View Full Version : Can you descend below minimum on a Mayday legally?

3rd Jun 2013, 10:28
Can you descend below minimum on a Mayday legally?

now I know you and I would go below if we had to, but is there a code or article you can refer me to that says this....

Many thanks

Peter :)

Genghis the Engineer
3rd Jun 2013, 10:42
minimum what?


3rd Jun 2013, 10:42
Not sure on legislation but I'm fairly sure that a commander may do pretty much anything he feels is nessecary in the interests of safety, obviously there must be a damn good reason that you would have to justify in a court if you made it.

3rd Jun 2013, 10:49
Thanks. ILS DA minimums or circle to land etc, as on a plate.

3rd Jun 2013, 10:51
One of the items thrown at us regularly is uncontrollable fire after departure with relanding at an airfield below minima. That's really fun when it is below Cat III ILS minima!

3rd Jun 2013, 10:53
I know we would go below but someone recently said there was a document probably CAA or ICAO stating this and I've been asked to see if I can get this for Chief Pilot.
Would you be able to post the link here?

3rd Jun 2013, 13:22
Not just mayday but Good Friday , Easter Monday , whatever you want!

3rd Jun 2013, 13:38
Let's see if I've got this right...
you've declared a mayday
you want to fly below the 'minimum' altitude on the chart

Is that right?

um, you've declared a mayday? right?

I just don't understand the question.

Mayday means it is an emergency, and usually it's a bad one, or you would have issued a PanPan instead.

3rd Jun 2013, 14:29
You are absolutely right and we would go below minimums but I'd like to know if there is a document that actually says this?
In LPCs even with Mayday SE etc. we practice going around at minimum and do not practice landing below minimums.....

Say the cloud vase was 100ft and Cat1 was 200ft then we would probably go below the DA in this case and land.

Is there a document that says this though?

3rd Jun 2013, 14:35
You may find that the ANO is your friend here...

Part 22, Rules of the Air, Article 160:

"(3) It is lawful for the Rules of the Air to be departed from to the extent necessary:
(a) for avoiding immediate danger"

"(5) If any departure from the Rules of the Air is made for the purpose of avoiding immediate danger, the commander of the aircraft must cause written detailed information about the departure, and of the circumstances giving rise to it, to be given within 10 days of the departure to the competent authority of the country in whose territory the departure was made or if the departure was made over the high seas, to the CAA."

So basically, you can do what you see fit in an emergency...as long as you can justify it afterwards.

Obviously, this isn't specific to IAP minima, but the general statement probably covers your scenario adequately (and with the above, you wouldn't need another rule specifically allowing for your situation, as it is already covered in that blanket statement).

3rd Jun 2013, 17:20
OH, you're talking about a practice mayday exercise, not an actual mayday.

In a practice mayday, no, you can't go below minimums, you're not in an actual mayday.

In an actual mayday, if you can, you want to observe the minimums, but if you can't then, by the fact that you've declared an emergency, you can do whatever you need to do to get the plane on the ground safely.

3rd Jun 2013, 18:07
Whatever is a 'practice MAYDAY'?

4th Jun 2013, 06:44
In LPCs even with Mayday SE etc. we practice going around at minimum and do not practice landing below minimums.....

OK, not a "practice Mayday" but practising what do do including mayday

grammar nazi

16th Jun 2013, 01:36
You can fly invertted to cat 1 become visual, snaprol and land, Anything to save the day, as LAI points out , just be around thhe next 10 days to file a report.
Ie, Do no breake the ac , with regards to Ils minima , and emg, in trim and established, the ac land itself.
Regards b

16th Jun 2013, 12:04
I clearly remember (no mention of the country or the airport) the aircraft landing reporting "I had the lights at 180 feet" (DH was 256)

Roger that....XX XXX, did you copy the ceiling?


OK, cleared to land.

As a non-forecast fog blanketed all airports within 3 hours flying time, it was a "general emergency" which saw everyone, including the tower conspire to get the aircraft on the ground. They would all (there were not many actually, as it was late at night) be "landing" eventually anyway somewhere, so why not under the most controlled situation available, on the ILS at the airport. Experienced and practical response on all parts..-

16th Jun 2013, 12:18
And you knew they were not Cat 2 or 3 equipped?

16th Jun 2013, 12:24
The airport in question had no Cat 11 or III approaches.... nor did the only other possible alternative, as the weather there was even worse.

21st Jun 2013, 12:22
Another discussion with the Chief Pilot Peter? Gotta love AVB...

22nd Jun 2013, 00:16
You usually have something along the lines of

The pilot-in-command shall, in an emergency situation that requires immediate decision and action, take any action he/she considers necessary under the circumstances in accordance with 7.d. of Annex IV to Regulation (EC) No 216/2008. In such cases he/she may deviate from rules, operational procedures and methods in the interest of safety.

in your ops manual which is straight out of OPS1. The declaration of the mayday, however, wouldn't automatically mean you can bust minima on an approach. You'd still need a reason to do it because it still needs to be in the interests of safety. I would bust minima if I lost both in a twin though..

dubbleyew eight
22nd Jun 2013, 12:26
while a mayday call has the system abandoning all impediments to safety the mayday call has no effect on the softness of granite.

while the perennial battle between the earth and aircraft has not ever been lost by the earth you are certainly welcome to try shouting mayday.
it has never worked before but maybe if you say it differently....

Wetstart Dryrun
2nd Jul 2013, 08:07
..get away with it - you're a hero

screw it up, it's pilot error



2nd Jul 2013, 11:54
The ability to determine when to descend below a published minimum in order to bring a flight to a safe conclusion is what singles out commanders from pilots. Any good airline command course will both check and develop this essential management skill.

Ascend Charlie
3rd Jul 2013, 10:23
So if the engine has failed, how the heck are you going to STAY above minima??

In an emergency, do whatever you think is necessary, but you will have to justify it to Captain Jobsworth of the CAA afterwards.

3rd Jul 2013, 11:31
What I find amazing is that this thread is still open!! :confused: