Joe Rodewald, Potomac TRACON
On October 5, 2014, NATCA member and Potomac Consolidated TRACON veteran member Joe Rodewald was working Charlottesville approach when he noticed two aircraft squawking VFR in the same vicinity. The aircraft appeared to be on converging courses at the same altitude. Rodewald immediately began broadcasting in the blind in hopes that one or both aircraft were monitoring his frequency.
Rodewald: Traffic 10 miles east of Charlottesville westbound you have traffic at your 11 o’clock and two and a half miles northeast bound indicating 4,900.
Rodewald: Traffic eight miles northeast of Charlottesville, northeast bound traffic at your one o’clock, one and a half miles westbound indicating 4,600.
When the aircraft were two miles apart, the pilot of N811LJ, who was proactively monitoring the frequency, acknowledged and answered Rodewald’s calls. He responded, “looking.” Rodewald continued to make traffic calls until the pilot reported the traffic in sight.
Rodewald: Traffic is now one mile apart converging.
N811LJ: 1LJ has the traffic in sight, thanks for the call out.
When the pilot finally got the other traffic in sight, the two aircraft were less than a mile and indicated 100 feet apart. Rodewald solicited flight following to N811LJ, and the pilot immediately accepted the offer.
Rodewald: Seneca 1LJ, would you like flight following?
N811LJ: Uh, sure. 1LJ is VFR headed to Warrenton.
Rodewald: 1LJ, reset transponder squawk 0-4-2-5.
N811LJ: 0-4-2-5 for Seneca 811LJ.
Rodewald saw a conflict and quickly took the necessary steps to fix the issue and keep his airspace safe.
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