Every tragedy should be a learning experience. Lake Constance was a testing ground in the Zeppelin era and so it proved to be again on 1 July.

What has been learned here? TCAS was tested as never before and it passed this test. What else? A TCAS "resolution advisory" is the result of an ATC "resolution failure". It could be the best advice a pilot ever receives if it is treated as a "resolution directive" and conflicting ATC directives are treated as advisories as ATC directives can no longer be treated in the ex cathedra sense they once were.

TCAS is not an ATC substitute, but as a pilot it gives me a vital second opinion in a pinch. Having a two-crew as opposed to a four- or five-crew aircraft in such a pinch is preferable also from a communication viewpoint.

Hindsight is always 20:20 but learning wisely from such gives us foresight.

David Connelly

Brussels, Belgium

Source: Flight International