View Full Version : B-737 Cargo Plane down in Hawaii

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2nd Jul 2021, 13:59
Heard they had engine trouble and were returning to land and ended up in the water.
Hope everyone is safe.


2nd Jul 2021, 14:22
Transair Boeing 737-275C(A) N810TA scheduled 01:30

2nd Jul 2021, 14:34

According to Reuters, both crew rescued by the coastguard.

2nd Jul 2021, 15:01
One pilot was taken to a trauma center and officials said the second was on a rescue boat heading to a fire station, officials said.

The Queens Medical Center said it received one patient in critical condition.

not allowed to post links, but this is from ABC

2nd Jul 2021, 15:28

"Transair Boeing 737-275C(A) N810TA scheduled 01:30"

Out of interest, what does the (A) signify ?

2nd Jul 2021, 15:35
I think it stays for Adv, whatever that means.....

2nd Jul 2021, 15:40
One critical, other ok


2nd Jul 2021, 15:44
The 737-200 advanced was the last of the -200's built. It had JT8D-17 engines.

Raffles S.A.
2nd Jul 2021, 15:47
Weird that they couldn't maintain altitude on one engine. The plane should fly on one engine at sea level even at gross weight.

2nd Jul 2021, 15:57
As well as incorporating all of the later -200 modifications, the -200 Adv included major wing improvements such as new leading edge flap sequencing, increase in droop of outboard slats, extension of the inboard Krueger Flap (see flight controls section (http://www.b737.org.uk/flightcontrols.htm)), to produce a significant increase in lift and a reduction of take-off & approach speeds for better short field performance or an MTOW increase of 2268Kg. Autobrake, improved anti-skid, automatic speedbrake for RTO, automatic performance reserve and even nose-brakes became available. Again, kits were available for existing operators of the -200. With the JT8D-15 at 15,500Lbs the MTOW was now up to 52,390Kgs and MLW 48,534Kgs. These performance improvements increased the service ceiling by 2,000ft to 37,000ft and the maximum cabin differential pressure was increased from 7.5 to 7.8psid to accommodate this.

In 1973 when noise was becoming a factor, the nacelle was acoustically lined by Boeing and P&W swapped one fan stage for two compressor stages in the JT8D-17 while increasing thrust to 16,000Lbs. The JT8D got up to 17,400Lbs thrust on the -17R.

This B-737 was line number 427 so it would incorporate the modifications listed above. It's first flight was in 1975 so as delivered, it would also have the engine update.

2nd Jul 2021, 15:58
I think it stays for Adv, whatever that means.....

Probably correct - the Advanced had revised flaps and slats, as well as the -17 engines, for improved short-field performance (lower takeoff and landing speeds).

C refers to it being a cargo/pax Convertible, but not a QC (quick change) or Combi.

Here's a different airframe with the same sub-type designation, which also has the "gravel runway kit" (signature "ski" gravel deflector around the nose gear, and other mods/reinforcing):


2nd Jul 2021, 16:29
Apparently they lost the second engine shortly after the first. There will be questions....

Flying Hi
2nd Jul 2021, 16:29
according to Hawaii's Dept of Transportation, ( on the Hawaiian TV News bulletin) they reported problems with ONE engine and were returning when the other donkey went lame too.

2nd Jul 2021, 16:41
FR24: https://www.flightradar24.com/data/aircraft/n810ta#2842c404

2nd Jul 2021, 16:42

Around the 8:00 mark, second engine running hot, unable to maintain altitude.

2nd Jul 2021, 18:04
I'd be looking real close at any recent maintenance activities.

Raffles S.A.
2nd Jul 2021, 18:07
Now we wait and see if it ditched in one piece or did it break up? It will be remarkable if they got it down in one piece. The TOW will be interesting to know, they didn't have too much fuel, he said about 2 hours worth, so ZFW + fuel.
It looks like the last recorded speed was around 133 mph on Flight Aware.

Flying Hi
2nd Jul 2021, 18:12
Sully and Skiles managed it, albeit in daylight. Fortunately these guys had no Pax to worry about so it matters not really if this is in one piece or not - the cargo's scrap now anyway and the crew out alive.

2nd Jul 2021, 18:26
Open ocean would be rather more challenging than the Hudson River as well. In fact, this may be the first successful ditching of a commercial jetliner in the open ocean (although depending on the damage to the aircraft, it might depend on how you define 'successful').

Del Prado
2nd Jul 2021, 18:36
That’s quite a replay. Great vectoring skills, not impressed by the crossed transmissions and Tower/Radar combined. ☹️

Professor Plum
2nd Jul 2021, 18:56
Regardless of the cause and subsequent damage to the aircraft-seriously good job living through a night ditching at sea!

hope they’re recovering well.

2nd Jul 2021, 19:35
ALM flight 980, a Dc-9-30, also had to ditch near St.Croix in 1970 after running out of fuel - with 23 fatalities and 40 survivors.

2nd Jul 2021, 19:42
May 1970, Overseas National DC9-33 ditched off of St. Croix from fuel exhaustion, 40 survived with 23 fatalities. ONA was operating for ALM on a JFK-SXM flight.
Again, depending on how you define successful...

2nd Jul 2021, 20:50
A couple of images but as clear as mud.


Rescue video and rescue crew giving details.


When a Coast Guard helicopter crew arrived at the scene of the crash, one of the cargo plane’s pilots was on the tip of the downed craft’s tail while the other was bobbing in the water on a cargo load.

There was also a large oil slick in the area and lots of debris.

“We first saw a man waving his hands from the tail of the airplane,” said Coast Guard Lt. Gleb Borovok. “Another man was floating on a bed of cargo.” Borovok said the crew planned to first rescue the pilot in the water.

But in a matter of seconds, the tail disappeared and the man who had been there was in the water vigorously swimming and appearing to have trouble.

The team decided to deploy a rescue swimmer to the pilot in the water first.

It sounds like someone upstairs was looking after them.

2nd Jul 2021, 21:02
Gotta give that guy with the accent credit for maintaining a pretty chill stress level with the “let the coast guard know” “thank you very much” “310, thank you”
So his last transmission was “thank you” at about 100’ and about to ditch at night in the ocean.

2nd Jul 2021, 21:15
Wonder what they concluded about the overheating on #1 as they were working the list.... Another symptom that may point in the direction of fuel and fuel handling.
They never got more than 2000 feet of altitude to work with either. Tough CRM challenge over open water.

galaxy flyer
3rd Jul 2021, 00:25
I'd be looking real close at any recent maintenance activities.

Or the fuel being contaminated? DEF, perhaps?

3rd Jul 2021, 00:32
Birds could be a possibility, as well as fuel contamination. Even leaving the oil caps off or forgetting to replace "O" rings (Eastern 855).

I certainly wouldn't want to be the last one who signed it off.

3rd Jul 2021, 01:16
TACA 110 had a dual engine failure from flameout, and subsequent overheating after relight after flying through heavy weather. Too much water in the donks from memory.

3rd Jul 2021, 01:34
Birds could be a possibility, as well as fuel contamination. Even leaving the oil caps off or forgetting to replace "O" rings (Eastern 855).

I certainly wouldn't want to be the last one who signed it off.

Well, not really, take the possibility of fuel contamination for example; that would be nothing to do with the individual signing the aircraft off for service.

3rd Jul 2021, 01:41
I can’t see what possible type of contamination would make it run hot unless it was something like avgas, and no one else appears to have had a problem. But no point guessing, hopefully they will recover enough to figure it out.

3rd Jul 2021, 01:47
Fuel contamination usually takes longer than a few minutes to have much effect - even av gas would be unlikely to take out the engines that fast. The JT8D is also unlikely to be severely affected by a bird strike (inlet guide vanes - which help protect the rotating bits from birds and the like).
Whatever it was, it happened fast...

3rd Jul 2021, 02:02
Couldn't really make out if the crew said anything about the first engine failure but the second was overheating so they had to back off on the power and from then on kept losing altitude. Assuming the second engine overheating was not related to the first engine failing (except that higher power would be needed for single engine op), what would be the likely cause of engine overheat at sea level and about 73F temperature? Engine beyond time for overhaul? Remembering back in history, UA insisted on having 3 JT8D's when Boeing was developing an airliner smaller than the 707 due to their Denver hub being hot and high. When the 737 came into play, I remember some of those July and August days with Denver's temp around 110 and wondering if 737s were ever going to rotate. This was a 737A so it had the higher thrust engines when it left the factory but how much is the thrust loss when they reach time for overhaul?

3rd Jul 2021, 02:21
I hear what you're saying but a Hot 'N High power degrading versus a loss of altitude running away to what looked like an inevitable swimming event due to single engine lack of thrust to even maintain level would keep my throttle hand in the very forward position regardless of instrument indications. No?

Sounds to me like the thrust loss was far greater than that which would be associated with atmospheric conditions, after all single engine ops on those donks and that frame (unless loaded too heavy) are within the loop of what we appear to have here.
So something else in the mix?

3rd Jul 2021, 03:09
I hear what you're saying but a Hot 'N High power degrading versus a loss of altitude running away to what looked like an inevitable swimming event due to single engine lack of thrust to even maintain level would keep my throttle hand in the very forward position regardless of instrument indications. No?

Assuming they were talking high EGT, yes, I'd ignore an EGT over redline if the alternative was ditching (after all, it's not like there's going to be a usable engine left after a salt water landing). We even design for that with FADEC - the FADEC will limit thrust for rotor speed redline and burner pressure redline (since exceeding those can result in uncontained failures), but the FADEC only limits EGT during starting. After it's running, we figure if the EGT is over redline and the pilot is leaving it there, they probably have a real good reason...
So something was going on besides just high EGT.

3rd Jul 2021, 03:23
With COVID there's been a rash of dual engine failures due to improper use of biocides. Wonder if there's any risk of Jet-A contamination from mix-ups in the fuel depot there at HNL?

(dot.) flightglobal (dot.) com/safety/biocide-overdose-blunder-suspected-in-a321-dual-engine-incident/138004.article

Harbour Dweller
3rd Jul 2021, 03:55
It will be interesting to hear the outcome of this one. Many possibilities to look at.

On the topic of fuel contamination leading to dual engine issues, over a decade ago now, a Cathay Pacific A330 experienced fuel contamination. An amazing effort by the flight crew to get her on the ground.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cathay_Pacific_Flight_780 or full investigation report here for those interested - Cathay Pacific Flight 780 HKCAD report (https://www.cad.gov.hk/reports/2%20Final%20Report%20-%20CX%20780%202013%2007%20web%20access%20compliant.pdf)

Thoughts to the two pilots in making a full recovery.

Maisk Rotum
3rd Jul 2021, 04:15
Couple of observations;

That ATCer was so unprofessional, she jumped on his transmissions so many times.

All very well for the pilot to be polite and say you had better let the Coast Guard know and thanks; but where was the Mayday call? This omission led the ATCer to have no sense of the drama unfolding and she continued to clear a/c in and out of the airport. Did that pilot in all his sims never get told to declare a Mayday? I don't think he even said Emergency. Also she told him about Kalaeloa airport when he was heading NE and gave him a steer there only to seconds later tell him you might have to turn the lights on yourself. AYFKM?

