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Pan or Mayday callsign suffix after initial callup

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Pan or Mayday callsign suffix after initial callup

Old 3rd May 2021, 03:05
  #1 (permalink)  
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Join Date: Mar 2011
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Pan or Mayday callsign suffix after initial callup


Recently I have noticed that almost all of my colleagues, in simulator training have started using a "mayday" or single "pan" suffix at the end of their callsign during every transmission when in a distress or urgency situation. For instance, "Cleared to land runway one-two, Airline 1234 pan".

This is in addition to, of course, the initial distress or urgency declaration (repeated 3x at the beginning of the first transmission after the distress or urgency occurs). I figured I would ask here rather than confront them about it, to save face in the very likely event that I'm wrong for not doing it

I'm sure I'm probably just uninformed but can anyone tell me if this is correct R/T or is it just a technique? If so, is this guidance published anywhere? I'm at a US/FAA governed operator if it matters.

I see that CAP413 (UK CAA) says that using a Mayday or Pan PREFIX is "permissible", if felt to be beneficial, but fail to find further reference.
RandomPerson8008 is offline  
Old 3rd May 2021, 07:18
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Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: East Anglia
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IIRC a pilot would prefix the callsign on handover to a different frequency which would be acknowledged by the receiving unit. Caution ... this is from 50yrs ago
FantomZorbin is offline  
Old 3rd May 2021, 09:13
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Join Date: Jun 2012
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Heard the same in the sim recently. Checked with some experts whose view was it is over the top and unnecessary and not in the UK RT manual.
The manual states if you want you can use it as a prefix, I guess when coming on a new frequency but if you’re in an ATC environment then again that is unnecessary. These things start with one person saying it incorrectly then others hearing it and thinking they should do the same without them checking the book.
LeftBlank is offline  
Old 3rd May 2021, 15:59
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Join Date: May 2000
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In an ATC environment with onward coordination I should hope you’re never in the position of being transferred to a unit unaware of you emergency, but a PAN/MAYDAY prefix can be quite handy on frequency for situational awareness or to keep others in check. Without the prefix being used I have been known to add eg “PAN acknowledged” on first contact as much to let everyone else know as to ensure the subject aircraft knows they’re getting the (even more) Rolls-Royce service.
Dan Dare is offline  
Old 3rd May 2021, 20:06
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Canada
Posts: 297
A few years ago I heard a private pilot with an alternator failure going to the same airport I was. Every frequency change he was having a long discussion with the controller making sure they were aware of the issue and that he might lose comms. I remember thinking at the time that a quick pan pan prefix might have reduced the likelihood of having the comm failure he was worried about. The prefix can certainly be appropriate when you want to make sure everyone is on the same page.

On a similar note, I attended a lecture by Tammie Jo Shultz and Darren Ellisor a couple years ago talking about SouthWest 1380. They had something like 14 frequency changes and were asked 3 separate times for all the information, including fuel on board in pounds, then hours and minutes, then pounds again. When asked why they didn't just use 121.5 and tell the controllers to deal with it they said they had asked for it and been denied. Mr Ellisor pointed out that he used to patrol that airspace with live weapons and didn't want to get shot down by his former colleagues so I gather they felt atc communication was a high rather than low priority.
ahramin is offline  

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