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| | |-+  Pilot POV Question - Declaring an Emergency
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Author Topic: Pilot POV Question - Declaring an Emergency  (Read 34407 times)
atcman23
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« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2010, 04:27:55 PM »

Using the word "mayday" is declaring an emergency. Most pilots will just say "we'd like to declare an emergency" since it's much easier to do that than just start blurting out "mayday."  Squawking 7700 also means you are declaring an emergency but most times it's not done (it's not required) and if they are talking to a controller and you're on a ATC assigned beacon code it's not necessary to change it.  The controller knows who you are and where you're at and there's no need to have a 7700 tag blow up on his scope and flash (and everyone else's scope for that matter).  The squawking 7700 thing is probably better if you lose comms due to the actual emergency and can't talk to ATC.  If you just lose comms you would want to squawk 7600.

And don't forget a controller can also declare an emergency if, in their best judgment, one may exist.
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Mark Spencer
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« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2010, 08:24:32 PM »

Using the word "mayday" is declaring an emergency. Most pilots will just say "we'd like to declare an emergency" since it's much easier to do that than just start blurting out "mayday."  Squawking 7700 also means you are declaring an emergency but most times it's not done (it's not required) and if they are talking to a controller and you're on a ATC assigned beacon code it's not necessary to change it.  The controller knows who you are and where you're at and there's no need to have a 7700 tag blow up on his scope and flash (and everyone else's scope for that matter).  The squawking 7700 thing is probably better if you lose comms due to the actual emergency and can't talk to ATC.  If you just lose comms you would want to squawk 7600.

And don't forget a controller can also declare an emergency if, in their best judgment, one may exist.


Thanks for your reply. The only reason I asked is because I recently listened to an emergency on here, and the pilot said something like "mayday,mayday,mayday descending to FL 100" and then the controller talked to him for a while and then asked if he'd like to declare an emergency... I thought maybe it was a somewhat redundant question.
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atcman23
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« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2010, 05:31:39 AM »

Sounds like a redundant question to me.  The pilot said "mayday" and that automatically says "emergency."  Not a big deal though.
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Mark Spencer
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« Reply #18 on: April 17, 2010, 11:15:18 AM »

well an good ? I  guess
1 I am a pilot in training so I may not be the bet of help there but I am a merchant seaman a captain in the US Merchant Marines for almost 15 years and I have 20 years in. As the norm Pan pan is used when a third party is in the mix in other words your sinking you call the USCG and they will broadcast a Pan pan pan pan pan pan Hello all stations this is the US Coast Guard Sector ---- the following emergency marine information is as followed the vessel ----- was last reported sinking at lat ---- and long ---- all vessels are to keep a sharp lookout and report all sightings to the USCG this is the USCG Sector--- out 

see a third party Maydays are for the first party.

I don't  know if this helps you I do hope it does not make it worse
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atcman23
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« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2010, 12:21:29 PM »

For aviation purposes, "pan-pan" and "mayday" are used differently.  I've never heard of another aircraft declaring an emergency for an aircraft they were not piloting.
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Mark Spencer
oneup1982
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« Reply #20 on: April 23, 2010, 03:55:34 PM »

I am not sure, but I don't think another aircraft can declare an emergency for you. I suppose under extenuating circumstances that might not be true.
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atcman23
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« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2010, 08:32:35 AM »

Could be wrong, but I don't think it's written anywhere that another aircraft cannot declare an emergency for another aircraft.  At the same time, I don't think any pilot is going to declare an emergency for another aircraft as they are not piloting the aircraft and have no idea what is going on inside that aircraft's cockpit.
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Mark Spencer
djmodifyd
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« Reply #22 on: May 08, 2010, 07:25:13 PM »

Could be wrong, but I don't think it's written anywhere that another aircraft cannot declare an emergency for another aircraft.  At the same time, I don't think any pilot is going to declare an emergency for another aircraft as they are not piloting the aircraft and have no idea what is going on inside that aircraft's cockpit.

