FAA updates collision avoidance advisory circular

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FAA has issued a new version of the Pilots’ Role in Collision Avoidance, AC90-48E, with new and recent examples where pilots have failed in this task. This revision to the AC incorporates additional information regarding pilot actions, procedures, Notices to Air Missions (NOTAM), and aircraft technology to mitigate the risk of a pilot causing or being involved in a ground collision, in-flight collision, or NMAC.

The most advanced piece of flight equipment in any aircraft is the human eye, and since the number one cause of midair collisions is the failure to adhere to the see-and-avoid concept, efficient use of visual techniques and knowledge of the eye’s limitations will help pilots avoid collisions. Your vision’s clarity is influenced by some characteristics of the objects you are viewing, including:

  • Your distance from the object.
  • The size, shape, and movement of the object.
  • The amount of light reflected by the object.
  • The object’s contrast with the surrounding environment.

One inherent problem with the eye is the time required for accommodation or refocusing. It takes 1 to 2 seconds for eyes to refocus from something up close, like a dark instrument panel 2 feet away, to a bright landmark or aircraft 1 mile away.

Access the updated AC here.

Eric Radtke