Tuesday, August 18, 2009

All of a sudden all I could see was an airplane

The recent mid air disaster over the Hudson reminded me of an incident overn norhtern Massachusetts some years ago. I was flying VFR at 9500 in my 1965 Baron heading to Burlington, VT. It was nice and clear with only a few scattered cumulus clouds, really nothing to block visibility at my altitude. I was squawking a VFR transponder code but not in contact with any ATC facility. In that region it would most likely have been Boston Center. But hey it was a Sunday and there shouldn't have been much traffic.

When all of a sudden my view out the windshield changed from blue sky to a Bonanza type single engine plane passing directly and obliquely across my flight path. There wasn't any time to react. This plane had overflown my flight path at a 45o angle from behind. They should have had me in plain sight if they were looking. But they apparently weren't. This was before texting too.

I was so shook up I called Boston Center and asked if they were communicating with the traffic that just had overflown me? They were not working anyone in my area.

The lesson I guess is that you should use all available means to help prevent a mid-air . But, even if you do, you might need Lady Luck to watch out for you. They could have used her last week over the Hudson.

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