Accidents and Close Calls Discussion on accidents, close calls, and other unplanned aviation events, so we can learn from them, and be better pilots ourselves.

Why not request a block

Old 21st Dec 2020, 02:19
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Join Date: Nov 2019
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Why not request a block

Especially these days with little traffic around, a block of airspace can be quite easy to get and be handy to have when expecting some significant turbulence. Then if there is a delay in obtaining an altitude change clearance from ATC(as happens in some oceanic areas), or it is so bouncy that one can't even make a request to ATC for a clearance, you already have one.


"9H-PPE, an Airbus A340-642 aircraft operated by Maleth Aero, was conducting cargo flight MLT221 from Bournemouth Airport (EGHH), England to John F Kennedy Intl (KJFK), New York. While cruising at FL380, 9H-PPE reduced speed in anticipation of expected moderate turbulence. At about 5530' N, 04200' W the intensity of turbulence increased from moderate to severe, making it impossible for the crew to type a CPDLC (Controller–pilot data link communications) descent request. The crew was unable to contact Gander Oceanic on HF radio. However, the crew did broadcast a PAN PAN signal and descended to FL340. Gander Oceanic subsequently acknowledged and cleared the flight at the requested level. The crew cancelled the PAN PAN, continued to the destination and landed without further incident.

The aircraft quick access recorder was downloaded, and flight data analysis determined that flight loads sustained were within limitations. Maintenance personnel inspected the aircraft, with no fault found."
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