We all know that commercial aircraft need to maintain a minimum distance between other aircraft during flight.
An air traffic control station (ATC) was created to ensure that all aircraft during takeoff, landing or even passing through their airport did not fly too close or interfere with other aircraft in flight. airspace. Military aircraft, meanwhile, have a big difference when they fly close to each other in flight formation and they don’t need to keep their distance from aircraft of the same type.
The mission of the air traffic control station staff is very important, just one wrong decision will lead to a catastrophic aviation disaster. Therefore, commercial aircraft should follow the procedures for vertical and horizontal separation.
Separation in flight safety
In the aerospace industry, the term “separator” is used to refer to the concept of keeping the minimum distance between aircraft. The rationale behind this is for planes not to fly close together and avoid accidents due to objective factors such as air turbulence.
In the United States, conventional aircraft separation instructions comply with the instrumental flight rules (IFR) as defined in the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. As such, the two aircraft need to maintain at least 1000 feet (about 305 m) in the vertical or 3 miles (about 5000 m) horizontal. These numbers will increase gradually with the size of the aircraft.
Interestingly, not every plane needs to be separated by an air traffic control station because it depends on the airspace in which they are flying and the flight rules are followed by the pilots. The flight rules that aircraft follow include eye flight rules (VFR), special eye flight rules (SVFR) and instrument flight rules (IFR). Commercial aircraft are mostly IFR compliant.
Why do commercial planes need separators?
Commercial airplanes typically carry hundreds of passengers (as opposed to military aircraft, which carry only a small number of people) and are subject to the coordination of an air traffic checkpoint supervisor in that airspace. By maintaining a suitable space, planes will never be on the same flight path and this helps to reduce the risk of a crash.
Air disturbance is also a major contributor to commercial aircraft separation. When large aircraft are in flight, their wings help lift the propulsion pressure to the desired altitude and create a turbulent air zone. Incidents involve air turbulence often resulting in free-fall aircraft. If two commercial planes fly too close together, there is a risk of getting caught in an area of turbulence created by the larger aircraft, resulting in complete loss of control of the other aircraft.
Passenger jets are also less maneuverable than military aircraft, and pilots are less likely to be trained in formation flight. In short, there is absolutely no reason for commercial jets to fly close together.
Why are military planes flying close together?
Fighters also require minimal separation from other aircraft of the same type, but they are fairly easy to fly side by side in a tight flight formation. There are several reasons for this.
Military aircraft are highly maneuverable, and they can make speedy swings and raise or lower their bodies in seconds. As mentioned earlier, the separation between planes is to ensure safety not only against air disturbances, but also during maneuvers or unexpected incidents. Fighter pilots get to talk directly to other pilots in a radio-based flight crew most of the time, they know what their colleague is planning to do and can be prepared in advance.
Before starting the actual flight, each pilot in a fleet will be told about the flight plan, how to perform the mission and the formation of a flight formation. Therefore, there are very few situations that happen unexpectedly and unforeseen when flying a fighter. That is why military pilots can minimize the risk of casualties in flight because everything is planned and prepared in advance.
Last but not least, military pilots are highly trained in formation flight. They spend hours learning about how to deploy a flight lineup and then practice in real-world conditions from what has been learned. The majority of commercial pilots are not trained and trained to fly close to other commercial aircraft.