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Air controller during emergency landing: 'I know that's BS'

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Air controller during emergency landing: 'I know that's BS'

Old 19th Apr 2012, 20:23
  #141 (permalink)  
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I'm not disputing the use of the word "emergency". If that word was used instead of "mayday" in the UK it would be understood (although not standard). Of course, being a fluent English speaker I'd understand the word emergency and act accordingly (although the same could maybe not be said for a non-English speaker). Personally I think the internationally understood phrase should be used everywhere, but that's just my opinion.

"Roll the trucks" however is not standard phraseology in any country as far as I'm aware. IMHO it sounds very unprofessional, whether understood by the controller or not.
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 00:00
  #142 (permalink)  
 
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Personally I think the internationally understood phrase should be used everywhere, but that's just my opinion.
Well here's what you do. Become a U.S. citizen. Ingratiate yourself to the President. Have him appoint you to head the FAA. Issue a decree that "Emergency" will no longer by uttered over U.S. airwaves. Simple really.

"Roll the trucks" however is not standard phraseology in any country as far as I'm aware. IMHO it sounds very unprofessional, whether understood by the controller or not.
Please reference the published ICAO-standard phraseology for a request to have men and equipment standing by. When you can't find it, here's an excerpt from a Eurocontrol publication re ICAO-phraseology that may help you wrap your head around something you seem to not understand...

Phraseology has evolved over time and has been carefully developed to provide maximum clarity and brevity in communications while ensuring that phrases areunambiguous. However, while standard phraseology is available to cover most routine situations, not every conceivable scenario will be catered for and RTF users should be prepared to use plain language when necessary following the principle of keeping phrases clear and concise.



The FAA also recognizes the reality that plain-language plays an essential part of communications between pilot and controller, and their handbook also cites similar awareness. This is especially true during an emergency.


So you may not like the expression "roll the trucks", but every controller in the U.S. knows what a U.S. pilot is talking about when requesting he/she do so. This incident was a U.S. pilot talking to a U.S. controller, and the request made in plain language. That's all that matters. Nobody in the FAA or smoke-filled cockpit cares what your BA cabin crew experience tells you what sounds "professional", it's chirping from the bleachers from someone not even in the game. What's next, his accent didn't sound phony, practiced, or dripping enough to sound "proper"?

This is the 2nd time you've called into question the professionalism of these pilots, who landed an aircraft safely in snowy IMC with a smoke-filled cockpit. Do you think years of reciting scripted PA announcements in the back somehow qualifies you to do so?



Last edited by PukinDog; 20th Apr 2012 at 00:29.
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 05:05
  #143 (permalink)  
 
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Perhaps he should have said, "Invert the lorries."
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 08:14
  #144 (permalink)  
 
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Pukindog I feel you have completely misunderstood what dns was saying and taken offence far too easily. Everyone on here agrees that the pilots did a great job and flew the aircraft very well, that cannot be denied. However, dns agreed that declaring an emergency in that way worked even if not standard. The standard phraseology to get the emergency services to standby is one of two: "mayday, mayday, mayday" or "panpan, panpan, panpan". Using either of these phrases will get the controller to put airfield emergency services on standby and possibly get them to call local emergency services too. I don't think there was a need for the rude reply as you weren't completely correct. Also I was under the illusion that ICAO was above the FAA and all ICAO states had to follow the ICAO rules at a minimum, including RT communications. I'd also like to add that a distress call such as a mayday or pan let's everyone on frequency know there is radio silence so there is more than meets the eye for a reason behind standard communications.
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 08:33
  #145 (permalink)  
 
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Another note, I think the controller was unprofessional and as soon as he heard emergency should have started the standard procedure. It could have ended much differently because of the hesitance. Live and Learn hopefully!
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 08:57
  #146 (permalink)  
 
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Typhoonboy,

I'm not sure how you've missed the content within the numerous posts in this thread but the point that countless posters have made is that your comment....

The standard phraseology to get the emergency services to standby is one of two: "mayday, mayday, mayday" or "panpan, panpan, panpan". Using either of these phrases will get the controller to put airfield emergency services on standby and possibly get them to call local emergency services too
is not the ONLY way to notify ATC of an emergency situation in the US. You can also "Declare an emergency" or simply use the word "Emergency". I understand that a Mayday or PAN call are the only 2 ways elsewhere in the world but this was not the rest of the world, it was in the US and in keeping with FAA approved verbiage.

I don't understand why posters can't get their heads around local procedures that may differ from their own. Especially when they haven't even flown in the US.

Dns, who is BA CC and not even a professional pilot, made the statement that the crew screwed up their RT calls and had thus been unprofessional, when in fact they had made the calls required of them by the FAA.

I don't think Pukin misunderstood anything.
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 09:48
  #147 (permalink)  
 
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I know that you don't have to "declare" an emergency in the US and it worked... I have flown in the US and even though it's more relaxed it usually works. I agree THEY didn't screw up the radio call even though it was misinterpreted by the controller. The fact that it was the minimum required by FAA doesn't mean it was the best call to make and couldn't have been done better. People get very touchy when a view differs from there's and get quite upset when a good debate is what helps people understand why things are wrong, such as why an aircraft was left on the runway for 5 minutes.
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 10:56
  #148 (permalink)  
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I may be working as cabin crew, but I am an qualified pilot. I think that gives me the right to comment (even if my views hold less weight than those of a full-time commercial pilot)
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 11:41
  #149 (permalink)  
 
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typhoonboy

Pukindog I feel you have completely misunderstood what dns was saying and taken offence far too easily. Everyone on here agrees that the pilots did a great job and flew the aircraft very well, that cannot be denied. However, dns agreed that declaring an emergency in that way worked even if not standard.
It was to FAA-standard. You're wrong if you think it wasn't.

