Old 9th May 2010, 18:11
  #33 (permalink)  
ayrprox
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: Sunny Scotland
Posts: 206
Not knowing the full story behind this particular instance makes it easy to make false assumptions. in the lead up to this, if the pilots had said to ATC the situation they were in with their fuel (and by that i mean that they didnt just say we're tight on fuel or the usual we need direct stuff we all hear, but in the we have enough fuel for one approach and then we will have to declare an emergency kind of way)then i would hope the controller would then have understood the severity and reacted accordingly.
If, however the first time the pilot had even mentioned emergency is when he actually declared, thats a different story and , completely out of order.
From my point of view, and the rules in the us may differ, once the pilot says we're declaring an emergency, all bets are off. the rule book gets thrown out the window and that aircraft gets to route its most expeditious route to its runway of choice. seperation responsibilities be it 3 miles/5miles etc become less imperative and we should provide all help. we rely on the fact that the captain will not make that call lightly and should not 2nd guess. squawk 7700 so everyone knows and go about your business, coordinating when possible.
If the captain made the call for less than genuine reasons then, in the subsequent investigation he/she should be rightly called on that, and punished accordingly if found guilty of wrong.
some people are saying the pilot should have worked with the controller by just maintaining the heading as asked, but again , he has made the decision to declare. swear under your breath, think that he's being an asshole to yourself, but as they say in the military , honour the threat, and let the investigators seek out the truth afterwards. do all you can to assist and worry about it later.
just my 2 pennies worth
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