How Pilots Avoid Other Planes at Night

How Pilots Avoid Other Planes at Night


have you ever looked up in the sky and
seen an airplanes contrails like this and wondered how did the pilots not hit
each other it’s probably not what you think I’ll explain it all coming up hey
74 crew welcome back if you don’t know me my name is Kelsey I’m a
747 pilot by channel 74 gear is all about aviation so whether you’re pilot
or an aviation enthusiast consider subscribing I’m making this video
because someone left a youtube comment asking how did the plane to void hitting
each other in the sky so if you ever have any aviation questions just leave
them in the comment section below but how the pilots of what hitting each
other is nothing crazy like alright let’s get into it first we get
assistance from ATC ATC is air traffic control when you fly
in a commercial flight the pilots are on a specific type of flight plan that
allows them to fly at higher altitudes and also fly through clouds it also
means that we have an entire team on the ground air traffic control which is
assisting us with our flight air traffic control does a lot of different things
but one of them is looking at our aircraft and all the aircraft that are
around us and making sure that there is no possibility of a collision that seems
like a logical idea but since humans make mistakes regardless of how perfect
they think they are some additional measures have been put in place for
safety another way we avoid mid-air collisions is that we fly at different
altitudes depending on the direction of flight if your aircraft is flying East
you’re gonna be flying at an odd altitude so you might be at 31,000 or
33,000 or 37,000 feet if you’re flying west you’re gonna be at an even altitude
36,000 38,000 feet more specifically imagine a compass being 360 degrees if
you’re flying on any heading from zero to a hundred and seventy nine degrees
you’re gonna be flying in an easterly altitude so an odd altitude 33 or 35,000
as an example if your aircraft is flying from 180 degrees to 359 degrees you’re
going to be flying at an even altitude by doing that there is another barrier to prevent accidents in flight another
feature we have is something called TCAS TCAS stands for a traffic
collision avoidance system technically commercial aircrafts have a more
advanced system called TCAS II it’s a newer version and in that the airplane
systems are talking to each other hypothetically if you have two aircraft
on a collision course oh shit we’re at the head I can’t believe we’re doing
this the TCAS systems are going to talk to each other they’re going to say
to one aircraft climb the other aircraft is going to get told to descend and
that’s good increase the safety margins while you’re
in the air what will happen is there will be a warning to the pilot and it
will tell them climb or descend the pilots at that time will disconnect the
autopilot and the TCAS usually will give them a amount of descent that’s
needed to avoid a collision it’s actually one of the very few times that
the pilots can change an altitude without requesting permission from air
traffic control and also it’s one of the few times they can disregard an
instruction from air traffic control you’re not the boss of me
once the pilots have completed that maneuver the TCAS will let them know
that they’re safe at that point they’ll contact air traffic control and let them
know exactly what happened alright crew that’s three different ways that the
pilots avoid mid-air collisions in flight in the comments section below
I want you to let me know do you like the idea when there’s a t caste alert
that the pilots are hand flying the aircraft or do you think the autopilot
should make the corrections I look forward to hearing from you
until then keep the blue side up

59 thoughts on “How Pilots Avoid Other Planes at Night”

  1. Thanks for watching, commenting and subscribing to be part of the 74 Crew… I really appreciate all of you!!

  2. Has there ever been an accident because tcas said one thing, and air traffic control said something different.? Do pilots automatically override air traffic control for tcas? Is that an international rule for all pilots around the world? Just curious

  3. I am an Indian. I am currently 12 years old. I am now promoted to Class 7. I want to become a pilot (commercial). Kelsey, can you please help me to know the number of years required to become a pilot. And particularly, I would like to be a Air India or IndiGo pilot. If you will reply to me, I will subscribe. 😃😃

  4. What's the altitude rule for flying north and south? There is no third and fourth alternative for odd and even, that I know. 🙂

  5. To all the passengers that are scared of flying:

    Im a flight simmer i spend almost 2,500 hours of flying in a year and i am very happy that there are thousands of atc’s they help us and i think i would’nt be able to avoid a collision. And by the way theres nothing more fun than flying and even if there have been thousands of air dissasters its safe asf companys spend millions dollars on safety a 747 costs arround 400 million so it’s arround 100-200 dollars of safety! NEVER be scared (:

  6. Great video! Thanks for the explanation!
    Have you ever heard tcas or any other alarms? Like bank angle, terrain, pull up, or others?

