“A midair collision can spoil your whole day” are words of wisdom preached to naval aviators from the beginning of flight training. The intent is to enjoin pilots to keep alert, and see and avoid other air traffic. National attention focuses on midair collisions involving civil air carriers, because such mishaps usually involve large numbers of fatalities. The aftermath of such accidents often includes extensive news media coverage, investigation, and elicits calls for corrective action from influential persons and pressure groups. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is responsive to these pressures since, by law, safety of aircraft and efficient use of airspace are responsibilities of the Administrator of the FAA.
Our Crowded Skies
By Cdr. R. J. Koch, Jr., USN