Old 19th Apr 2018, 09:03
  #239 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: B.F.E.
Posts: 199
Originally Posted by rcsa View Post
Because 'Mayday!' means "I'm going down, right here, right now, and there's nothing I can do about it'. Which this a/c wasn't - it was going to Philly, under controlled flight.

And because aircrew are trained to not make a drama out of a crisis.
In the USA we "declare an emergency". "Emergency" is a correct, official radiotelephony term used in both the ATC handbook and AIM. This gives us priority handling. It does not necessarily (though in practice does usually) automatically give you ARFF response. Note she also asked them specifically to "roll the trucks" which while most definitely incorrect per ICAO, would not be misunderstood by any ATCO in the country. An ATC controller will never ask you "if you are MAYDAY" but will ask you "are you declaring an emergency?" if you have not said so but request priority for whatever reason. If you say "I am single-engine" or any of a number of similarly severe scenarios, they will not burden you by asking but simply understand the implications, give you assistance, and "declare an emergency" to their supervisors on your behalf.

Yes MAYDAY would be the technically correct ICAO term (and yes it is also recommended in the AIM right after it describes the normal, more direct and informal way to communicate in a distress condition) but as mentioned it would be understood in the USA to imply that your situation is, to some degree, out of control. It is commonly understood that if a non-US carrier uses the term "MAYDAY" that they are saying the same thing that we mean by "declaring an emergency". It is also understood that "emergency" declaration means nothing outside of the USA, and that if we need priority handling elsewhere "MAYDAY" is the word to use.

However if lack of use of the word "MAYDAY" is the only criticism we can throw at this American domestic crew operating in American domestic airspace, let's just shut up and say good job.

Weren't there some people on here saying the same thing a couple days after the Miracle on the Hudson? Bet they were shocked when the CVR recording came out and Sully's "MAYDAY" was there after all!
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