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F-16 & Cessna mid-air over SC

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ATC will not route civilian IFR traffic through and active MOA.

But if they do, they'll apologize afterwards.

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ATC cannot route IFR traffic through an active MOA. They either have to send them around, or call the airspace back. If you're losing airspace without your consent, you need to talk to the Chief Controller at your local RAPCON and see why they're giving away your airspace without your approval.

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Historically, has there ever been a civilian vs military mid air collision in a MOA? If so how likely is this to happen?

The nearest MOA (Gamecock) is almost 20 NM from the crash site. We know the C-150 departed KMKS and was headed to Myrtle Beach. Worst case, assuming a direct flight path, it would've been 30 miles was even in a position to enter the MOA via the southern border. That airspace is active 10k-17.9k. Those altitudes don't make much sense for a short hop to MYR or CRE and aren't very 100hp C-150 friendly on a hot summer day in SC either.

It seems unlikely to be a factor in this crash. I'm not sure how this spawned into an airspace debate, but if people want to talk about airspace, it seems like a great time for both sides to learn from each other.

I read one report that suggested the F-16 was on an instrument approach.

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ATC cannot route IFR traffic through an active MOA. They either have to send them around, or call the airspace back

Contradictory statement - they CAN route IFR traffic through an active MOA...by calling airspace back. It's semantics, in the end they're putting an IFR aircraft through the MOA. That said, I don't care because everyone knows what's going on and it's generally safe.

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F-16 at MVA on downwind/base for practice instrument approach. Vectored directly IVO KMKS. Further details should be released soon by NTSB

Do you know if the Viper was on an IFR or VFR clearance at the time?

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Do you know if the Viper was on an IFR or VFR clearance at the time?

Is it common in the fighter world to do practice IFR approaches under a VFR clearance?

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Gamecock c goes from 100 agl to 10k. But probably not a factor in this incident anyway.

Gamecock B is 10k to 17.9K. Instrument approach vectors? 15-20nm radar downwind going into CHS??? AFSOC authorizes IFR practice on VFR flight plan FYSA.

Edited by Whitman

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Gamecock B is 10k to 17.9K. Instrument approach vectors? 15-20nm radar downwind going into CHS??? AFSOC authorizes IFR practice on VFR flight plan FYSA.

When you're going 300 KIAS 15-20 nm vectors is probably the norm....

For me, short vectors FTW and if it's much outside of 8 nm, I'm pinging ATC because they just added 5 minutes of flight time to my flight.

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When you're going 300 KIAS 15-20 nm vectors is probably the norm....

For me, short vectors FTW and if it's much outside of 8 nm, I'm pinging ATC because they just added 5 minutes of flight time to my flight.

I'm from this area, I thought I was clear. JETS (Airliners Vipers and F-18's included) get vectored over my friends house in Goose Creek near Weapons Station on radar base when landing R-15 or 21. Goose Creek, not Moncks Corner, SC. There's no logical reason for any plane to be so low, so far away from landing. This situation is really weird.

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^^^ Not sure I'm following. You're saying there's no reason for a fighter to be that low only 15-20nm away from the runway? I'd say getting vectored to intercept the approach course at 15nm would be completely normal (maybe just a tad longer than normal).

Not sure where you're getting the altitude they were at from.

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I'm from this area, I thought I was clear. JETS (Airliners Vipers and F-18's included) get vectored over my friends house in Goose Creek near Weapons Station on radar base when landing R-15 or 21. Goose Creek, not Moncks Corner, SC. There's no logical reason for any plane to be so low, so far away from landing. This situation is really weird.

^^^ Not sure I'm following. You're saying there's no reason for a fighter to be that low only 15-20nm away from the runway? I'd say getting vectored to intercept the approach course at 15nm would be completely normal (maybe just a tad longer than normal).

Not sure where you're getting the altitude they were at from.

http://thehilltalk.com/2015/07/08/f-16-air-force-jet-collides-private-plane-charleston-sc/

This references the WG/CC stating the F-16 was at 2,000-3,000'...completely normal considering the FAF altitude is 1600' and MSA is 3100'...gotta go with Kenny on this one. Even if they don't *normally* vector them out to Monck's Corner, it could've been a busy day for the controller, or potentially the viper was exiting Gamecock MOA essentially on a base leg and was descended to 2-3K'...not sure why Whitman finds this mind-numbingly impossible.

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Is it common in the fighter world to do practice IFR approaches under a VFR clearance?

No, in fact it's against some reg.

And you are right, Whitman is out to lunch.

Edited by matmacwc

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2,300' AGL, 300 KIAS, 15nm radar downwind is an every day occurance where I'm at. Mix fast and slower jets in the pattern and that's what you get.

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http://thehilltalk.com/2015/07/08/f-16-air-force-jet-collides-private-plane-charleston-sc/

This references the WG/CC stating the F-16 was at 2,000-3,000'...completely normal considering the FAF altitude is 1600' and MSA is 3100'...gotta go with Kenny on this one. Even if they don't *normally* vector them out to Monck's Corner, it could've been a busy day for the controller, or potentially the viper was exiting Gamecock MOA essentially on a base leg and was descended to 2-3K'...not sure why Whitman finds this mind-numbingly impossible.

First I'm seeing or 2-3k feet. We all know eye witness accounts are errant but I first heard 300ft from the guys at the airport who talked to locals. 2000-3000 AGL while pretty low for that far out (glide slope intercept at 10 miles at 3000 ft) is at least plausible based off controller discretion or weather that day.

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Or if he's flying the full approach he's actually arcing at 24 dme @ 3000ft. Sucks for gas but not uncommon for an instrument ride.

Edited by icohftb

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First I'm seeing or 2-3k feet. We all know eye witness accounts are errant but I first heard 300ft from the guys at the airport who talked to locals.

If you know they're errant, why even listen and take it to heart? Just because they're your bros at the FBO doesn't mean they are any smarter than the average dude at offering accident analysis/insight. Remember the dudes that got intercepted by LUF guys in the gladbag MOAs 6-9 years ago? Claimed the viper was within 50' of them when the tapes said well over 1K'.

I'm betting that precisely zero private pilots or CFIs would guess the wingspan of an F-16 as small as 33'.

  • Upvote 1

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If I intercepted the glideslope at 10 miles out, I'd lose almost 3600' in the descent on a 3 deg wire. It's not "plausible", it's simple math (assuming normal fighter speeds).

How does speed affect the altitude you'd lose in 10 miles on a 3 degree glide path?

  • Upvote 1

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How does speed affect the altitude you'd lose in 10 miles on a 3 degree glide path?

Accounting for the speed of the treadmill

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300' per nautical mile = 3 degree glide path. Degree glide path x NM/min = VVI. Holy tap dancing miracle, how many student pilots are chiming in on this thread. Choke yourself for being stupid and prevent the passage of your seed.

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Lots of factors here, just like in any crash and they will be investigated. The results will be released at the appropriate time and I look forward to it.

I'm just shocked and outraged at the mistakes some or all Involved (ATC especially) would've had to make for this tragedy to happen.

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