, there is nothing illegal about an investigator outright lying to you in the course of an investigation. It is routinely done by police to obtain confessions and statements of fact.
Andy Walker
Athens, GA
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2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

BrianL99
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Re: So the FAA called me today.

Postby BrianL99 » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:12 pm

So here's the story.


Apparently ...

I departed my local airport, 6B6.

Normal take off, nothing unusual.

Normal climb, runway heading. Take out flaps about 600'. Climb at 65-70 knots.

I've never realized this before, because it's seldom an issue, but ... the approach for Runway 11 at KBED passes a couple of miles past the departure end of Runway 03 at 6B6.

About 4 miles after departure, I requested flight following and had it for the remainder of my flight.

According to the radar returns, I passed below and within 1/4 mile of a G4 on approach to KBED. Close enough for him to get my N number. I never saw him and I'm not sure how that's possible, with a full, clear canopy. Or I guess I could say, he passed above me.

Come to find out, it's the 4th or 5th such event on that runway, in the last 6 months, the worst of which, was a "mid-air" 3 months ago. That one resulted in a "dented wing" on a 172. I'm sure a G4 would do worse damage.

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Re: So the FAA called me today.

Postby Flocker » Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:52 pm

What did they recommend going forward?

BrianL99
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Re: So the FAA called me today.

Postby BrianL99 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:45 am

eyeflygps wrote:Take a look at the approach plates for that airport and don't put yourself in a position or altitude to tangle with landing or departing traffic. You can also monitor their tower frequency to be aware of landing and departing traffic. Remember that ATC only guarantees traffic separation for IFR/IFR, and in VFR weather conditons it's see and be seen for all traffic. Flying north out of that airport, you might want to head west and stay low before heading north.



Sounds simple, but you can't get their tower on the ground and the preferred departure and noise abatement procedure, recommend climbing to altitude as soon as practical.

The FAA & the locals are in the process of arranging a safety seminar on the subject, but it's obviously becoming a problem.

Apparently the G4's TCAS didn't pick up my airplane on departure, which is apparently one of the issues they're trying to figure out.

Just a matter of the Regulations, wouldn't departing traffic have the right of way, as they would be approaching incoming KBED traffic "from the right"?

I suspect the G4 was not flying an Instrument Approach, as the weather was Clear & a Zillion.

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MrMorden
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Re: So the FAA called me today.

Postby MrMorden » Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:30 am

You said 1/4 mile away from the G4 and below...I'd want to know how far below. If it's 500ft or more, I don't even know why they care (other than the TCAS issue), that's standard separation.

When I was flying through the Atlanta area on Flight Following last year, I got a call out for a G5 500ft above me, crossing from my three o'clock. He was going to pass *right* over me. I told ATC I was going to descend to maintain separation, and the controller said: "Why? You have 500ft separation." I halted the descent, and the G5 passed over close enough to see the outlines of his gear doors.

I understand them caring about not getting a TCAS alert (did you have your transponder on and in ALT mode?), but it's unclear if there was actually a separation concern from the information given.

In any event, in the future I guess just level out at a lower level, climb faster, or turn away before reaching that approach area until you are clear of it. If it's 3-4 miles you should be able to get above it in time, even if you need a Vx climb to do it.
Andy Walker
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2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA

BrianL99
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Re: So the FAA called me today.

Postby BrianL99 » Thu Jul 28, 2016 7:06 pm

eyeflygps wrote:§ 91.113 Right-of-way rules: Except water operations.


(d) Converging. When aircraft of the same category are converging at approximately the same altitude (except head-on, or nearly so), the aircraft to the other's right has the right-of-way. If the aircraft are of different categories -





That's what I thought.

But let's complicate the question.

If you're flying on an IFR flight plan in VRF conditions, are you required to take evasive action? It seems to me you are, but I've forgotten most of my IFR training.


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