On one donk, I don't care what the temp gauges say, I'm heading for a runway I know is nearby and using whatever thrust I need.

Despite that well done to put it in the drink at night and survive the splashdown. It seems the crew member on the sinking tailplane was lucky to survive as he was flailing in the water according to the Coast Guard just before they sent a swimmer down.

It will be a very interesting report.

3rd Jul 2021, 04:31
Couldn't really make out if the crew said anything about the first engine failure but the second was overheating so they had to back off on the power and from then on kept losing altitude.
SLF here, but why would a pilot even be concerned with overheating if the only choice was to continue flying or hit the water? What have you got to lose?

3rd Jul 2021, 04:56
SLF here, but why would a pilot even be concerned with overheating if the only choice was to continue flying or hit the water? What have you got to lose?

Rapid disassembly of an engine, such as it exploding, would make the situation possibly even more challenging? They had max alt of 2,000ft, it was dark, they didn't have the luxuary of a quiet, warm environment with plenty of time on their hands from which to dilerberate such things!

3rd Jul 2021, 05:04
Good interview with the US Coast Guard flight crew:

And the rescue crew:

both interviews are refreshingly low on idiotic news anchor banter. Sounds like they arrived just in time and the 737 crew asking for USCG may have saved at least one of their lives. I'm familiar with the area; it's a shame they couldn't make JRF (Kalaeloa Airport, former Barbers Point NAS). It was only a few miles away (but a hard left turn from their heading of about 040 to 290). 6000 foot runway with open space at the far end in case of an overrun. In their favor was only a light swell (according to the rescue swimmer), mild air and water temperatures, the city lights were a good reference, and emergency responders and medical facilities were minutes away. Still an amazing job by crews of both aircraft!!

3rd Jul 2021, 06:03
With all that jet fuel in the water and one guy clinging to a piece of the cargo, plus the observation of the tail section sinking, it would be logical to conclude the plane did not remain intact.

3rd Jul 2021, 06:27

Didn't think the JT8D had FADEC. I know the PW2000 did though which was introduced in 1984.

3rd Jul 2021, 06:39


Didn't think the JT8D had FADEC. I know the PW2000 did though which was introduced in 1984."

I suspect the chances are that TD knows that ...

3rd Jul 2021, 06:43
Those double engine failures shortly after take-off I‘m aware of were related to shutting down the wrong one.

3rd Jul 2021, 07:55

Very interesting thank you (from someone who flew A320s for many years).

3rd Jul 2021, 11:29
And the engine version situation on the -200 Adv is not as simple as stated in a previous post. Some had JT8D-9, many were -15, the later builds were -17.

3rd Jul 2021, 12:00
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3fpQcRSnFE (presumably some silences are trimmed here as they often are in these videos)

The initial and somewhat generously subtitled request to return at 0:35 was missed by the controller (switching frequencies?) but so was the somewhat more clearly expressed one (but not PAN/mayday) at 0:50.

The thing that stood out for me aside from the absence of a PAN/mayday call (assuming nothing was missed by the scanner as has been known to happen) was the number of times that both parties said something (request/directive) which seemed to require a prompt response/readback from the other but then continued with additional information/direction which led to transmissions crossing. This got quite dicey at 1:30 when the emergency aircraft stepped on tower's attempt to route company out of their way and assumed the heading was for them.

3rd Jul 2021, 12:06
USA crews seem to have an aversion to saying "Mayday". This has come up many times before. Is it even in their training ?

The TV interviews with the Coast Guard crew were excellent, especially as they must have been unscripted, and showed a team right on top of the job. The probably junior interviewer did well not looking to self-promote but just letting the crew tell it all. In contrast the supplementary questions from the supposedly more senior studio anchors were banal.

The rescue crew flight mechanic seems to have a prominent badge on her uniform which includes a UK Union Flag. Anyone recognise what it is ?

Unless it's been re-engined in recent times, this 737 airframe had JT8D-9A engines.

H Peacock
3rd Jul 2021, 12:12
Such a shame they flew so far away from the useable tarmac after the very early loss of their first engine! I guess they perceived the need to secure the failed engine and then plan and brief a more sedate return until they realised it was a somewhat more serious issue.

3rd Jul 2021, 12:12
HNL ATC is quite often a shiiite show, sad to say. They do some asinine things for noise abatement there. Plus, the usual idiocy of one controller working 2-4 frequencies with no repeater for the other crews listening.

I really wish ATC could refrain from making transmissions containing 4-5 instructions, especially in emergencies.

3rd Jul 2021, 12:21

Possibly over temp on the subsequent restart.
I don’t remember anything about 73 systems anymore and limitations.
Chance they were working a fuel imbalance and had a cross feed valve open and starved the #1 engine?

3rd Jul 2021, 13:03

It's in the FAA training so it applies to all pilots. Fortunately, U.S. ATC has a low threshold for declaring an emergency so it all seems to balance out.

3rd Jul 2021, 13:55

"Unless it's been re-engined in recent times, this 737 airframe had JT8D-9A engines."

Yes, I believe that's correct. It certainly had the -9A for the first 20 years of its life with PWA and [email protected]

While all the 737s being produced at the time it was built (1975) were designated as Advanced and incorporated all the relevant aerodynamic mods, operators still had the (presumably cheaper) option of specifying the -7/-7A/-7B/-9/-9A, if desired, rather than the uprated variants.

Whether or not that turns out to be a factor in what happened remains to be seen.

3rd Jul 2021, 15:15

Highly unlikely they had a fuel balance that required any attention. Standard training is to ignore fuel balance on a immediate return to the airport as it can’t get far enough out of balance on a flight under a hour to be a issue.

3rd Jul 2021, 17:19
I was more thinking about a cross feed valve left open during take-off and climb out.

3rd Jul 2021, 18:23

Sorry, apparently I wasn't clear - the mention of FADEC was regarding newer engines which do have electronic protection of rotor speeds and burner pressure. The JT8D is purely hydromechanical and only has N2 redline protection (basically a flyball governor) and some sort of rudimentary burner pressure protection.
My point was that even with the fancy new FADEC engine controls, we don't limit for EGT (except perhaps during starting) because exceeding EGT redline is primarily economic damage - it would not cause the engine to experience an uncontained failure which could endanger the aircraft (which may occur with a rotor speed or burner pressure exceedance).

3rd Jul 2021, 18:47
Maintenance event during down time prior to departure?

Loose oil filler cap(s)?

Loose oil drain plug(s)?

3rd Jul 2021, 18:57

Most US crews flying domestically (to include Hawaii) declare an “Emergency” as opposed to Mayday. If I were outside the US I’d use “May
day” inside I’d use “Emergency” they are interchangeable. Perhaps the terminology should be standardized. The Pilot did declare an “Emergency” but too much talking on the ATC frequency garbled up his transmission.

3rd Jul 2021, 20:02
I see the BBC have got round to, as usual, describing the 737 as having "plunged"

Pilot remarkably calm as his Boeing 737 plunges into sea - BBC News (https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-us-canada-57704138)

I would have thought their rate of descent was anything but ...

3rd Jul 2021, 20:18
This female controller always stepping on the crew's transmission is very frustrating to hear.

3rd Jul 2021, 20:30

That's the flag of the State of Hawaii. The Union Jack is incorporated into the upper left!

Apparently, I can't attach an image for you, sorry.

Edit: to be clear, the patch itself is an amalgam of images, the base of which is the Hawaii flag. Then overlaid by Coast Guard crests, and so on.

3rd Jul 2021, 20:46
The stepping on transmissions was rather weird. While the emergency aircraft was still transmitting, she was issuing instructions reacting to their transmissions. Is this the impact of managing several frequencies at once, or adrenaline after an emergency (and the cognitive dissonance of missing those previous two calls coming home to roost)?
In any case, hindsight suggests they probably shoulda taken her up on the immediate return. Here's hoping they're both okay.

3rd Jul 2021, 21:56
Dinger, bear in mind the "emergency" aircraft never declared a mayday and never made its situation clear so how could the Controller possibly react correctly?
Additionally do you really suppose (I take it you aren't a pilot...) that with a ditching in prospect the crew were the least bit interested in what the "contoller" thought or wanted them to do and weren't doing what was needed anyway?
It'll be interesting to see why both engines failed though...There's a lot more to this story to come, so let's reserve judgement until the facts become clear.

3rd Jul 2021, 22:35
I fully recognize this is not important for the final investigation, but it really surprises me i've never heard in the entire ATC comms the words "Pan Pan" or "Mayday"...i really wish all the best for the pilots.

3rd Jul 2021, 23:21

I mean, it is not like there is some international organization regarding civil aviation that has some globally known and generally well accepted standard phraseology for declaring an emergency... :rolleyes:.

I know, I know, too much sarcasm and being obnoxious, apologies. But it definitely strikes me as very odd to not at least start the conversation with "Rhoades 810 is declaring an emergency".

3rd Jul 2021, 23:45

There was no "climb out", it all happened just after take-off.

4th Jul 2021, 00:12
Saying “Mayday” or not would hardly have affected the outcome. Commenting from afar about U.S. domestic practice isn’t helpful. There are plenty of things the North Americans do differently, yet, against all odds, they seem to enjoy some aviation successes. (S/)

The crew did declare an emergency and the controller did organise a rescue, but it wasn’t pretty to listen to.

Big Pistons Forever
4th Jul 2021, 01:36
I think it is totally unacceptable for a major International airport like Honolulu, to only have one controller on duty. The Fire Truck has to call on Tower because there is no one on ground, are you kidding:ugh:
Yes things slow down at night.....until they don't

The poor lone controller had a lot to do in addition to talking to the airplane, I would cut her some slack for someone who was undoubtedly task saturated.

4th Jul 2021, 04:31
The pilots immediately declared an emergency. "Rhoades 810, we have an emergency. Standby." It's hard to hear and the tower obviously didn't.

Flava Saver
4th Jul 2021, 04:54
Has it been reported anywhere how deep the wreck would be? ie how difficult would it be to retrieve the boxes…

4th Jul 2021, 05:39
Has it been reported anywhere how deep the wreck would be? ie how difficult would it be to retrieve the boxes…Yeah it has been. It can quickly become VERY deep off of Hawaii but that apparently should not be big issue here: "An hour later, rescuers found the two clinging to packages and parts of the plane in about 150 feet (46 meters) of water several miles off Oahu, authorities said."

4th Jul 2021, 06:21
This was more than a few minor injuries. The pilot they reached after the rear of the aircraft submerged was not alert an oriented, was admitted to the ICU in critical condition.

4th Jul 2021, 06:33
If the Live ATC was anything to go by then the quality of the transmissions from the aircraft was not very good. I think the Controller (why does it have to be preceded by female?) did a very good job in difficult circumstances. Also simply stating you have an emergency is not the same as stating "Mayday Mayday Mayday" That gets everyone's attention and gives the Controller an unambiguous scenario to work with.

4th Jul 2021, 08:06
The word mayday is effective at tuning everyones attention to a “life threatening emergency”, particularly the controller.

