Which plane has priority?

Understanding Right of Way Rules in Aviation

When it comes ⁢to aviation, safety is of utmost importance.⁤ In order to⁣ ensure smooth and efficient operations​ in the ‍sky,​ there are specific ‍rules and regulations in place regarding the right of way for different types ‍of aircraft. ⁤These rules dictate which plane has priority in‌ various situations, helping to prevent collisions​ and ⁣maintain order⁢ in the airspace. In this article, ⁣we will explore‍ the right ​of way rules for airplanes, gliders, airships, ⁣and balloons, and answer some common⁢ questions related to this topic.

Key ⁤Takeaways:

  1. The aircraft on the right has ‍priority, except in ‌head-on situations.
  2. An aircraft⁣ in distress always has⁣ priority over other air traffic.
  3. Balloons have priority over all ​other types of aircraft.

Understanding Right of Way Rules

Right of way rules in aviation are designed to ensure the‌ safe and orderly flow of air traffic. These rules determine which aircraft should yield and give way‌ to others in different scenarios. Let’s ​take ⁣a closer look at the right of way rules for various types of aircraft.

Which ​Plane Must Give Way to Balloons?

According to the⁤ right of way rules,‍ mechanically propelled heavier-than-air⁣ aircraft⁢ must give way to airships, gliders, and⁤ balloons. Dirigibles must ‍give way to gliders and balloons, ‌while‌ gliders must give way to balloons. Additionally, mechanically propelled ⁣aircraft must yield ‍to aircraft that appear to be ‍towing other aircraft or objects.

Aircraft‍ Type Must Give Way To
Mechanically Propelled ⁣Heavier-than-Air Aircraft Airships, Gliders, Balloons
Dirigibles Gliders, Balloons
Gliders Balloons
Mechanically Propelled Aircraft Aircraft Towing Other ⁢Aircraft or Objects

Do ⁣Airplanes Fly in a Certain Direction?
When it comes⁢ to flying from one airport​ to another, ‌airplanes do ‌not follow ⁤a​ direct line. Instead, they follow specific airways that connect different points. While these airways ‍may not ‌be a straight line, they are ​designed to⁢ minimize the distance traveled and optimize fuel efficiency.

What is the Priority Rule for an Aircraft in Distress?

In ​the case of⁤ an aircraft in distress, it always has priority over all other air‌ traffic. However, ‌there are⁤ specific priority rules ‍within ‌different categories of aircraft. For example, a balloon ‌has priority over any other class of aircraft, while ‌a glider has the right of way over‌ an airship, powered ⁣parachute, weight⁤ transfer⁣ control aircraft, airplane, or rotorcraft.

Are Airplanes⁣ Giving Way to Helicopters?
When it comes to giving⁣ way⁢ to helicopters, there are specific rules depending on the ‍situation. An ​aircraft towing objects has priority over all mechanically‍ propelled‌ heavier-than-air ⁤aircraft. Additionally, an​ aircraft has priority over all other aircraft converging from the left. In the case ⁣of aircraft towing gliders, they must yield the right of way to helicopters. In general, both aircraft must ⁢change course to the left.

Who ⁣Must Give Way to Balloons?

Conventional-powered aircraft must⁣ give way to⁤ all other ​types of aircraft, including balloons. Airships must also give ⁤way to balloons and gliders,‌ while gliders must give⁢ way to⁤ balloons. Balloons, due to⁤ their limited maneuverability, have priority over the other three ⁣types of planes.

What Does Overtaking an Aircraft Mean?

When one aircraft overtakes another, ​the plane being overtaken has priority. ‍This means that the ‌overtaking aircraft must yield and give way to the aircraft⁢ in front.

Which Type of⁢ Plane‍ Has​ Priority Over an‌ Airship?

An airship has priority over a powered parachute, weight shift aircraft, airplane, or rotorcraft. However,⁤ an aircraft towing or refueling other aircraft has‍ priority over all other powered aircraft.

Which Plane Has Priority Over ⁢a Balloon?
According to ⁣the right of way rules, a balloon has priority⁣ over any other category of aircraft. Additionally, a glider has the right of way over an airship, powered parachute, weight ‌transfer control‌ aircraft, airplane, or rotorcraft. An airship, on the other hand, has priority ‍over‌ a powered​ parachute, weight⁢ shift aircraft, airplane, or rotorcraft.

When Does a Rule Give Another​ Aircraft the Right of Way?

When a rule in the right of way regulations gives priority to another aircraft, the pilot must yield⁢ and‌ may not ⁢pass over,⁤ under, or in front of the other aircraft unless there is clear clearance. This is⁤ important to ensure the ​safety of all aircraft involved. In particular, an aircraft in distress​ always has priority ⁣over​ all other air traffic.

When Does an Airplane Have Priority Over a Glider?

When aircraft of the same category converge at approximately the same altitude, the aircraft⁣ to the right has priority, except in head-on situations.​ However, if the aircraft are of ‌different ‌categories, a glider takes precedence‌ over an airship, powered⁤ parachute, weight transfer control aircraft, airplane, or‌ rotorcraft.

Understanding⁢ the right of way rules ⁤in aviation is crucial ⁤for pilots and air traffic controllers alike. By following⁣ these rules, we can ensure the ⁤safety and efficiency of ⁢air travel. Remember, safety always comes⁤ first⁣ in the skies.


In conclusion,‍ the right of way rules in aviation determine which aircraft has‌ priority in different situations. The aircraft on the right generally has priority, except in head-on situations. Balloons have priority over all other types of aircraft,​ and an aircraft in distress always‌ has priority over other air traffic. It is‌ important for pilots and ⁤air traffic controllers to understand and adhere to these ‍rules to ensure safe and efficient​ operations in the sky.