for Collision Avoidance
section you simply need to memorize the order of priority of different types
of aircraft and different relative positions of aircraft. It's not difficult,
because the order is logical.
Every question in the section has the same references: AIP-RAC
1.10 (note that it says 1.11 in the Transport Canada study guide; they renumbered
the sections without updating the document) and
CARs 602.19. In this case, the AIP section is exactly the same as the
Below is an illustrated table showing the order of priority
for different types of aircraft.
An aircraft with an emergency has the
right of way over ...
|An aircraft with an emergency --
has an emergency. The pilot may not even be able to fully control the aircraft,
so others must give way.
|a balloon, which has right of way
|A balloon has no powered propulsion or steering.
The pilot can only ascend and descend, searching for winds that happen to
be going the way he wants to go. A balloon moves slowly, and can't do much
manoevering to avoid other aircraft, so everyone else gives way to the balloon.
Tethered balloons have right of way over everything, in the same way that
trees do, like in this joke.
|a glider, which has right of way over
|A glider has the same control and steerability
as a powered airplane, but is slower, and can only climb if the pilot sacrifices
airspeed or finds an area of rising air. A glider cannot execute a go around
if another aircraft cuts in front. All power-driven aircraft must yield
to the glider.
|an airship, which has right of way
|An airship is like a balloon with a motor on it.
It moves and manoevers slowly. All power-driven, heavier-than-air aircraft
give way to airships.
|an aircraft towing objects or carrying a slung
load, which has right of way over ...
|An airplane towing something may be operating near
the edge of its performance envelope. Abrupt manoevering may be outside
its capabilities or cause the aircraft to become entangled in its own line.
A load slung from a helicopter may shift or swing.
|all heavier than air, power-driven aircraft.
|All helicopters and airplanes, from ultralights
to jumbo jets, are heavier-than-air, power-driven aircraft. They are all
in the same right of way category, with no priority based on engine type
or speed or size. Common sense should tell you to stay out of the way of
an aircraft much faster than yours, and to avoid running over aircraft much
slower than yours.
If two aircraft from the same row of
the above table are converging at the same altitude, the one that has the
other on its right must give way.
Just remember, no matter who you think has the right
of way, do what you have to avoid other aircraft.
If two aircraft
are coming head on, both move to their own right, just like cars on a one-lane
road in Canada. If one aircraft is passing another, the passing aircraft
must give way to the other and pass well to the right. Note that this
is different than in a car, but there is a
good reason. Look at the picture at the top right corner of this page. Is
the green Cessna coming towards you or away from you? It doesn't matter:
either way, you alter your course to the right to avoid it.
Question-by-Question Explanation of Collision Avoidance
Click the question numbers
to return to the PSTAR questions.
(1) There are no rules giving giving one
airplane the right of way over another just because it is heavier, faster,
or has a different type of engine. Common sense should tell you to let an
airplane that is travelling at triple your speed to go ahead, but air law
does not require it.
(2) An aircraft towing objects could be
an airplane towing an advertising banner, an airplane towing a glider, or
a helicopter lifting out timber. (An aircraft towing objects does NOT have
right of way over another power-driven heavier-than-air aircraft if the
latter has declared an emergency, but apparently they didn't think of that
exception when they made up this question).
(3) While it is true that an airplane
has the right of way over another airplane which is converging from the left,
what if the other aircraft converging from the left is a glider, a balloon,
or a banner tow? Tricky question, eh? Get used to it. Transport Canada
likes to play word games on their exams.
(4) There is no precedence between helicopters
and airplanes, so a helicopter is just another "power-driven, heavier than
air aircraft." CARs
602.19(2)(d) makes it clear that the helicopter is the one that must
give way to the glider tow.
(1) It wouldn't help much.
If two aircraft are converging and they both turn left, they'll just end
up colliding further to the left.
(2) Two things are wrong with this answer. Firstly, the aircraft on the right
is not the aircraft that "has the other on its right" so it doesn't have
to cede the right of way. And secondly, while descending is one way to give
the right of way, it's not the only way, and in most cases wouldn't be the
(3) This answer is straight out of the rules. Use your hands, or two model
airplanes to set up different scenarios of converging aircraft and figure
out which has the right of way in each case. You don't want to be trying
to figure out how the rule applies when there's an airplane coming at you.
(4) The wording of the rule is a little tricky. "The aircraft that has the
other on its right shall give way." In most configurations, the aircraft
that has the other on its right is the aircraft on the left. You might remember
that the aircraft on the RIGHT has the RIGHT of way.
(1) A glider has the right of way over any aircraft with an engine.
(2) Huh? An airplane IS a power-driven, heavier than air aircraft.
(3) Nope, see answer choice 1
(4) A glider is NOT power-driven, and it has the right of way over power-driven
(1) Gliders don't give way to anyone but balloons and emergencies
(2)&(3) There is no precedence between airplanes and helicopters.
(4) Everyone but balloons give way to gliders.
1.05 Balloons come
first, then gliders, then helicopters and airplanes together.
1.06 Balloons have
the right of way over everyone.
1.07 The aircraft
that has the other on its right must give way, so the aircraft on the right
has the right of way. Descending is not necessarily the correct way to give
(1) Slowing down won't help you any if you're still going to collide.
(2) Speeding up certainly won't help you avoid a collision.
(3) Right. Just as it says in 602.19 (5), and the same way you would turn
if you met another car coming towards you on a narrow road.
(4) Left is the wrong way. Learn the rule.
(1) You might not be able to pass them and climb at the same time.
(2) You might already be as low as you can safely, legally or comfortably
(3) Just as it says in 602.19 (5) . Notice that you alter heading to the
right when there is an aircraft in front of you, regardless of whether the
other aircraft is coming towards you or is going the same way as you.
(4) If you are driving a car, you pass on the left, but in an airplane you
pass on the right.
(1) The rule is given in 602.19 (8).
(2) If you must overtake, do it on the right.
(3) The lower aircraft has priority.
(4) A 360° turn to the right is one way that a pilot of a faster aircraft
could give way to a slower, lower aircraft on the approach, but usually the
pilot giving way just widens out the circuit or slows down slightly.
Back to the Questions for
this Section | On to the Questions for the next
On to next PSTAR Commentary Section
This page written 8 October 2002 by Robyn Stewart. Last
revised 3 July 2003.
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