“Declaring an emergency” is not standard even for the FAA and has been used by US crews to describe everything from a minor fuel transfer fault to a wing falling off. We probably wont know if the controller was a little more ambivalent towards the 737 situation because a mayday call was not given however I suspect in this and other situations it may have been a factor.

American RT is not great and has bitten them on the ass before. A recent example being the RJ cockpit fire in DEN where the controller did not understand “roll the trucks” and did not respond to the emergency appropriately as a result.

This will not be the first time the FAA again reiterate the need for standard RT procedures.

4th Jul 2021, 08:37
I suspect that calling it as an emergency rather than a mayday situation reflects the fact that they initially regarded a single engine failure as an annoyance to throw a checklist at - which, to be fair training and ETOPS thinking confirms.

At such low altitude though, scrutiny of the second engine and fuel situation would be the first 'survival' priority - Once they had the first clue that they weren't able to continue the climb as expected for OEI they should have immediately focussed on the fastest return vs nearest landing.
And yes Mayday might also have cleared the frequency a bit

4th Jul 2021, 09:15
I suspect that calling it as an emergency rather than a mayday situation reflects the fact that they initially regarded a single engine failure as an annoyance to throw a checklist at - which, to be fair training and ETOPS thinking confirms.

I wouldn't have even got my basic PPL without demonstrating Mayday, Pan, and which means what. I wonder what US crews do in their Sim sessions.

Easy Street
4th Jul 2021, 09:37
Most US crews flying domestically (to include Hawaii) declare an “Emergency” as opposed to Mayday. If I were outside the US I’d use “Mayday” inside I’d use “Emergency” they are interchangeable. Perhaps the terminology should be standardized. The Pilot did declare an “Emergency” but too much talking on the ATC frequency garbled up his transmission.

It is standardized: see the AIM on the FAA website here (https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/aim_html/chap6_section_3.html). It's just that there is a deep-rooted cultural aversion to applying the standard.

4th Jul 2021, 11:51
The pilots immediately declared an emergency. "Rhoades 810, we have an emergency. Standby." It's hard to hear and the tower obviously didn't.
Which is precisely why the global standard is MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY, not mumble blur ten unreadable ve unreadble cy.

4th Jul 2021, 12:01
Anyone who thinks the correct phraseology isn't important should listen to the Hudson tape again - it took an agonising age before the controller tumbled to the fact that this was a catastrophe in waiting and not just an inconvenient birdstrike - entirely down to shoddy RT. It's all well and good saying the crew were under stress (!) but 'we're in the Hudson' or 'roll the trucks' is about as unhelpful a transmission as it is possible to imagine if you want to convey a sense of urgency. Do they not do Human Factors and communication studies in FAA land?
Thre is simply no substitute for using the correct prowords in an emergency even if the national habit is to babble like a three-badge budgie the rest of the time.

4th Jul 2021, 12:04

Saying 'Mayday' three times leaves no room whatsoever for any misunderstanding. As others have pointed out, it seems to be a cultural issue in the USA to not say Mayday. Is it because it is seen as a sign of weakness to call for help?

When lives are at stake making a Mayday call is without doubt the correct thing to do whether in the air or at sea.

4th Jul 2021, 12:42
I suspect calling Mayday is unpopular with some US Pilots because it's imagined to be unpopular with Legal, Marketing, PR, Chief Pilot and the Safety dept....
. . . and anyway they never lost two engines in training so its surely going to be called over-dramatic on the ground.. I mean if Apollo 11 didn't call Mayday who would :rolleyes:

Also mentally minimising a developing bad situation is a basic human instinct which sometimes helps and sometimes doesn't - making it tricky to train out

4th Jul 2021, 13:01
But she might have been quicker had someone shouted MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY.

4th Jul 2021, 14:09
At TWA we were taught to use "emergency" in FAA airspace and "Mayday" everywhere else. In fact, Mayday three times in oceanic.

4th Jul 2021, 15:04

-9A per the FAA Registry. I don't know if the registry is updated if the engines are upgraded post-delivery. https://registry.faa.gov/AircraftInquiry/Search/NNumberResult?nNumberTxt=810TA

4th Jul 2021, 15:21
Two things come to mind. A mayday call which was lacking not only alerting ATC, but an urgency for themselves instead of the relaxed attitude towards the engine failure which got worse. Second, situational awareness of the gliding distance of the aircraft to stay within a safe distance of the airport instead of going further away. These two factors would had saved the aircraft most likely. Now in their defence, a normal engine failure is not normally a big deal to handle for a safe landing. But this shows when "Mr Murphy" pops up, its always unexpected and it goes fast downhill from there. One point though, when they started having problems on the remaining engine, there wasn't an urgency either for an immediate return or land at the closest airport. They must have assumed it wasn't going to die on them. The urgency in thier voice did come at the end though from the captain I believe which was then too late. Lastly I don't believe this accident can be compared with the Hudson river ditching be it day or night time. Cpt Sullenberger and his FO would be at the very top on how to handle an emergency on both CRM and really knowing their aircraft and profession so intimately. The top 1% of true aviators and something to always strive for in this profession IMO.

250 kts
4th Jul 2021, 15:25
Mayday x 3 gets the ATCers attention like nothing else does. It almost always means the aircraft will need to land ASAP. Just saying we have an emergency lends itself to the controller having to ask quesions to ascertain the problem, and that problem may not always lead to the need for an immedate landing so may well be handled slightly differently.

4th Jul 2021, 17:32
I flew this aircraft with Canadian North in the high Arctic. It had a gravel kit and -17 engines if I remember correctly. We had about 60 737-200 from 5 or 6 airlines and there were a lot of different configurations. -9 -15 and -17 engines and sometimes you might have a -17 on one side and a -9 on the other. About a 3000lb thrust difference but not really noticable.
Fish habitat now I suppose. Better than rotting in the desert or ending up as razor blades maybe!

4th Jul 2021, 17:43
In this situation , engine out in initial climb, is the SOP to level off or to continue to climb ?

4th Jul 2021, 18:37
Depends on a couple of things ( in general)
Minimum safe Altitudes
Specific engine out procedures for that airport/runway.

In this case it’s obviously not Kathmandu so a level off at 2000’ would likely have been safe enough as they were over the water. But they couldn’t maintain altitude let alone climb.

Easy Street
4th Jul 2021, 19:51
At TWA we were taught to use "emergency" in FAA airspace and "Mayday" everywhere else. In fact, Mayday three times in oceanic.

This goes to show just how deep-rooted the cultural aspect is. I remember being briefed before my first Ex RED FLAG deployment as a young RAF pilot to use the words "declaring in-flight emergency" to get attention instead of calling PAN-PAN or MAYDAY when on US ATC frequencies. On at least four separate occasions since, I've heard non-US aircraft declaring MAYDAY to American controllers (both military and civil) being met with the response "confirm you're declaring an emergency?" And one of those times was at Lakenheath, England! Even today, US pilot and controller training seems to be at odds with modern FAA and DoD standards, both of which are aligned to ICAO.

We had a long debate on this in the Mil forum following last year's USMC KC-130/F-35 midair, in which even the immediate loss of one aircraft and catastrophic damage to the other wasn't enough to provoke a MAYDAY call from the surviving Herc crew during their several minutes of descent to a successful forced landing in a field. We're dealing with a fundamental of how people have been taught, and people tend to get defensive when that's questioned.

4th Jul 2021, 19:55
I'm not sure why people are fixating on the issue of yelling Mayday. ATC can only do so much and they certainly can't fly the plane for you. While the communications seemed chaotic and messy to those listening afterwards with full knowledge of what was going to happen, it wasn't that abnormal. Comms get stepped on all the time and although the radio check request was a bit unusual, I see no indication that ATC didn't do everything they asked for. ATC recognized the emergency as such very early on, as soon as he said "lost an engine", offered the immediate return and then just let them work their problem. All this talk about proper terminology misses the fact that the term 'emergency' covers a wide range of possibilities and if you are already in contact with ATC--as opposed to breaking in out of the blue--then skipping the formalities and letting them know the exact nature of the emergency seems more helpful. If the controller hears "bxxxt hmmmm blllll ENGINE grrr blllrtt IMMEDIATE RETURN hsssmmm", they'll probably get the picture and start clearing the way. If you truly can't get through to them after 1 or 2 attempts and you need their immediate attention for some reason--like needing to turn in a busy terminal area--then squawking 7700 and yelling Mayday three times may be appropriate. I just don't see how any of that would have helped here. Yes there was additional confusion with the vectors for the other aircraft, but I still see no issue. The only minor possibility is that the comms mess distracted from other tasks, but that's the pilots job to manage.

We have nowhere near enough information to criticize anyone's performance here. For me the biggest questions are why did the second engine fail and at what point did the crew realize (or should have realized) that either the engine was malfunctioning or that they could not hold altitude? Perhaps the first engine failure occurred at rotation and they melted the second one trying to climb out, or perhaps that second engine wasn't in good shape to begin with. Unfortunately all that evidence is now at the bottom of the sea. I hope they make the effort to recover enough parts to do a thorough inquiry.

4th Jul 2021, 20:12

"For me the biggest questions are why did the second engine fail and at what point did the crew realize (or should have realized) that either the engine was malfunctioning or that they could not hold altitude?"

If all else fails, the investigators could try asking the crew ...

4th Jul 2021, 20:28
To all those claiming that MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY would have been a more effective call, keep in mind that there are several examples of mayday calls in the US which were followed by the controlled asking "Are you declaring an emergency?"

RT in the US is a total :mad: show, especially for emergencies. There's just no way around it and no way to fix it without retraining the entire country.

I attended a lecture by the crew of Southwest 1380 a couple years ago, they were given around 10 frequency changes after "declaring an emergency", were asked 3 times for fuel on board (twice in pounds and once in hours and minutes), and when they requested a single frequency were refused. 121.5 is not available for emergencies since it's reserved for cat noises and "GAUUUURD" calls. When someone in the audience suggested they might have been better off dropping the radio at that point and flying the plane, the F/O said that in his previous job he used to patrol that airspace with live weapons and didn't want to get shot down by one of his comrades.

If you're in trouble in FAA airspace, neither ICAO nor FAA standard phraseology is going to guarantee the RT goes well. Just do your best a la British Airways 9.

4th Jul 2021, 20:30
https://webapp.navionics.com/?lang=en#[email protected]&key=iqx%60C%60d%60c%5D If you look at this chart you can see they must have been within a mile and a half to be in shallow waters? Things getting deep quickly is indeed the case here!

4th Jul 2021, 21:42
I think in this case it probably wouldn't have made a difference if the controller had realised they had an emergency sooner, but that doesn't mean the discussion isn't valid.

From the outside looking in, it seems the problem with "declaring an emergency" is that phrase isn't "magic" enough. It can become lost in "ers" and "ums" and other bla bla. The words "Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!", followed by your callsign three times, is very difficult to misinterpret. And so what if the response is, "Are you declaring an emergency?" You can be sure the controllers ears pricked up immediately. If the Americans want to be different, well that's ok I guess, they're not alone in that, but at least pick a phrase that is clear and concise and doesn't get lost in a ramble of other words. "Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice! Beetlejuice!" would be better than "declaring an emergency."