  7. Fascinating video plus learnt alot! What are your personal thoughts on the dangers of "drones". Do you believe the media plus hype – they can take down planes? With the majority being flown being no bigger than a dinner plate in size, plus 95% constructed from plastic, it would be less harmful than a bird strike. The media pumping out all the bad publicity have made "Drones" a public enemy.

  8. Computers do not have the capacity to judge. They are not even aware of their own existence. As such, human beings need to remain an integral part of any auto-pilot system, and retain ultimate authority to fully override the auto – pilot. The 737 Max-8 is an example of how inferior computers are. They are a microscopic mass of on-off switches, as dumb as the drawers of a tool box. They are reactionary. They cannot think critically; They cannot fear for their own life; They cannot empathize – – Those qualities are the tradeoff of calculation speed, and so must have ultimate authority over any auto-pilot system. I will never fly on a fly automated airplane without a human at the helm.

  9. Absolutly is a great idea to have tcas. I'm more of an enthusiast myself… but learning new things despite not being a pilot. You or rather other viewers can pick up on alot of information like tcas and altitude lanes if you will from these air crash shows. I find them very interesting myself, but it's also equally interesting to me to watch how airline travel has grown and evolved over the years… alot of these really really bad crashes are from later dates, say 1970s and so on.. not to say things dont happen now, just alot less frequently and alot of systems and procedures have been put into place becouse of airline crashes… in any case, I can't wait to fly again… I've always had a positive experience doing so…. well ha ha comercially…

  10. I’m a biologist so I can’t say I’m an expert on flying, but my old man flew light aircraft… here’s my layman’s gut instinct – unless TCAS is proven to be completely foolproof, and the AP system also foolproof and perfectly integrated with TCAS, I think I’d rather rely on the pilots’ judgment. Or is technology so advanced these days that effectively it is more likely that an accident occurs from human error than from an AP/TCAS system screwing up?
    Guess that’s sitting on the fence 😂

  11. It is amazing… that you said that.
    Recently there was a very near collision with two Japanese Flights. They were within 150kilometers of each other.

    Both of their TCAS units told them to either ascend or descend..
    They also BOTH received permission afterwards from the ATC to either ascend or descend…

    WHEN the NTSB did a review, since the person in the ATC was a new person.. they got childed along with their supervisor and sent to court / prison. Inaddition NTSB believed they should have listened to their TCAS units… not the ATC (which I find personally troubling, the idea of having to listen to the computer.. over the ATC.)

  12. OOO! I have a great question.
    How come pilots were releasing "Chemtrails" ? or NanoParticles

    EDIT Could you talk about the ATC scene in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" It's one of my favorite films and scenes

    All the best Shaun of NYC

  13. Hello Kelsey !!
    Megga question, How come planes can't fly over the north pole? And if you have flown over the poles is there a hole that is visible ?

    Question II: When you are flying so high that you can see the blackness of outer space have you ever seen anything odd? i.e The Black Knight

    If you can't talk about it text me sixfoursixninethreefourthreezerosixsix
    Big smiles
    Shaun of NYC

  14. I just innately don't trust autopilot and I don't know why. I understand why it's super useful, but the idea of a machine flying another machine starts getting into Skynet territory and I'm not about that life.

  15. TCAS has priority over ATC. What pisses me off is the fact that it took until 2002 to establish the fact when a DHL cargo plane hit a Russian jetliner because the Russian guys obeyed an ATC instruction to descend when their TCAS told them to climb.

