Experimental Aircraft Association Chapter 21
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PostPosted: Mon Sep 07, 2020 10:24 am 

Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2016 6:01 am
Posts: 284
NOTE: This is an operational caution to all area pilots operating near KEHR. It is not my intention to disparage or condemn the actions of another pilot or pilots.

On Saturday, September 5th, I was approaching KEHR from the east and made position calls and intentions for left down wind landing RWY 9 Henderson. On the down wind I encountered a flight of two ultralights crossing from my left to right at pattern altitude. In a PA30 I was just below gear extension speed, a little above pattern altitude and decending when I saw a glint of sunlight at my 10 o'clock. Ultralights! No calls on unicomm and almost as difficult to see as birds. But close enough to see the rigging on their aircraft and color of their jump suits.

At our closest I estimate no more than 50 feet vertical and perhaps 1/4 mile horizontal (I was down wind for landing and they, I later learned, had departed opposite runway and made right traffic, northerly, upon departure). I climbed using the energy I had and began a turn to the north as I was convinced there was a third. I saw a flight of three the Saturday prior at KEHR and was convinced I only saw two of three.

There's a lot here for everyone to learn from. No, not all aircraft have radios nor are they required. No, deviations from rules by others does not relieve you of the see and avoid requirements. Yes, remember those right of way rules and review the class D (KEHR) and Part 103 requirements. Yes, down wind is an especially busy time for single pilot ops but it should be coordinated with extra vigilance out the windows.

Let's all take something away from this unfortunate encounter. Given the parameters above and an estimated closing speed of 140 -150 miles per hour, we were at most 9 seconds away from a mid air. Enough said.

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