4th Jul 2021, 22:01
Since the Americans tend to favor "Emergency", they could consider tx that three times.

Flava Saver
4th Jul 2021, 22:56
Not suggesting this happened, but it has happened in other engine out scenarios…

Engine has failed near rotation, bird strike or any other reason, startle factor with the crew, focused on wtf has happened, forgotten to get the gear up…how would a 732 go in that situation climb wise?

4th Jul 2021, 23:57
Startle factor is definitely a factor in emergencies.

Startle factor can lead to a crew making a quick wrong decision, such as shutting down the good engine and not the overheating one.

5th Jul 2021, 01:13
That would explain the transmission about the other engine "getting hot" or words to that effect. If they shut down the correct engine then firewalled the remaining engine without reducing the thrust at some point then that could also explain the statement about the other engine getting hot.

5th Jul 2021, 01:16

Assuming reports and flight data are accurate regarding final position, wreckage should be well inside the 100 fathom curve. Tides and currents in this area are benign and underwater visibility is good. This should be a relatively easy recovery of the pieces of interest.

Flying Clog
5th Jul 2021, 01:42
The woeful R/T during this event will certainly be a factor.

Crass and cavalier radio chatter is SOP in the good 'ol US of A. Farm animal noises on guard, trying to sound cool with every transmission with ATC. It's a bloody disgrace a lot of the time.

'roll the trucks', 'we're going in the hudson', 'she's running hot', '5 to 10 in the climb', 'hows the ride at three five oh'.

It's an embarrassment. Some of these clown should have a go at flying outside the US and see how well that goes.

5th Jul 2021, 05:59
Boro plugs?

5th Jul 2021, 06:32
Flying Clog

Regarding US Airways 1549, Sully did in fact transmit "Mayday Mayday Mayday" right after the dual engine failure was recognised and he took control - it just wasn't heard over the air as it was stepped on by another transmission. It was recorded on the CVR. https://www.ntsb.gov/investigations/AccidentReports/Reports/AAR1003.pdf - see transcript at page 189. The "we're gonna be in the Hudson" only came later and was after the nature of the emergency was firmly established with appropraite RT procedure from both aircraft and controller. It was in fact a statement of fact because that's precisely what was to occur moments later, so I don't share your concern that Sully is a clown who would have trouble flying outside the US.

Flying Clog
5th Jul 2021, 06:59
Fair enough re Sully. That just leaves the other 10s of thousands of ATPL holders who could do with cleaning up their act.

5th Jul 2021, 07:22
So maybe your RT is better than my entire country… but how are your hand-flying skills when it comes to making survivable night ocean ditchings in jet aircraft? What’s that you say, how are MINE? No idea, never done it! But these two guys did, and they basically walked away from it. All that matters is their speedy recovery at this point.

I understand your frustration with radio slang in the US, and I am right there with you about the use of 121.5 as a stand-up comedy venue….

BUT, none of that has any bearing whatsoever on the outcome of these guys’ situation, full stop. There was no navigational assistance that ATC can provide to a crew flying out of their home base, for an airline that only serves 5 destinations that are all within a half-hour of each other. The crew had the wherewithal to ask ATC to call the US Coast Guard, and ditched the aircraft in the direction of the closest USCG base (which was closer than HNL at that point).

So they spoke like normal human beings rather than perfect RT instructors while faced with one of the worst possible situations that can occur in an aircraft. So what? In doing so they requested and received the only real assistance that ATC could have provided them, and are alive as a result.

5th Jul 2021, 08:38
Aviate navigate communicate seemed to work well here from what we know.. I am going to say loud and clear that very few have survived after having to put a transport aircraft into the sea in the dark (or daylight actually) and survive. What ever the minor shortcomings elsewhere the crew are to be congratulated. Period.

5th Jul 2021, 09:21
A question with regard to the radio calls, frequently stepping on each other. Given that the 737 was quite far away at low altitude, could poor reception help explain the overlaps in transmission ? Perhaps each party thinking the other had finished - and clearly the controller very keen to be able to help, despite being busy with other tasks at the same time?
The emotion in the Air Traffic Controller's voice at the end is clear to hear. Superb that both crew survived a nail biting experience..

5th Jul 2021, 12:02
I regret weighing in earlier in what has become another classic episode of PPrune vs. US radio discipline. The striking part of the recording for me was, when, after missing the first two calls, the controller hears "we've lost an engine", she doesn't wait for the transmission to finish, but immediately steps on them to cancel the company approach and clear the aircraft for a quick return.
another point that should be made: they spent an hour in the water. Five more minutes and the ending wouldn't be as happy as we hope this one will be.

5th Jul 2021, 12:09
The pilots of Transair Flight 810 heading from Honolulu to Maui reported engine trouble and were trying to return to Honolulu, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

“We’ve lost No. 1 engine, and we’re coming straight to the airport,” one of the pilots said in air traffic control communications. “We’re going to need the fire department. There’s a chance we’re going to lose the other engine, too, it’s running very hot. We’re very low on speed.”

The pilot said they weren’t carrying hazardous materials and had two hours’ worth of fuel. They asked the tower to advise the Coast Guard, then asked if there was a closer airport than Honolulu.

After a stretch of silence, the controller asks if the pilot is still there. There was no response.


5th Jul 2021, 12:45

It does seem that the ditching happened effectively within sight of the Coast Guard base at Kalaeloa, just a couple of minutes time for the helicopter. We also heard I believe from the Coast Guard crew that they were on a 24-hour duty roster, starting at 8 am the previous day, and still in progress when the incident arose at about 2 am the following early morning. One presumes by this time the crew were at least napping, and likely would take a while to get going. Is there any more detail about this, and why they work in this manner.

5th Jul 2021, 14:15
This from the Rhoades past and the sad tale of CV240 N450GA

1992 CV240 N152JR BAK Both engines failed due to spark plug break up.
Captain Goldverdi Sultan Peymani (Goldie) saved the day with ‘Yeager-like’ skills.
it was my honor and privilege to be his FO.

5th Jul 2021, 14:44
Flying Clog

Nice, 8 posts in and your full on U.S of A. stereotyping and bashing. You will fit in well around here, welcome aboard.
P.S. I took off a couple points for not fitting in MAGA, guns or Trump.
MODS-if this was pre-approved then shame on you.

5th Jul 2021, 15:19

Using GPS coordinates and assuming the flight was at maximum distance while on the NW heading, the max distance from HNL was just under 17 NM at an altitude of around 1200 ft. That distance is well within the range capabilities of a VHF comm and there were no line-of-sight obstructions.

Regarding the parties thinking each other had finished, I think back to my initial flight training with a 180 ch comm, handheld microphone and cabin speaker, where the CFI insisted on the use of "over" for every radio transmission. "Over" is still in the AIM as approved radio phraseology but is optional. Imagine how its use would have untangled the communications in this accident.

5th Jul 2021, 15:28
Regarding their time in the water, IIRC, when the RAF were providing rescue cover in UK, the response time was 15 min in daylight (usually a lot less) and 30 min at night. Allowing time for the call to reach the crew, start-up and transit, I would say that one hour in the water was pretty darn good. I'm sure some ex RAF crew will correct my timings if they are wrong.

ATC Watcher
5th Jul 2021, 15:38
Interesting comments here on how a pilot should declare an emergency and what ATC should do. Not willing to restart the old US vs the rest of the world debate, just to set the record straight, , this is what Controllers all around the world ( and I suspect the FAA nowadays as things have changed since the TWA era ) are being taught :Pilots believing themselves to be facing an emergency situation should declare an emergency as soon as possible and cancel it later if the situation allows.

The correct method of communicating this information to ATC is by using the prefix “MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY” or “PAN PAN, PAN PAN, PAN PAN” as appropriate. This procedure, which is an international standard, is the single most effective means of alerting the controller to the need to give priority to the message that will follow.

In certain types of emergency the flight crew will don oxygen masks. The wearing of oxygen masks may make the voice messages more difficult to understand and increases the risk of a clearance being misunderstood and the risk of readback/hearback errors.

Controller response to emergency situation

The Operators Guide to Human Factors in Aviation Briefing Note Pilots-controllers communications -offers the following advice:

"Controllers should recognize that, when faced with an emergency situation, the flight crew’s most important needs are:

Airspace; and,

The briefing note continues: "The controller’s response to the emergency situation could be patterned after the ASSIST memory aid...:

Acknowledge - Ensure that the reported emergency is well-understood and acknowledged;

Separate - Establish and maintain separation with other traffic and terrain;

Silence - Impose silence on your control frequency, if necessary; and do not delay or disturb urgent cockpit action by unnecessary transmissions;

Inform - Inform your supervisor and other sectors, units and airports as appropriate;

Support - Provide maximum support to the flight crew; and,

Time - Allow the flight crew sufficient time to manage the emergency."

After listening to the ( partial) R/T exchange published at the beginning of this thread I can conclude that the crew remained professional and provided all information required.
and the Controller understood the emergency and responded in a very adequate manner , provided all assistance required , especially in navigation , and the Pilots did a remarkable job in ditching a 737 in the dark and are still there to talk about it.

The only advantage of declaring Mayday 3x here would have been to silence the other traffic , a plus point in this situation especially since the controller was alone managing multiple frequencies , which is unfortunately becoming a standard during night in many places.

5th Jul 2021, 17:19
In my old company, an engine failure on a twin was a MAYDAY. You can always downgrade to a PAN, or even cancel altogether, as the situation unfolds.

5th Jul 2021, 18:00
Flying Clog

Europe is far from perfect. We were North of Nice headed to MXP when we got a traffic warning. A quick look showed a aircraft coaltitude at FL330. We attempted to talk to the controller without a reply. Acquired the traffic visually about the time we got the TCAS climb climb call out. We initiated a climb and tried to tell the controller we were climbing but a flurry of panicked French transmissions broke out on the frequency. A A320 passed right under us. We again attempted to talk to the controller with no reply but still lots of loud French. Returned to FL 330 on our own and no French controller would speak to us again. Had to effect our own frequency change to the Italians. Using multiple languages on the same frequency should be banned.

Raffles S.A.
5th Jul 2021, 19:00

I think they still would have been wearing their harnesses as the first engine failed very shortly after takeoff. The head injuries would have almost certainly come from the overhead panels coming loose and collapsing on them.

Locked door
5th Jul 2021, 19:13
Sounds like they hit the water pretty hard. It will be interesting to see how much flap they had out and whether they managed to do anything to preserve hydraulic availability (for the flaps).

250 kts
5th Jul 2021, 19:19

That's quite an episode you suffered and I would think that the reports you filed,and, hopefully your company also filed received adequate attention by the French authorities. You're right that multiple languages should be banned on the same frequency and you only have to look at the incident at CDG when a pilot lost his life directly due to this being allowed. But without getting into a tit for tat, the likelihood is, that had you had an in flight emergency and used the word "emergency" it may well have taken some time to get a response, whereas Mayday x 3 would almost certainly have brought an immediate response.

There will always be lapses in standard RT in all countries and languages, but it shouldn't happen at just the exact moment that the severity of the situation needs to be conveyed as succinctly as possible.

