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Midair Collision MAC – Near Midair Collisions NMAC – Top 7 Reasons why midair collisions occur

North American XB-70A Valkyrie just after collision

North American XB-70A Valkyrie just after collision

A Midair Collision is an airborne collision between two aircraft.

A near midair collision (NMAC) is defined as an incident associated with the operation of an aircraft in which a possibility of collision occurs as a result of proximity of less than 500 feet to another aircraft, or a report is received from a pilot or a flight crew member stating that a collision hazard existed between two or more aircraft.

A Near Midair Collision should be reported in the United States under the “Near Midair Collision (NMAC) Reporting
Program” to provide information for use in enhancing the safety and efficiency of the National Airspace System.

A study by the NTSB has determined:

  1. The occupants of most mid-air collisions were on a recreational flight with no flight plan filed.
  2. Nearly all mid-air collisions occurred in VFR conditions during weekend daylight hours.
  3. The majority of mid-air collisions were the result of a faster aircraft overtaking and hitting a slower aircraft.
  4. No pilot is immune. Experience levels in the study ranged from initial solo to the 15 000 hr veteran.
  5. The vast majority of mid-air collisions occurred at uncontrolled airports below 3 000 ft.
  6. En route mid-air collisions occurred below 8 000 ft and within 25 mi. of the airport.
  7. Flight instructors were onboard one of the aircraft in 37 percent of the mid-air collisions.
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