A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Antoine Couëtte
Date: 2017 Dec 27, 11:49 -0800
Thank you so much for your so kind comments and wishes.
Regarding Airborne Collisions risks : Easy reply here ...
I addition to be stacked - as everywhere else - 1,000' apart up to 41,000' (300 m for Russia and China) - then 2,000' apart over this Flight Level 410 - Westbound-Eastbound North Atlantic daily changing routes (to best accommodate weather and winds) are now separated by 30 NM in Latitude and these pre-established "Daily Tracks" are used by about 50% of the Air Traffic. You can also fly from point to point at your choice on Filed (need to be approved) "Random Routes" which currently accomodate the remaining other 50% of the huge daily traffic over the North Atlantic (over 3,000 flights per 24 hours and still fast increasing) in huge areas without any radar coverage. This why we are to fly there through following an extremely strict "procedures flight" (vol aux procédures) discipline.
Moreover, the North Atlantic Authority has long been recommending flying "Offsets" on all North Atlantic Routes. Any Pilot has his own choice for a Right Offset - Right Offset only :-) - of either 0 NM (i.e. flying exactly on published or filed track), or 1 NM Right or 2 NM Right . Simple programming operation in the Aircraft Flight Computer and the Auto-Pilot will fly it no problem.
Choosing the Offset within the allowable 3 dish menu is really up to any Flight Commander or to the Pilot Flying (PF) by delegation of the Commander. I personally most often choose Offset 2 NM right, unless I am in the downwash wake of a higher Aircraft ahead of me on the very same route. In that case I revert to 1 NM or even 0 NM offset.
You "offset" over all Oceans as well as over some inland inhabited areas such as a significant part of Africa to-day.
Last but not least all Aircraft now have a system called TCAS (Automatic Tracking Surveillance Alerting and Avoiding System) which shows the Pilots adjacent Aircraft within up to 50 NM if low traffic conditions. This amazing "forecasting" system will coordinate manual avoiding manoeuvers in only the vertical plane (i.e. manually follow and fly aural orders for only Climb or Descend) and this absolutely awesome system can accommodate and coordinate real time avoidance manoeuvers and reconfigure them if required (e.g. one non responding aircraft) for up to 8 aircraft together (last version) in the very same close vicinity. TCAS has saved thousands of human lives until now and will keep doing so .... On the average TCAS now avoids one Aircraft direct hit collision per week over the entire world. Its Inventor died just a few years ago.
I could say much more, but you already have all the facets of the big picture here.
So ... get fully relax next time you come to visit Beautiful France :-) ...
By the Way, Happy New Year to yourself and to everyone,