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Section 1 Commentary - Robyn's Improved PSTAR Study Guide Page 1 of 4

Robyn's Flying Start

Collision Avoidance Home

General Information for Collision PSTAR
Avoidance Commentary
For this 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 1.0 COLLISION
logical. AVOIDANCE

Every question in the section has the same references: AIP-RAC 1.10 (note that it says 1.11 2.0 VISUAL SIGNALS
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 CARs. 3.0 COMMUNICATIONS

Below is an illustrated table showing the order of priority for different types of aircraft. 4.0 AERODROMES

An aircraft 5.0 EQUIPMENT

An aircraft with an emergency -
with an - has an emergency. The pilot
emergency 6.0 PILOT
may not even be able to fully
control the aircraft, so others
of way over ... must give way.
7.0 WAKE
a balloon, A balloon has no powered TURBULENCE
which has propulsion or steering. The pilot
right of way can only ascend and descend, 8.0 AEROMEDICAL
over ... searching for winds that happen
to be going the way he wants to 9.0 FLIGHT PLANS
go. A balloon moves slowly, AND FLIGHT
and can't do much manoevering ITINERARIES
to avoid other aircraft, so
everyone else gives way to the 10.0 CLEARANCES
balloon. Tethered balloons have AND INSTRUCTIONS
right of way over everything, in
the same way that trees do, like 11.0 AIRCRAFT
in this joke. OPERATIONS
a glider, A glider has the same control
which has and steerability as a powered 12.0 REGULATIONS -
right of way airplane, but is slower, and can GENERAL AIRSPACE
over ... only climb if the pilot sacrifices
airspeed or finds an area of 13.0 CONTROLLED
rising air. A glider cannot AIRSPACE
execute a go around if another
aircraft cuts in front. All power- 14.0 AVIATION
driven aircraft must yield to the OCCURRENCES
an airship, 15.0 PIE CHOICES
which has An airship is like a balloon with
right of way a motor on it. It moves and Other Student Pilot
manoevers slowly. All power-
over ... Resources
driven, heavier-than-air aircraft
What Canadian student
give way to airships.
pilots need to know 6/8/2010
Section 1 Commentary - Robyn's Improved PSTAR Study Guide Page 2 of 4

an aircraft An airplane towing something PSTAR References

towing objects may be operating near the edge Links and how to use the
or carrying a of its performance envelope. A.I.P. the CARs and the
slung load, Abrupt manoevering may be CFS
which has outside its capabilities or cause
right of way the aircraft to become entangled Transport Canada Exam
over ... in its own line. A load slung Guides
from a helicopter may shift or Study guides and flight
swing. test standards
all heavier All helicopters and airplanes, Search
than air, from ultralights to jumbo jets, Search all of
power-driven are heavier-than-air, power-
aircraft. driven aircraft. They are all in Contact Robyn
the same right of way category, Send me e-mail
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.

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.

Just remember, no matter who you think has the right of way, do what you have to avoid
other aircraft.

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 6/8/2010
Section 1 Commentary - Robyn's Improved PSTAR Study Guide Page 3 of 4


(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.

1.02 (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 preferred way.

(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 aircraft.

(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 way.

(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 fly.
(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.

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This page written 8 October 2002 by Robyn Stewart. Last revised 3 July 2003. 6/8/2010
Section 1 Commentary - Robyn's Improved PSTAR Study Guide Page 4 of 4 6/8/2010