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The survey of pilot opinions about the perceived effectiveness of the "see and avoid" approach to midair collision avoidance is timely and important. But there's a problem with taking pilot opinions about such a matter as evidence about anything other than their perceptions of a situation whose reality may be, and I submit is, very different. You see, I've concluded that "see and avoid" is a misnomer for an approach that could be more accurately called "big sky dumb luck," or perhaps "dumb luck" for short. It's not hard to show with elementary geometry that "see and avoid" is outright impossible in many common situations, both in the pattern at approach speeds and out of the pattern at cruise speeds. The problem is especially acute when planes are coming head on, where for either aircraft, the visual angle subtended by the other oncoming plane remains very small until about 5 seconds before impact, and when planes are climbing or descending at differential approach speeds in the pattern, where the other plane cannot be seen by either pilot before impact. How many pilots have never seen the planes that ATC called for them, thankfully glad to finally hear ATC call "no factor"? Any pilot with moderate cross country flight time has had this experience as well as the experience of unexpected "close encounters," shall we say. It's time to move into the 21st century with reliable "see and avoid" sensing and alerting technology in the xxxxpit, rather than mere "dumb luck."
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