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My Live KATU Flight 370 broadcast presenation

Saturday, April 14, 2007

FLYOSOPHY - Are you still there?

FLYOSOPHY - How do you know for sure? Will there be a midair or not? When is the radar right and when is it not?

Controllers in San Diego were understandably cautious in the late 1980's in the San Diego area for good reason; a midair HAD occurred between an airliner and a Cesnna 172. So when I flew from Gillespie field towards the Mission Bay VOR, the following exchange really occurred between me and the controller monitoring my transit on this beautiful CAVU day.

"Cessna 14 Romeo, be advised traffic at 12 oclock, 3 miles, unknown altitude."

"14 Romeo, Looking."

"Cessna 14 Romeo, traffic 12 oclock and two miles."

"14 Romeo looking."

(Now, visibility was perfect, and there appeared to be NOTHING in front of me, but the controller was seeing SOMETHING and even though it was probably substantially higher and maybe lower, I was starting to get concerned).

The controller's voice became a little tighter.

"Cessna 14 Romeo, traffic 12 oclock, 1 mile, advise in sight."

I was really straining my neck now and rocking the wings, still, nothing.

"14 Romeo, looking, no traffic." was all I could say.

The moment of the possible collision came and went. The controllers next words, somewhat hesitantly -

"Cessna 14 Romeo, you there?"

Even if your eyes see nothing a radar screen will make you think twice. I never did see the other aircraft, which proceeded merrily eastbound, off frequency, unaware of any issue.

onward & upward! ~ rfb

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