you are correct, another pilot cannot declare an emergency for a different aircraft
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matthammer
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« Reply #23 on: May 11, 2010, 12:57:40 AM »

I remember at least one instance where ATC declared an emergency for a pilot at the airport I trained at. The pilot had reported a rough engine after takeoff, wanted to return to land, so ATC declared for him. I don't think the pilot was particularly happy about it, either. Wink

I've never declared personally. Only time I've ever even considered it was as a commercial student, flying solo, when my mixture control decided to fall out of the panel at about 6000 feet (leaned out). I elected to keep it to myself unless the engine started running rough. Everything worked out fine, and I learned later that (apparently) the mixture controls are designed to move to the full-rich position in the event that the mixture control breaks.

My personal take on declaring is that it's a good idea any time there's a potentially life threatening situation which cannot be safely resolved without either busting regs or without being on the ground. Declaring isn't even that big a deal, and there's no reason to believe that it will *absolutely* result in tons of paperwork, interviews, etc. You're not gonna get a call from the FAA if you declare for a rough engine, strange odor in the cockpit and so on.

On a side note, you don't have to declare to have the authority to break regs. The pilot in command has the authority to do that *any* time he feels it is necessary for the safe outcome of the flight (CFR 14 § 91.3). Sure, it may result in that dreaded "report" request from the administrator. But as long as you had a legitimate reason, you should be fine. It's better to be safe than a smoking hole in the ground.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2010, 01:00:40 AM by matthammer » Logged
cessna157
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« Reply #24 on: June 21, 2010, 05:46:09 AM »

On a side note, you don't have to declare to have the authority to break regs. The pilot in command has the authority to do that *any* time he feels it is necessary for the safe outcome of the flight (CFR 14 § 91.3). Sure, it may result in that dreaded "report" request from the administrator. But as long as you had a legitimate reason, you should be fine. It's better to be safe than a smoking hole in the ground.


There was an article a year or two ago, written by an aviaiton lawyer, that described a few situations where it was determined to be an emergency, many years later.  One was of a pilot who was violated, and had certificate action taken against him, because he was PIC of a Boeing, and after takeoff, started turning the wrong direction.  The investigation revealed that although he was turning, he did not initially know it.  They realized there had been some sort of instrumentation flicker, but they just couldn't diagnose it.  The FAA took action against him, but he appealed to the NTSB.  They determined that he was distracted by a potential emergency situation due to equipment malfunction, and his record was cleaned of the incident.





As I worked in the ramp tower of my airline for many years, I was able to witness many emergencies, from the "light indicating a problem" to legitimate fires on board aircraft.  If you still need any additional stories, I'd be glad to help.
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CRJ7/CRJ9 F/O, Travel Agent
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« Reply #25 on: July 19, 2010, 02:09:33 AM »