  16. Hmmm! Not sure all pilotes are doing this. I was surprised to see a plane going the opposit direction during a fligth from Montreal to Cayo Santa Maria. I can only estimate the distance but it less that a Km. At that speed it feels really surprising.

  17. Fun fact, ATC used to take priority over TCAS instructions until a mid-air collision occurred due to the air traffic controller telling on aircraft to climb and the TCAS telling the other aircraft to climb. BOOM. From that moment the rules were changed so that pilots should always obey TCAS instructions over ATC instruction.

  18. With the advent of all of the small automated drones that people have now that don't fly very high, do they pose a danger to aircraft flying in the general area when landing or taking off? (say a drone getting sucked into an engine rather than it striking the body of the aircraft). Thanks in advance.

  19. I love the archer videos lol. If we get a Tcas ra, I think flying manually is best, just fly the airplane without having to make inputs to the autopilot.

  20. I get the odd even thing, but realistically what is the actual spacing between a westbound and an eastbound flight? 1,000? , 2,000?, 3,000 ft?

  21. I do remember a flight that I was on from CYHZ to CYTZ and at some point near CYUL, I was seated on that port side of plane, when all of a sudden, our plane's landing lights came on. There was the ding dongs for the flight attendants. Then all of a sudden was a smaller aircraft passing below us going in the opposite direction from us. Once the aircraft was past us, the landing lights went off and we continued on to CYTZ.

  22. Why wouldn’t the autopilot take over when the TCAS detects collision course?
    Maybe it could warn, wait for pilot to take control, but if nothing happens then it seems rather stupid that TCAS would not eventually take control?

  23. When a plane is coming down for an emergency landing, what is the protocol for the planes on the ground? What if one is on the runway?

  24. First time commenting! Lovvvveeeee this channel hey.

    Just interested to know…..there are airplanes flying over my house and neighborhood all the time. I am not too far from the OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, SA, so I see planes ascending till they reach my home zone, they are quite loud and close as they pass over. In aviation, what is this? Am I living under an airplane Highway? lol. Hoping to get an answer, I love aviation, but a Social Worker by profession…weird right? I know

  25. My only question is, have you ever had to change altitude in an emergency procedure as you've just described?  Love your show.

  26. Pilots need to hand fly more – the increased automation of modern flying robs pilots of the experience they will need when things don't go as expected

  27. Kelsey, great video!! You should think about making a video of the places that have no fly zones/areas. I hear both Disney locations are no fly areas. Thanks for posting, former name Don Juan.

  28. How many of you watching these videos feel you kind of know what kind of guy Kelsey is just by the cutaways in his videos. The Family Guy, Archer, Etc… And how many of you recognize all of them because you watch the same shows? LOL

  29. there was this case in europe (uberlingen) where a cargo and a passenger airplane(russia) collided mid air. Apparently it was the case in russia that the pilots would discard the TCAS orders and listen to the ATC so both airplanes started to descend which led to the collision. There is even a documentary about it…
    Btw love your videos, they are very informative and fun to watch, keep it going

  30. Great video Kelsey. I saw what looked like a bad one on Flightradar this afternoon. This was a situation when two aircraft had just taken off a few minutes before but from different airports in the UK. One went from Heathrow, the other Gatwick. Gatwick is about 20 miles south east of Heathrow. The Heathrow plane went due south but the Gatwick one went east, north and west in a loop and flew right over the Heathrow plane. The seperation said 1500 on Flightradar. I watch this radar quite a lot and have never seen this before, one plane was 5500 the other 7000. I have never seen planes from Heathrow and Gatwick co-mingle like that, obviously they are very well seperated as a rule. What I didn't like about it was there seemed no margin of safety in what these planes were doing. Should two planes, both climbing out of an airport, be flying over each other???

  31. I was coming back from Milwaukee to Kansas City there were lots of storm clouds I saw another plane clear as day and at same altitude as we were I would gusse it to be about a quarter mile from us is that normal?

  32. Sadly there have been incidents where TCAS instructed pilots to climb or descend but one of the planes ignored the warnings and did the opposite causing catastrophic results.

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