5th Jul 2021, 19:29

Yup, nowhere is perfect. And we can all come up with examples of poor practise that we've experienced from others, although heaven forfend that we ever don't do it 'just right' ourselves.

But with the example you cite, I trust that you submitted an ASR or whatever equivalent your operator/authority required, and perhaps with the DGAC. It sounds like a very serious failure of the system which requires proper investigation and appropriate actions taken to avoid it happening to anyone else. Back in my day working for a CAA, we would have forwarded such a submitted report to the national authority responsible for the airspace in order to ensure that it was correctly investigated (and we would have followed up if we didn't get a response). Of course, if all you're going to do is regale us with your exploits and observations of deficiencies on an anonymous internet message board, how will those poor unfortunates who are not as competent as we are ever improve their game?

6th Jul 2021, 00:41
As a current 767 Pilot, and prior C-141/C-17 Pilot in the U.S. Air Force, I can tell you that my airline,which operates worldwide, as well as the USAF, has always taught us that when an emergency situation occurs, the correct verbiage to convey the seriousness of the situation is,
“Call sign, declaring an Emergency”
Flying internationally we were told to say “May day,X 3” or “Pan X3” as the situation warranted. I fly US domestic mostly and in our training we never say “Mayday.” It’s always “ Call sign…Declaring an Emergency”.
This may well be a carryover from the US Military. It’s not a smugness issue or America First sentiment, it’s how we are trained. Good discussion, perhaps this may become an emphasis item and standardization will be established.

6th Jul 2021, 01:26
An impromptu poll of my fellow pilots and the results are the International crews are taught to transmit “Mayday X 3”. As a domestic (U.S) Pilot we “declare an Emergency” and that’s how we are trained.

6th Jul 2021, 01:31

It is - IMHO - a bit more to it than that. "Mayday" works just fine with US ATC, I have had to use it a couple of times. What we seem to have is not people not knowing that Emergency and Mayday are the same thing, more like many pilots have a death before dishonor mindset or perhaps an overwhelming fear of FAA inspectors showing up where 2 engines on fire and one wing falling off is "a bit of a problem, not too serious".
I teach both flying and sailing and the culture is 180 out for boats, you hear Mayday calls for the dumbest stuff imaginable.
* I have never ever heard PAN PAN PAN or SECURITE while flying, but they are almost daily occurrences sailing. Is there even a defined aviation meaning for those? PAN is usually the USCG advising of some distress situation somewhere, we just had one today for a boat that sank about 2 miles ahead of me.

6th Jul 2021, 04:04
were asked 3 times for fuel on board (twice in pounds and once in hours and minutes)Even that is spelled out, minutes, see (9) below, although such minutia is understandably amiss.As a domestic (U.S) Pilot we “declare an Emergency” and that’s how we are trainedProcedure spelled out by the FAA, besides alerting ATC, MAYDAY and PAN should immediately get all stations on frequency to keep stumm. Declaring an "emergency" doesn't convey the seriousness of what the crew is facing, MAYDAY is in distress, PAN is have an urgent situation, emergency is Fred forgot his lunch, it conveys nothing to anybody, nor a recognised FAA call by my reading.https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/aim_html/chap_6.html
Section 3. Distress and Urgency Procedures.

Distress and Urgency Communications

A pilot who encounters a distress or urgency condition can obtain assistance simply by contacting the air traffic facility or other agency in whose area of responsibility the aircraft is operating, stating the nature of the difficulty, pilot's intentions and assistance desired. Distress and urgency communications procedures are prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), however, and have decided advantages over the informal procedure described above.
Distress and urgency communications procedures discussed in the following paragraphs relate to the use of air ground voice communications.
The initial communication, and if considered necessary, any subsequent transmissions by an aircraft in distress should begin with the signal MAYDAY, preferably repeated three times. The signal PAN-PAN should be used in the same manner for an urgency condition.
Distress communications have absolute priority over all other communications, and the word MAYDAY commands radio silence on the frequency in use. Urgency communications have priority over all other communications except distress, and the word PAN-PAN warns other stations not to interfere with urgency transmissions.
Normally, the station addressed will be the air traffic facility or other agency providing air traffic services, on the frequency in use at the time. If the pilot is not communicating and receiving services, the station to be called will normally be the air traffic facility or other agency in whose area of responsibility the aircraft is operating, on the appropriate assigned frequency. If the station addressed does not respond, or if time or the situation dictates, the distress or urgency message may be broadcast, or a collect call may be used, addressing “Any Station (Tower)(Radio)(Radar).”
The station addressed should immediately acknowledge a distress or urgency message, provide assistance, coordinate and direct the activities of assisting facilities, and alert the appropriate search and rescue coordinator if warranted. Responsibility will be transferred to another station only if better handling will result.
All other stations, aircraft and ground, will continue to listen until it is evident that assistance is being provided. If any station becomes aware that the station being called either has not received a distress or urgency message, or cannot communicate with the aircraft in difficulty, it will attempt to contact the aircraft and provide assistance.
Although the frequency in use or other frequencies assigned by ATC are preferable, the following emergency frequencies can be used for distress or urgency communications, if necessary or desirable:
121.5 MHz and 243.0 MHz. Both have a range generally limited to line of sight. 121.5 MHz is guarded by direction finding stations and some military and civil aircraft. 243.0 MHz is guarded by military aircraft. Both 121.5 MHz and 243.0 MHz are guarded by military towers, most civil towers, and radar facilities. Normally ARTCC emergency frequency capability does not extend to radar coverage limits. If an ARTCC does not respond when called on 121.5 MHz or 243.0 MHz, call the nearest tower.

Obtaining Emergency Assistance

A pilot in any distress or urgency condition should immediately take the following action, not necessarily in the order listed, to obtain assistance:

Climb, if possible, for improved communications, and better radar and direction finding detection. However, it must be understood that unauthorized climb or descent under IFR conditions within controlled airspace is prohibited, except as permitted by 14 CFR Section 91.3(b).
If equipped with a radar beacon transponder (civil) or IFF/SIF (military):

Continue squawking assigned Mode A/3 discrete code/VFR code and Mode C altitude encoding when in radio contact with an air traffic facility or other agency providing air traffic services, unless instructed to do otherwise.
If unable to immediately establish communications with an air traffic facility/agency, squawk Mode A/3, Code 7700/Emergency and Mode C.

Transmit a distress or urgency message consisting of as many as necessary of the following elements, preferably in the order listed:

If distress, MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAY-DAY; if urgency, PAN-PAN, PAN-PAN, PAN-PAN.
Name of station addressed.
Aircraft identification and type.
Nature of distress or urgency.
Pilots intentions and request.
Present position, and heading; or if lost, last known position, time, and heading since that position.
Altitude or flight level.
Fuel remaining in minutes.
Number of people on board.
Any other useful information.REFERENCE-

Pilot/Controller Glossary Term- Fuel Remaining.

Contact Approach
6th Jul 2021, 06:45
The FAA tell you to use mayday so where does I’m declaring an emergency come from? And whilst we’re at it, where do all the other non standard RT calls come from?

Easy Street
6th Jul 2021, 07:37

It would be interesting to hear from pilots and controllers young enough to have been trained after the FAA and DoD adopted ICAO terminology. What did their groundschool instructors tell them about those pages in the AIM or the DoD Flight Information Handbook? That they don't apply in the US, despite the absence of geographical limits in the publications? That the pages are only there to keep the international regulator happy? Those kind of approaches, if indeed the case, set pilots and controllers on the path towards selective cultural interpretation of regulations and standards from the earliest stage of their careers. I'm certain that other countries have their foibles (notably the use of French) but such things are at least documented as national variations.

Fursty Ferret
6th Jul 2021, 08:05
foibles (notably the use of French)

If anyone is going to respect the phrase MAY DAY it'd be the French... ("M'aidez").

6th Jul 2021, 08:20
Contact Approach

I was under the impression that FAA has only got on board with MAYDAY and PAN-PAN recently, so the "declaring an emergency" bit is old rules.

6th Jul 2021, 09:28
If anyone is going to respect the phrase MAY DAY it'd be the French... ("M'aidez").

Don't bet on it. I have had to declare MAYDAY twice while talking to Paris. In both cases there were several more conversations, followed by "XXX, say again"

6th Jul 2021, 10:53
Contact Approach

​​​​​​..Standard ICAO RT is not used in the US.. Also, "declaring an emergency" was the correct term, at least when I was there..

6th Jul 2021, 10:56
Flava Saver

with a light fuel load and with the -17 engines the -200 is pretty good on one engine. Even with the -9s
I clearly remember sim sessions where a reverser popped open at rotation and max gross weight. The airplane would climb at perhaps 200 fpm if you hadn't stayed up to late the night before🙂
And those were bucket reversers! (An interlink brought thrust to idle)

6th Jul 2021, 11:08
This is exactly why a look at the hot engine2 / lack of climb performance should surely have caused them to swiftly abandon the 'delay vectors and read the checklist' approach in favour of another 1000ft if we can and head for somewhere flat and dry

6th Jul 2021, 11:54
As an USAF pilot, we were taught in an emergency situation the verbiage they expected to hear was “call sign..declaring an emergency” in my yearly recurrent training on the 767 we “declare an emergency” It May very well be a carryover from the military.
I will bring this topic up to our training dept.

John Dory
6th Jul 2021, 14:10
Whether the phrase/s Pan(x3) or Mayday(x3) is a side issue or not, apart from alerting the controller to your call it is also intended to alert others on frequency that you require priority - at least in countries other than the U.S. Why try to reinvent the wheel as they often do?

WillowRun 6-3
6th Jul 2021, 14:49
Eight years ago - July 2013 - among the very first threads this SLF/attorney saw here was about Standard RT in the U.S.

In those eight years, while a fair lot of ICAO's official work and some of its unofficial political meanderings have had some relevance for professional work, if there has been any sustained effort to bring the U.S. or any other country into better observance with standardization rules for RT, it hasn't gained much attention. Or any even halfway serious, if also unsustainable, effort either.

Eight years from now.... yeah, if we're lucky.

6th Jul 2021, 16:09
Distinction without a difference - In the USA the controllers will respond to "Declaring an Emergency" and "Mayday", they know both words. The issue in many different incidents was the pilots did neither one. This crash was actually kind of a DC-3 style crash, you can see losing an engine on a heavy DC-3 right after takeoff and then the 80 year-old good engine going bad when flogged to max power to keep the plane in the air, but I would guess the assumption from ATC on a 737 is the plane had plenty of power on one and they were going to get things cleaned up and organized because the plane could do it no problem.

ATC Watcher
6th Jul 2021, 16:25
WillowRun 6-3 I have been giving dozens presentations and lectures about R/T standardization to both ATC and Crews when some large international airlines decided to use multinational crews. .There are many accidents where lack of standard phraseology were major contributing factors , if not a direct cause, one of the most used is Avianca 052 in New York in 1990 than ran out of fuel. (interestinglyi n the NTSB report the controller said he would have reacted to MAYDAY but did not assimilate to a "priority" request to a fuel emergency.) . ICAO responded but the most resistant group to this standardisation at the time was the US both FAA and US ALPA. , the argument being half the pilots and half the aircraft of the world were in the US , they did not have an issue domestically with R/T and retraining 100 of thousands of pilots to please the rest of the world was out of the question. Adopting the" line up and wait" after Tenerife in the US took over 20 years , But to their credit he FAA has moved on since that time in a very positive way.

