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    Julien

    Thanks for the tips! Navaids are real hotspots for VFR flights, I agree, especially without flight following. I had two close encounters of that type when training for my PPL, one at a VOR, one at an NDB.

    Another type of hotspots to watch out for are touristy places such as monuments, oddly-shaped mountains, castles (not that we have many of these in Australia anyway), lakes and reefs.

    There are a dozen such places in Australia that have prescribed flight procedures for avoiding mid-air collisions, even though they are in Class G airspace. That includes Ayers Rock, the Blue Mountains and a number of national parks, which usually attract a mix of private and commercial sightseeing flights.

    Keeping one's eyes outside the cockpit as much as possible is of course the golden rule here. In addition, I've found that passengers are an invaluable resource when it comes to spotting nearby aircraft.

    Matthew Stibbe

    Good idea. I fly out of Denham and we are in very busy airspace (Heathrow, Luton are within a few a miles and the VFR corridor is small, low and serves half a dozen GA airfields). Plus we have a VOR six miles north which is like Piccadilly Circus. A sterile cockpit in the VFR corridor could make a lot of sense. Also, perhaps, a good tip is to encourage passengers to be extra vigilant during flights through known high-traffic areas.

    Vincent, from PlasticPilot.net

    An additional problem is that most of us fly VOR to VOR or to VRPs using GPS. Thanks to this great technology, we fly with greater accuracy. Altimeters are also much better than they used to be, creating potential for more proximity.

    With moving maps and advanced GPS it's easy to anticipate turns or fly direct legs avoiding the hotspots.

    Visiting the local curiosities is another problem. On nice days, there can be up to 10 aircraft flying around mountains like the Matterhorn, all between 10.000 and 12.000 feet.

    Pat Flannigan

    Great tips.

    Sterile cockpit rules do wonders to decrease in flight distractions, and it would be more than prudent for GA pilots to adopt sterile cockpit policies in the vicinity of an airport. That is, so long as it's not regulatory: it's just one more thing to hang yourself on.

    Mad props to the identification of taxiway hotspots on airport diagram charts. The powers-that-be are really favoring pre-taxi briefings to include a discussion of applicable taxiway hotspots between airline crewmembers. I've never had any close calls on the taxiway, but the hotspot depictions make me a bit more aware. If your charts show hotspots, make use of this new resource.

    I'm not aware of any statistical hotspots near me, but I feel uncomfortable flying a visual approach into 18R in Memphis. There is a small airport that you typically overfly by just 1,500 ft. With a high degree of student activity, I'm always concerned about a solo student going off altitude and setting off a TCAS RA, or worse. It's not such a concern on an instrument approach since those guys are presumably grounded due to weather.

    Sylvia

    It makes a lot of sense to check for these. It's so easy to plug in a set of VORs in the GPS and everyone follow the same route.

    When I went to BKP to see a VOR from the ground, there was constant traffic above me, most of it light aircraft.

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