as a controller, i weigh a number of factors into the equation...
for example, if i am speaking with a GA pilot, i will not hesitate to declare the emergency for him/her if i suspect the pilot is hesitant to do so or if i suspect that something is happening that he/she is either not disclosing right away or underestimating the gravity of a situation developing such as icing.
from my end, i listen to the sound of the voice (confusion, fear, discomfort, hesitancy, lag in response time in comm.) as well as the behaviour of the radar target (ground speed variations, directional variations, inability to maintain steady altitude) . i do not necessarily always advise him/her of what i am doing in declaring an emergency on his/her behalf as there is no need to do so. i will however give priority to the aircraft which may mean clearing other aircraft off my frequency, vectoring traffic around him/her, and not allowing other traffic onto my frequency to limit congestion, so that i can be more available to that person in particular. coordination-wise, i make all adjacent sectors that may be affected aware of the situation in the event that things should turn for the worse. geographically, i locate all the airports within close proximity to the a/c, access all pertinent airport information for the pilot in case it's needed, look at the weather and the winds at the airport so that i know which runway at any particular airport i'll need at a moment's notice. i take whatever help i can get from fellow controllers nearby in assisting me with accessing and coordinating what i may or may not need. if weather is a factor, i query any nearby commercial pilots to pan out their weather radar to assist as their weather radar is much more reliable and accurate than mine. operationally, i become much more aware of every aircraft nearby, on or off my frequency that can assist if i need help ( i have in the past sent aircraft to locate another aircraft that went down so that emergency rescue could locate the down aircraft more easily), i have other controllers on standby that will assist with information accessing and coordination, and i locate any controllers who are pilots to be ready to assist with cockpit management/control if need be. since controllers work a defined area of airspace, other controllers in adjacent sectors will move to assist in my area so that the pilot never has to change frequencies.
for a commercial pilot, the same applies for the most part. the cockpit is hectic so conversations are usually limited to what's necessary until i know the PIC has the aircraft under control. things usually happen at a much quicker pace for the most part with commercial carriers as they usually are much more hesitant to declare an emergency. so a commercial carrier declaring an emergency usually puts a controller right down the crapper when time is of the essence.
in the end, any paperwork to do is worth a life. i ultimately have to go to bed at night and sleep in peace. i'd rather go down the crapper erring on the cautious side than not ever be able to sleep at all because i didn't.
i get paid to keep planes apart but i also get paid to do whatever i can to help any pilot that sounds like they need help, especially in an emergency.
whether it's a mayday or a panpan, our actions as controllers remain the same for the most part.
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VictorK
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« Reply #26 on: July 24, 2010, 10:06:59 PM »

Quote
actually i have done this before, a few times.  If i decide it is an emergency i make it one...and i won't even tell the pilot, but he/she can figure it out when i ask for souls and fuel.

My only direct experience with a declared emergency happened when a friend and I (he the pilot, non-instrument, me along for the ride), found oursleves VFR on top of a cloud deck that hadn't been forcast for our destination. (Back in the days when you could actually talk to somebody from FSS who was familiar with your local area too!)

In a nutshell, a thin broken layer had gradually thickened to the point where we flew directly over the destination airport (per the GPS) without ever seeing the ground. Our departure airport was clear, and still well within range, so the option of turning 180 and going home was always available, but we were talking with ATC and trying to get weather for some alternates nearby, just in case.

My friend is very cautious and conservative, and not afraid to use all the resources available, so he eventually told the controller that we'd just go ahead and declare an emergency until we got things straightened out. The controller replied that we were already being handled as one. (At that point, he did ask for souls and fuel.)

We flew to an airport another ten miles east, landed visually and waited the weather out, and never heard another word about it.
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polipantev
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« Reply #27 on: August 08, 2010, 10:11:14 AM »

I think that after all everything goes down to a feat of good judgement on deciding whether you can cope with a situation or you are in trouble and you really need help.Oh...and about making up an emergency i don't think anyone would.Not because of the paperwork or anything it just won't be good airmanship:-)
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sacex250
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« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2011, 10:32:39 PM »

Could be wrong, but I don't think it's written anywhere that another aircraft cannot declare an emergency for another aircraft.  At the same time, I don't think any pilot is going to declare an emergency for another aircraft as they are not piloting the aircraft and have no idea what is going on inside that aircraft's cockpit.

you are correct, another pilot cannot declare an emergency for a different aircraft

You are incorrect, a pilot may in fact declare an emergency for another aircraft.
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davolijj
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« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2011, 11:59:56 AM »

You are incorrect, a pilot may in fact declare an emergency for another aircraft.

Not according to the federal government...

Quote from: 7110.65  Chapter 10
10-2-5. EMERGENCY SITUATIONS

Consider that an aircraft emergency exists and inform the RCC or ARTCC and alert the appropriate DF facility when:

a. An emergency is declared by either:

1. The pilot.

2. Facility personnel.

3. Officials responsible for the operation of the aircraft.

Notice it does not say "4. Pilots of other aircraft."
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Regards
JD
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