Now back to this accident . The use of Standard phraseology by the crew here would not have changed anything , so it was not a factor. The Controller understood the aircraft was in emergency and reacted appropriately. We could re-open a thread on this R/T standardisation and use of dual languages on the R/T , but that was already debated to death already here before at the beginning of PPruNe...
Last remark for the uneducated in ATC : asking for POBs and Fuel remaining is a must know for the Rescue people. Might sound a nuisance but it is essential to get. .

6th Jul 2021, 17:14
asking for POBs and Fuel remaining is a must know for the Rescue people. Might sound a nuisance but it is essential to get. .
This accident is a perfect example why POB is important. After the heli had both pilots on board they could fly direct to the hospital. Otherwise they would have to look for more survivors.
Fuel remaining will give a clue if contact is lost about the maximum radius to search. Or gives ATC an idea about the possible options to redirect to suitable landing sites.

6th Jul 2021, 20:00
ATC Watcher

Variations on "low fuel" and "priority" are IMHO a disturbingly grey area, at least in the USA. You can declare all kinds of variations on low fuel, but as far as I know unless you actually call a Mayday/Emergency you may or may not get to the front of the line.

6th Jul 2021, 22:02
Now that Sully has been appointed to a senior role at the ICAO it will be interesting to see his take on all this.

galaxy flyer
7th Jul 2021, 00:57

Curiously, the FAA AIM doesn’t say that.

7th Jul 2021, 01:37

They weren't THAT far away, I used to fly out of HNL and where they were was well within radio range. IMHO the issue was one person with 4 radios. I had that a few times late night at Orlando being yelled at to stay clear of the airspace when I was on the ramp trying to get a clearance :rolleyes:

deja vu
7th Jul 2021, 06:09

Obviously the pilots thought the plane could do it no problem too, I mean delaying the return when they did to take care of checklist items or whatever, would not be happening if they thought they were going to struggle to make it back, you would think.

Timmy Tomkins
7th Jul 2021, 09:47

The Avianca 707 crash at New York if memory serves, was just one such situation. Again training had an influence on crew language

7th Jul 2021, 13:30
For a long time the FAA standard was to say “declaring an emergency.” The thought was if you have English speaking pilots talking to English speaking controllers why use a French word to declare an emergency. In the last few years the FAA has gotten on board with saying Mayday but old habits die hard. I’ve been trying to find when the FAA added Mayday to the vocabulary but haven’t been able to find when that officially happened. Even the current guidance posted above starts out with saying “state the nature of the difficulty” before admitting “Distress and urgency communications procedures are prescribed by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), however, and have decided advantages over the informal procedure described above.”

WillowRun 6-3
7th Jul 2021, 13:33
ATC Watcher [ 139 ]

In that previous thread (eight years ago) I mentioned, many posters criticizing the U.S. pounded the fact the U.S. had not filed "differences" with ICAO. 'Wouldn't that just be a pointless formality?' some others responded. Have to wonder what comprehensive survey might have been compiled about the role of R/T issues in significant accidents.... or at least a survey of the most widely recognized accidents where it was a factor. (I don't recall anyone pointing to such a survey July eight years gone.)

To the extent ICAO did take action in the early 1990s, it doesn't seem like the action advanced the goal of standardization very much -- or if it did, the subject hardly gets the level of attention of (for example) "Sustainable Development Goals" or emissions reduction.

[ WHBM ] With regard to the nomination of Capt. Sullenberger, nomination was referred to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as of June 23 because the position of Permanent Representative to the ICAO Council carries the rank of Ambassador and thus Senate confirmation is required. (An anomaly with regard to Senate confirmation occurred during the last part of the prior administration when the White House appointed a Permanent Representative but did not nominate the individual for Ambassadorial rank.) Confirmation hearings for "Sully" are not yet scheduled, at least per the Senate Foreign Relations Committee webpage as I write this.

This could be (and IMHO very likely will be) relevant during the eventual confirmation hearings. When he submitted a written statement (as reported in July 2019) with regard to the nomination of Mr. Dickson to be FAA Administrator, Capt. Sullenberger stated the following: “The nominee, while a senior executive at Delta Air Lines, either caused or allowed a whistleblower with validated safety concerns to be retaliated against.” If you were an advisor or consultant to a member of Senate Foreign Relations, wouldn't the position of the United States before ICAO, as well as the rest of the global civil aviation community of organizations, about whistleblower protections be a subject matter area you would want to hear discussed, on the record?

7th Jul 2021, 14:34

https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Order/7110.65Y.pdf chapter 10

7th Jul 2021, 15:13

Mayday has been standard for marine radio use since forever. I would bet that about 90% of the people in the USA who have ever called Mayday don't even know it is derived from French.

7th Jul 2021, 15:15

For the lazy among us:NOTE-

A pilot who encounters a DISTRESS (https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/pcg_html/glossary-d.html#$DISTRESS) condition may declare an emergency by beginning the initial communication with the word MAYDAY (https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/pcg_html/glossary-m.html#$MAYDAY), preferably repeated three times. For an URGENCY (https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/pcg_html/glossary-u.html#$URGENCY) condition, the word PAN-PAN (https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/pcg_html/glossary-p.html#$PAN-PAN) may be used in the same manner.

If the words MAYDAY (https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/pcg_html/glossary-m.html#$MAYDAY) or PAN-PAN (https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/pcg_html/glossary-p.html#$PAN-PAN) are not used, and there is doubt that a situation constitutes an emergency or potential emergency, handle it as though it is an emergency.

I learned Mayday at flight school, but knew it anyway from boats. There was one instructor who famously made students actually say Mayday doing practice engine outs until bitch-slapped by the FAA.

7th Jul 2021, 18:10
As an USAF pilot, we were taught in an emergency situation the verbiage they expected to hear was “call sign..declaring an emergency” in my yearly recurrent training on the 767 we “declare an emergency” It May very well be a carryover from the militaryThat big flying school in Pensacola taught its students to use Mayday and Pan as appropriate, and that was in 1967.

Can anyone cite an FAA source that said just saying "emergency" was kosher.

7th Jul 2021, 19:12
Meanwhile.........................anyone know why it quit?

7th Jul 2021, 19:23
AIM (FAA) says:
The initial communication, and if considered necessary, any subsequent transmissions by an aircraft in distress should begin with the signal MAYDAY, preferably repeated three times. The signal PAN−PAN should be used in the same manner for an urgency condition.
Distress communications have absolute priority over all other communications, and the word MAYDAY commands radio silence on the frequency in use. Urgency communications have priority over all other communications except distress, and the word PAN−PAN warns other stations not to interfere with urgency transmissions.

7th Jul 2021, 19:46
There are parallels with Kegworth (UK BMI 734 with CFM 56). They had a fire on one engine, shut down the other. In doing so the autothrottle disengaged and the bad engine (only one now running) went on for a bit longer at reduced power before failing on final.
Different time, different engine but both 737 engine failure where the remaining engine ran hot and then failed.

Gipsy Queen
7th Jul 2021, 20:10

I think you would be safe in extending your bet to cover the rest of the world too.

7th Jul 2021, 20:27
Really? Even with my rudimentary school boy French I have always known that Mayday= m'aidez="help me".

But what if I don't want help, or if there is nothing anyone can do to help. I just want to let ATC know I'm going to ignore any of their instructions and please shut up and let me sort out the problem as best I can. When landing out in a glider I always announced position and intentions then turned the radio off. There was nothing anyone could do to help.

7th Jul 2021, 21:03
Mayday is not just to get help, it is to give you a get out of jail free card to do what you need to do. Landing a glider in some random spot doesn't really qualify unless you think there are people on the ground that can here you and get out of the way.
Example - you leave KBWI and your airplane catches on fire. You call "Mayday, I have a fire, returning to the field" and then you ignore the radio. It is the BWI tower's job to get everyone out of your way from then on. It doesn't matter if they can help you directly, they can get everyone else the **** out of the way.
Real life example: I had an engine die in low IFR over Pax NAS. I called in the Mayday and while working on a restart the Pax River controllers, presumably trying to keep the civilian airplane away from their expensive Navy planes, was trying to vector me to a nearby rural airport with one somewhat short runway and no precision approach, no fire trucks, and no on-field navaid (pre GPS days). I told Pax River to bite me more or less, I was landing there unless they wanted to run out and turn the VOR off. Whether they wanted to help or be annoying, I had the power at that point. Then we got the engine going and left :)

8th Jul 2021, 03:13
Can't believe that after 8 pages of this thread, we're still talking about their R/T procedures. I suggest those interested in discussing Mayday vs Emergency , FAA vs ICAO , DOC 4444 procedures , 121.50 decorum and cat calls etc please start a thread elsewhere . Yes, maybe R/T will have a mention in the investigation report but I think we've beaten that dog to death here.

I'd really like to know how both engines overheated on this aircraft and what are the possible causes , what I've read so far is fuel contamination , biocide & fuel storage problems , maintenance errors etc. Have there been previous instances of rapid overheat and failure of engines after takeoff and what should we be looking out for ?

Can we move this thread in that direction please ?

blind pew
8th Jul 2021, 04:33
Hazy one in the distant past concerning oil loss after faulty maintenance on both engines..possibly a 1-11.
There was a 737 of BMA that lost most of its oil after faulty installation of boroscope blanking plates caused loss of 90% of oil and a TriStar had a double engine problem caused by oil seals.

8th Jul 2021, 05:34
Has anybody heard how the crew are doing?

8th Jul 2021, 05:36
The only thing we know for sure is that the remaining engine was overheating. All the crew stated was that they were dealing with some sort of powerplant problem, not the nature of it. There are any number of scenarios that could explain what happened but if you want the facts then you will have to wait for the preliminary which will be delivered in 30 days after the accident.

8th Jul 2021, 07:59

Perhaps they did shutdown the good engine? Probably a greater chance of that than both engines quitting at the same time, unless fuel related.

8th Jul 2021, 08:38

As a result of this incident, I proposed that, whenever possible, and accepting that this would often be difficult, power on remaining engines should be ‘proved’ well before final approach. (BA777 LHR with two ‘good’ engines!)
If I recall correctly, in the Kegworth incident, incorrect information was given to the flight deck from cabin staff, or have I made that up?

8th Jul 2021, 09:17
yes true BUT they still mis identified the failure on the Engine instruments. The design of the new style (new then) Engine instruments with a very small Vib indicator was a contributing factor.

8th Jul 2021, 09:36

"Perhaps they did shutdown the good engine? Probably a greater chance of that than both engines quitting at the same time, unless fuel related."

Well yes, although there are other possible causes not related to fuel that could lead to a double engine failure, as discussed above.

8th Jul 2021, 12:08

Avherald reporting seriously injured pilot discharged from hospital. KHNL reporting critically-injured pilot discharged from hospital.

