Loss of Separation - Pilot-induced Situations
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|Category:||Loss of Separation|
Loss of separation between aircraft sometimes occurs as a result of an aircraft deviating from the cleared track without clearance.
Loss of separation may be either in a vertical or a horizontal plane, or both.
- Loss of separation from other aircraft may result in collision. This is especially likely when Reduced Vertical Separation Minima (RVSM) procedures are in force.
- Injury, especially to cabin crew or passengers, may result from violent manoeuvres to avoid collision with other aircraft or the ground.
- Injury may also result from wake vortex turbulence encounter.
- High levels of stress for the pilots and controllers involved, which may lead to reduced performance.
- Standard Operating Procedures, on the flight-deck, which detail procedures to be followed to reduce the chance of loss of separation.
- Onboard aircraft equipment designed to warn of potential collision with other aircraft (TCAS).
- Ground-based equipment designed to warn of potential collision with other aircraft: (Short Term Conflict Alert (STCA)).
- Flight deviates from cleared track or level without clearance:
- Due to pilot inattention, equipment malfunction or the mis-setting of aircraft equipment;
- To avoid a visually-perceived loss of separation from another aircraft;
- To avoid severe weather if Instrument Flight Rules (IFR) or to remain in Visual Meteorological Conditions (VMC) if Visual Flight Rules (VFR).
- Pilot fails to follow ATC clearance or delays their actioning of an accepted clearance.
- Instruction not received or not understood by pilot due to ineffective air-ground communications.
- Pilot receives a TCAS RA but fails to follow it correctly.
- Pilot enters notified airspace without clearance.
- Weather (e.g. thunderstorm activity).
- Improve standard of pilot training, especially in:
- Loss of Separation
- Loss of Separation - ATCO-induced Situations
- Accident and Serious Incident Reports: LOS contains examples of pilot-induced loss of separation.
- Visual Scanning Technique
- Loss of Separation During Weather Avoidance
- Safety Management System Manual v10.1, by the British Gliding Association (BGA), 26 February 2016