Dave Gittins
8th Jul 2021, 12:47
My recollection of Kegworth was that a smell of burning on -200 and -300 737s was an indication of a failure on the side the flight deck air was fed from..

On a 737-400 they had swapped sides that fed the FD, which led to an immediate wrong conclusion as to which side engine had failed and a strong confirmation bias even when faced with the vibration indicator.

What similar issue could have affected the accident aircraft this time ?

blind pew
8th Jul 2021, 15:56
The three double engine failures I remember were all caused by faulty maintenance before the last flight. With most checks you check all power plants and in these cases whoever carried out the procedure did it incorrectly on all engines. The Tristar case and only affecting 1 and 3 was possibly because of the difficulty in accessing number 2. It happened in one of my companies in the 70s but iirc it was a 1-11 which had the water injection tank filled with jet fuel which melted the engine..technical term.

8th Jul 2021, 16:37
The cause was a fan blade fracture leading to air conditioning smoke due to engine damage.
The crew failed to notice the vib gauge which would have identified the damaged engine.
The smoke cleared when thrust was reduced on the damaged engine leading to confirmation bias having already shut down the undamaged engine.
They did not have a fire warning until on final, 36 seconds before initial impact.
The cabin crew did not give the flight deck crew incorrect information.

8th Jul 2021, 17:46
Thanks BFSGrad - closer in than I thought. Like you I was taught to end transmission with 'Over', although ending with abbreviated callsign seems the norm today.

9th Jul 2021, 00:05
In the meantime . . . any news on efforts to recover the FDR and CVR?
How deep is the wreckage site?
I presume the first step would be try to triangulate the beeps with surface craft and/or remote vehicles until the batteries fade, and if that fails, to do a sonar sweep followed by underwater video survey on identified site(s).
Would NTSB bring in the Navy or private contractors to use the relevant technologies?

9th Jul 2021, 00:26
I wouldn't put too much faith in the FDR. Assuming it's the same type delivered with the aircraft 45 years ago (and a cargo outfit is unlikely to update it), it's going to be pretty rudimentary (if it was working at all) - and engine parameters will likely be limited to EPR. However (if it was working) it should be good enough to determine if they shut down the wrong engine.

9th Jul 2021, 06:59
Thanks Hec7or. My proposal to ‘prove’ the remaining serviceable power plant(s) before finals stands.

9th Jul 2021, 11:46
Listening to the ATC comms I did get the impression the crew didn't really communicate the severity of their plight, although they were no doubt 100% focused on checklists etc. The ATC gal was slightly off her game too although the situation wasn't helped early on by the presence of another company jet with a near identical callsign.

9th Jul 2021, 13:38

As I said many posts ago even if the 'one engine inoperative at 2000 feet checklist' doesn't say it explicityly; confirming the health of the remaining engine, trying for more height anyway, and heading for the two nearby landing opportunities would have been my priorities . .

9th Jul 2021, 14:45
As a layman, with the aircraft not being able to hold height on one, so assuming it was full of fuel and cargo, would you not try to diagnose the problem and recitfy that first as opposed to turning, I ask that simply because how much height would they lose doing a 360 at 2000 ft on an aircraft that was struggling to maintain altitude? Would that not thus limit your airborne time available to rectify the problem?

9th Jul 2021, 16:16
I thought turning 90degreees right early on would have been quite useful if they had picked the right moment as would not continuing out to sea . . still we should wait for the report

Liffy 1M
9th Jul 2021, 20:59

The "near-identical callsign" would, I think, be a lot less likely to occur in Europe because of the use of alpha-numeric callsigns to mitigate the risk of confusion in such situations. Am I right in thinking that this system has not been adopted widely in the US?

9th Jul 2021, 21:49
I ask that simply because how much height would they lose doing a 360 at 2000 ft on an aircraft that was struggling to maintain altitude?
Why on earth would they want to do a 360° turn?

1a sound asleep
10th Jul 2021, 03:39
I know we live in a world of electronics and checklists/procedures but bringing it back to pure airmanship sometimes
you have to make real world decisions and FAST. This includes getting the aircraft back to a safe landing place ASAP.

When you see things deteriorating quickly and things not responding like they should (or do in a simulator) and you have an option to head straight to
the piano keys just maybe that is the best thing to do.

Of course it is always easier when you were not the one facing the crisis

Teddy Robinson
10th Jul 2021, 07:33
Video of aircraft on sea floor released

news update with video

10th Jul 2021, 10:01
1a sound asleep

If you lose an engine, continuing over the sea is not a bad decision. No obstacles to worry about. Since when have we trained an immediate turn towards the runway in an engine failure scenario?
This accident started out as an engine failure. Something we all train over and over again. They ended up with a problem with the other engine as well, but that was unexpected. Aircraft in the water, both survived. Good job!

10th Jul 2021, 10:29
1a sound asleep

To a degree and if there is no other option, which is what Sully and Stiles did. But 'normally', it is also important to be sure of making a safe landing and knowing if you can stop (and steer) once landed.

The checklists will highlight any deficiencies, such as maybe no flaps, reversers, or no anti-skid etc. With at least one engine running and keeping you airborne, it is important to go through the checklist, thereby not missing anything out, and then landing when the situation is under control.

That didn't work in this instance owing to the apparent loss of both engines, but that is a highly unusual scenario.

fox niner
10th Jul 2021, 12:26

This site has a few more pics. the tail section is intact so it should be easy to locate the cvr/fdr.
Wreckage is at about 340ft/100m depth.

Locked door
10th Jul 2021, 13:52
Yet another 737 in multiple pieces.

Id really like to know if they did anything to ditch the aircraft gently or just piled it in.

They were so lucky to get out alive.

Raffles S.A.
10th Jul 2021, 14:37
It's hard to tell if the copilot sliding window is open, it looks shut to me, did they egress through the fuselage? Must have been difficult with their injuries.

10th Jul 2021, 15:47
Could it be possible, for argument sake, they did shut down the wrong engine - and then re-ignited with a hot start?

i recall the new orleans CFM engine issue. Although that was brought on by hail ingress at low thrust and weather was fine for this event.

if i recall RE: New Orleans, the left engine after some work on the ground was serviceable - but the right engine, which was overheating after the restart, was damaged beyond repair and had melted the internals and had to be replaced before it was flown back as it was sinking in the embankment.

to 200 experienced pilots - is this a possibility?

10th Jul 2021, 16:42
Info from the NTSB Via local news :


10th Jul 2021, 16:45
khon2.com (like many US sites) geoblocks European IP addresses - would it be possible to quote the text?

10th Jul 2021, 17:09
"HONOLULU (KHON2) — The NTSB has released the first underwater images of a Boeing 737 cargo plane that crashed off Kalaeloa, July 2, shortly after takeoff.

The NTSB on Friday said major components of the airplane, including both wings and tail, both engines and forward fuselage, were located on the sea floor at depths between 360 to 420 feet. Investigators located the wreckage using the Side Scan Sonar and Remotely Operated Vehicle operations.

However, the depth of wreckage is too deep to send divers to recover flight data and cockpit voice recorders. The investigative team is developing plans to recover the aircraft.

Last weekend, officials said small amount of floating debris was recovered and taken to the Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point where it will be examined.

Investigators have completed more than 12 interviews with the flight crew, Transair personnel and FAA workers.

NTSB also released the following new information on Friday:The maintenance records for the airplane have been documented and reviewed by the NTSB’s airplane systems, powerplants, and maintenance records groups.

Investigators examined a sister ship to become familiar with the configuration.

A fuel sample from another airplane that was fueled on the same night was tested, and no irregularities were found.

Sea Engineering, Inc. provided ROV and Side Scan Sonar support for the survey of the debris of flight 810 approximately two miles offshore from Ewa Beach. SEI used their 43-ft Workboat, ‘Huki Pono,’ for ROV operations in combination with Chinook ROV, outfitted with a secondary GoPro video recording system, ultra-short-base wavelength transponder and Hypack Navigation and DGPS to monitor and record the ROV position on the seafloor.

Powerplants, systems, structures, maintenance records, air traffic control, and operations/human performance groups have completed on scene work.
Investigators will be leaving Oahu this weekend then return later to recover the plane."

10th Jul 2021, 22:28
Why on earth would they want to do a 360° turn?

I said 360 as it is supposed to have happened just after takeoff and looking at the heading it would have been a glorified circuit to put it back into wind onto the runway without having to do some serious banking at low altitude to get back onto a runway which in effect was directly behind them, plus the radar track shows that. I assume the last turn away was to set it up for the inevitable ditching


10th Jul 2021, 23:16
The flight crew would have been interviewed by now, and would have told whether the last turn was intended to prepare for ditching at minimal distance from shore, or as a last attempt to reach Kalaeloa. Since the preliminary report will contain this information when it gets released, it isn't too useful to speculate.

11th Jul 2021, 04:27
Yes of course, sorry, I was just trying to explain my use of the term 360 and a possible reason why it deviated at the end, my apologies.

11th Jul 2021, 04:57

The last turn was likely a turn to try to reach Kalaeloa Airport (JRF) - former NAS Barbers Point.

https://cimg4.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org-vbulletin/1212x1198/7a61ee62_e2c6_46e0_8a29_85a393a7ae58_ef5b130b697559bc65fb4db d5a8453ff55e06874.jpeg

Teddy Robinson
11th Jul 2021, 06:28

The airport was identified as an option by ATC to the crew, who requested a heading.
There was then a brief discussion as to how to turn on the runway lights.

11th Jul 2021, 12:24
The brief discussion of how to turn on the runway lights may be unknown to Europeans, but every US even PPL knows how pilot activated lights work, provided you are given the radio frequency - which ATC did at first mention.

11th Jul 2021, 13:08
Sounds like no effort was made to recover the recorders.

11th Jul 2021, 13:20
Its not that easy because the aft part of the fuselage is nearly undestroyed. So they have to lift the whole thing to the surface.

11th Jul 2021, 14:09
SLF here, but 'gently' ditching at night seems like a very difficult ask.

India Four Two
11th Jul 2021, 15:49
400’ is well beyond the range of SCUBA divers, but is achievable by commercial saturation-diving. That might be a cheaper option than raising the fuselage.

11th Jul 2021, 18:54

"The last turn was likely a turn to try to reach Kalaeloa Airport (JRF) - former NAS Barbers Point."

The NTSB will by now know, having interviewed the crew, whether or not that was the case.

11th Jul 2021, 21:28
One wonders whether they actually got the lights turned on and saw them.

11th Jul 2021, 21:42
I think perhaps no

12th Jul 2021, 23:34
I wonder what the insurance company will think and agree upon the possible salvage of the aircraft?

13th Jul 2021, 07:40
I can't imagine insurers having any interest in raising the wreck.

13th Jul 2021, 08:32
I also doubt a 47 year old hull is really insured. The replacement value is probably less than a standard deductible.

13th Jul 2021, 14:04
I am not saying this is what happened in this case but I was once told that it was important when attempting a relight with a hydro mechanical fuel control to insure that throttle was at idle. If you shut the wrong engine down by mistake and then threw that fuel control lever back up without retarding the throttle it might hang up at a low thrust condition with a big overtemp.

13th Jul 2021, 14:33
It would be interesting to see the cargo manifest to see if any DG was onboard?

13th Jul 2021, 14:35

To reset the intake guide vanes, I believe that the fuel control switch(s) and thrust levers need to be in idle.

Teddy Robinson
13th Jul 2021, 14:58
They declared no DG on board.
Reporting hazard summary is SOP for freight operators.

13th Jul 2021, 14:59
Listening to the RTF recording in Post #48, the pilot states "We don't have any HAZMAT"

13th Jul 2021, 18:14

Agreed - there is little value there other than as scrap metal once they recover the recorders.
IF it turns out that they did experience a dual engine power loss - and - they can't determine the likely cause (from FDR, maintenance records, etc.) the NTSB may want to raise the engines to see if they hold any clues.
Other than that, I think the sea life around Oahu were just gifted a new play area.

13th Jul 2021, 19:29

Doubt the state is happy with the wreck as it sits now (fluids, cargo) and may require some type of environmental remediation.

Spooky 2
13th Jul 2021, 22:10
I'll second that remark. Suspect there maybe some remedial fines associated with this accident.

14th Jul 2021, 02:55
This is an interesting site.

Maps | Hawaiian Islands Humpback Whale National Marine Sanctuaries (noaa.gov) (https://hawaiihumpbackwhale.noaa.gov/about/maps.html)

I don't know if the location will be an issue for the island(s) regarding the ditched 737 (fluids and cargo).

14th Jul 2021, 02:57
Teddy Robinson

However there is a distinct difference between the two.

What is the difference between HazMat and dangerous goods?
The core difference that lies between dangerous goods and hazardous substances is that dangerous goods present an immediate danger to people, property and the environment, that may ultimately harm a person's health; on the other hand, hazardous substances are substances that present a direct risk to a person's health.

14th Jul 2021, 02:58
Didn't listen to the RTF.

14th Jul 2021, 07:07

Depends on the cargo, but after a couple weeks of a broken aircraft sitting on the seabed ~400 ft. down, it's too late to do much about any fluids...

Weapons Grade
14th Jul 2021, 18:08

Irrespective of the effect of "dangerous goods" vs "hazardous materials" on a person's health, the accepted terms for relay to ATC or upon a request by them to state carriage of, is either "DANGEROUS GOODS" or "HAZMAT". If ATC cannot figure that out, I am certain they will ask. Generally, associated with the DANGEROUS GOODS/HAZMAT notification, is information such as POB (or SOB), and fuel on board (pounds, kilos, tonnes - whatever the gauges are calibrated in).


16th Jul 2021, 18:16
The cargo airline has now been grounded by the FAA for transgressions outside of this accident.

Airline grounded by FAA (https://news.yahoo.com/faa-grounds-cargo-airline-whose-161130489.html)

22nd Jul 2021, 16:58
The cart before the horse, usual practice of the FAA

22nd Jul 2021, 17:23
Not sure I get this. Do you think they waited too long to ground them? Apparently they got busted for various issues even before trying to make a seaplane.

26th Jul 2021, 16:49
We see so many accidents that happen in places like Indonesia where the primary causal factor is an almost complete lack of regulatory oversight.

How it is that a US airline operating under FAA oversight can get to the point where they have their AOC pulled for poor engineering and maintenance practices when they had no previous interventions?

What are the FAA Flt Ops / Engineering Inspectors doing FFS?

26th Jul 2021, 20:04
That is a good question. One part of the answer is freight never gets the attention people do. Since forever "freight dogs" have been a low priority for the FAA. This operation DID get busted, but just in very slow motion. It reminds me of the time back in the day when freight operators bought up cheap old Lears and basically did nothing to maintain them and eventually the FAA grounded the lot of them and they were so far gone maintenance-wise I believe many were scrapped.

26th Jul 2021, 20:30
If you read the public comments that were posted by UPS regarding their objection to the implementation of FAR part 117 (rest rules) for cargo operators you will see in plain written English that they want the public to accept a higher level of risk in cargo operations because the 117 rest rules would be expensive, and a crash involving a cargo aircraft is unlikely to involve many fatalities. I guess the general public never reads the fine print, but it is interesting to see their justification written so bluntly.

28th Jul 2021, 02:05

the FAA is like most US gubment entities. It’s not proactive, it’s petty, combative, recalcitrant, run by risk averse bureaurocrats and probably corrupt or at least prone to side with manufacturers to “self test” band aid fixes, while not doing a very good job of administering much.

28th Jul 2021, 02:24

If you take a look at the Extended Range operations rules (aka ETOPS) for 3 and 4 engine aircraft, you would have seen that years ago. In short, freight operators are basically exempt from the 3/4 engine Extended Range operations rules that passenger aircraft are subjected to.
That was codified over 10 years ago. Freighters are expendable.

Big Pistons Forever
28th Jul 2021, 03:30
If you are only killing pilots the regulators don’t care. This is not a US issue, it is a worldwide reality

28th Jul 2021, 06:27
​​​​​​...until one takes out an apartment block (LY1892 AMS 4OCT1992)

28th Jul 2021, 08:12
This thing of freighter ops being treated differently to pax in US/CAN is new to me - not the case in Europe. How did this come about and how is it allowed to continue?

28th Jul 2021, 11:58
It will take action by the US Congress to fix it.

28th Jul 2021, 14:25

It has been like that for 100 years more or less. I flew night freight in hard IFR over nasty terrain and water in piston singles and 208s. At the time NO WAY could you carry paying passengers in those conditions in a SEL. Lately I think a few SELs can do it, a C-208 is probably as safe as an old Aztec.
The idea is the knowledgeable pilot can understand the risks and choose to take the flight or not, the general public has no idea what is safe and what isn't, so they need to be protected from themselves. Also freight-dogging is the traditional way to build hours, so your pool of pilots is a lot of people desperate for ANY job that gets them hours even if it involves flying over volcanoes in a Jenny :eek:

28th Jul 2021, 15:02

Irrelevent to freighter ops except that it just happened to be a freighter, not an occurrence based on relaxed rules for freighters.

28th Jul 2021, 18:01

Either set of US rules are stronger than European rules. The difference came about in the US when the new 117 rule was proposed and cargo operations were able to buy enough political capital to get a carve out exempting themselves from the new rule.

29th Jul 2021, 07:53
I fully accept that FTL rules are generally different (both sides of the Atlantic) as freighter ops and passenger ops are different. Fatigue however is not a stand-out cause of accidents so you can't blame lax rules for freight ops mishaps. Engineering and operations standards for a 737 outfit are the same whatever type of operation you run.

We have driven far too far down this road of allowing operators to be their own safety investigators and their own regulators. There is constant pressure in any administration for public costs to be reduced to make tax dollars go further..... Here we see the result of that. These guys were lucky to execute a successful ditching. Had they been departing LAX to the east at night they would have gone downtown with hideous numbers of casualties.

Allowing airlines to self-regulate is a one-way road to big trouble.

ATC Watcher
29th Jul 2021, 08:35
Cargo accidents consequences are always treated differently than Pax ones., also in Europe. Someone mentioned El Al Amsterdam as an exception .yes partially because it officially killed 40 people on the ground ( but most probably over a 100 since it hit an building full of illegal immigrants ) and it made the world news. However the poor state of the aircraft ( the descriptions of the multiple failures during the inbound JKF SPL fight is impressive,) and the engine fuse pin failure issue leading to a Boeing SD, did not.. Media focused instead on the cargo transported ( the famous "perfume" for those here old enough to remember) but cannot remember seeing much mention on the very poor state of aircraft used for cargo ops.

29th Jul 2021, 17:42
Putting the "rumor" back in PPRUNE:

I asked an HNL-based mechanic if he'd heard anything new about this accident. He told me an acquaintance at Transair told him that the plane in question needed 8-9 quarts of oil every service. I've never flown, let alone wrenched on JT-8Ds, but that sounds like a lot.

29th Jul 2021, 19:29
Tank capacity is 4 USG, minimum volume for dispatch is 3 gallons. What is the service interval? You certainly can't mean for every flight.

31st Jul 2021, 13:42
I believe he said “Every time we serviced it.”

So if they had as few as 27 quarts and were regularly burning/leaking down to 19 or 18 - wow.

31st Jul 2021, 16:49
"So if they had as few as 27 quarts and were regularly burning/leaking down to 19 or 18 - wow."

This is totally a non issue. The are typically serviced once a day.
If it is below dispatch minimum it would be serviced then too.

​​​​​​​The leakage limit on these old engines is" It can leak as much as it wants as long as it can complete the intended flight without running out "

2nd Aug 2021, 17:56
I agree with deltahotel (Post #231). (I found freight to be better than pax in several aspects.)

But that doesn't mean that there are not some cowboys out there pushing beyond limits. But they do stand out (in the wrong way). It would be good if they were swiftly dealt with by the regulators.

6th Aug 2021, 10:02
Have the FDR and CVR not been located yet?

Locked door
23rd Aug 2021, 07:57
I would still like to know what if anything this crew did to prepare for ditching. Did they even slow down? Has anyone seen a wing to see if the flaps are extended?

The aircraft has broken up unto the usual three part 737 fuselage kit, if that is the result of a competent ditching the passenger survival rate would have been very low. If it was the result of ploughing in at 250 knots or even min clean it’s amazing they got out.

23rd Aug 2021, 19:14
Does the forward section of the aircraft look to you like it hit the water at 250kts? FFS. The -200 engine installation is not conducive to a completely intact end result. When the industry switched to the current kind of engine location and mounting one of the stated advantages at the time was a better ditching outcome.

25th Aug 2021, 13:13
IF they had 250 knots to play with, they would have used that energy to their advantage and maybe have made it to Barbers Point, and as Austral points out, no way would that be ditching speed. Low and slow limits your options.

25th Aug 2021, 15:57
Where does this "250 kt at impact" scenario come from ?

Stuka Child
29th Aug 2021, 16:30
It's not a scenario, it's just that a forum member was wondering whether this was a controlled ditching or whether they bounced in at a hypothetical 250 kts, as the fuselage was pretty broken up. While the speed might be off, I agree that they probably either came in fast or got slow and developed a high rate of descent. Not easy to see the ocean at night.

I'd like it however if the legend about the engines digging in to the water and the aircraft cartwheeling and/or breaking up was laid to rest once and for all. This is not what happens. Otherwise, they would behave the same when landing in a field. And they don't.

When there's casualties in a ditching, it's because the aircraft did not touch down at the correct speed and attitude. And you would have very similar damage on dry land in those circumstances.

Unless you are landing in 10 foot swells, a ditching is just a normal forced landing with the additional risk of drowning.

29th Aug 2021, 22:21
Stuka Child

Speed over the water at impact was roughly half the hypothetical 250 kts. RoD approximately 150 fpm.

Still evidently more than enough energy to split the fuselage into three parts.

Stuka Child
30th Aug 2021, 00:45
Where might one find this data? Also wondering what the attitude of the aircraft was at touchdown.

In the rescue video, the sea looks unquiet but not rough.