The standard phraseology to get the emergency services to standby is one of two: "mayday, mayday, mayday" or "panpan, panpan, panpan".
In the U.S. you're wrong if you think there are only 2 ways. While you can indeed use either of those 2 ICAO-standard terms for (respectively) a distress or urgency condition, in the U.S. you can also use the FAA-standard "Emergency", a word used to convey either condition.

Using either of these phrases will get the controller to put airfield emergency services on standby and possibly get them to call local emergency services too.
Of course it will. So will using the standard "Emergency", believe it or not.

Also, if you picked up an FAA ATC Controller's handbook and read it you'll find out that a controller is directed to commence emergency response procedures even when a "Mayday" or "Emergency" call isn't heard when there's doubt about an aircraft or if plain language conveys a distress or urgency condition.

I don't think there was a need for the rude reply as you weren't completely correct.
What part was incorrect?

Also I was under the illusion that ICAO was above the FAA and all ICAO states had to follow the ICAO rules at a minimum, including RT communications.
You are suffering under an illusion if you believe that supplementing the ICAO-standard phraseology somehow renders the ICAO-approved void, when the ICAO-standard is also recognized and responded to. It exceeds the ICAO minimum. Many ICAO-states have differences to ICAO-standard that must be complied with, yet this phraseology-issue isn't even a matter of forced, regulatory compliance within the U.S.


I'd also like to add that a distress call such as a mayday or pan let's everyone on frequency know there is radio silence so there is more than meets the eye for a reason behind standard communications.
So does using "Emergency" when heard in the U.S, and the pilot in question transmitted "Emergency". What's your point? "Standard phraseology is a good thing in general when applicable"? Nobody has disagreed with that in this thread. Along with the ICAO script, you should also learn that ICAO (as well as the FAA) recognize that plain language is also an important, essential, and approved part of communication. "Plain language" means it falls outside scripted "phraseology".

For example, this means that any pilot who hears another transmitting to ATC they have "smoke in the cockpit" in plain language but doesn't shut up to allow them a clear frequency simply because they didn't hear the declaration "Mayday/Emergency/Pan-pan" is and idiot.

In the real world of flying calls get missed, garbled, blocked, truncated, etc etc. all the time. The system of emergency response is designed to default to the conservative in the imperfect, real world because it recognizes that in emergency situations things often go awry. Defaulting to the conservative is part of a controller's responsibility as directed by their Handbooks, rules and procedures.

By now, there should be nobody reading this thread who, if they fly in the U.S., doesn't know that "Emergency" is standard, unambiguous phraseology when in the U.S. or what it means. The only difference to ICAO is that the FAA doesn't ask pilots to try and differentiate between distress or urgency conditions. If you want to go right ahead, the response you get will be the same. But it is not mandatory that you do so and it is not improper, sloppy, or non-standard in any way if you dont.

Last edited by PukinDog; 20th Apr 2012 at 11:54.
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 12:03
  #150 (permalink)  
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http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publi...1.html#Section 1. General

Seems there are some quite worrying misinterpretations of the regs...

"A pilot who encounters a DISTRESS condition may declare an emergency by beginning the initial communication with the word MAYDAY, preferably repeated three times. For an URGENCY condition, the word PAN-PAN may be used in the same manner."

The whole "declaring an emergency" instead of calling "mayday" thing that people are on about is nonsense. The regs clearly state that the emergency should declared by the use of a mayday or pan call.

Yes, the controller should have handled it as an emergency as a precaution, but the pilot made an error by not declaring using the standard phraseology.
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 13:31
  #151 (permalink)  
 
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dns

Seems there are some quite worrying misinterpretations of the regs...

"A pilot who encounters a DISTRESS condition may declare an emergency by beginning the initial communication with the word MAYDAY, preferably repeated three times. For an URGENCY condition, the word PAN-PAN may be used in the same manner."
When trying to interpret regs it would behoove you to first start at the beginning where they define the meaning of certain words found therein....

14 CFR Part 1.3
Rules of construction.
(b) In Subchapters A through K of this chapter, the word:
(1) Shall is used in an imperative sense;
(2) May is used in a permissive sense to state authority or permission to do the act prescribed....

Doing so would prevent you from coming to this mistaken conclusion....

The whole "declaring an emergency" instead of calling "mayday" thing that people are on about is nonsense. The regs clearly state that the emergency should declared by the use of a mayday or pan call.
See, you're confusing the word "may" with the imperative construction-word "shall". What confuses me is you then went on to use "should" as if that word is an imperative, when it's not. Were you perhaps looking for something along the lines of "The regs clearly state that the emergency "must be" declared" or "will be" etc.? Well, even if you were using a more appropriate word your assertion is still wrong because the Regs clearly state "may", not "shall". It doesn't even say "should". All you've done with that referenced material is show that "Mayday" and "Pan-pan" are permissible, recognized, and will be responded to.

That's how they write in Reg-land, and there is a difference between one and the other (may/shall). If there wasn't they wouldn't have spent all that ink telling you there is. This clarification right from the start, by them, is designed to prevent misinterpretation, like your written one above.

In fact, the use of "may" vs "shall" is so pervasive in the regs the distinction between the 2 is considered to be fundamental knowledge for even student pilots reading them for the first time. Ground school 101 stuff. I find you less and less credible as time goes on.

Yes, the controller should have handled it as an emergency as a precaution, but the pilot made an error by not declaring using the standard phraseology.
He did use standard phraseology. He was in the U.S. and used "Emergency", which is not an error. I'm worried that you say you're an FAA-trained pilot and don't know that, and seem to disregard and ignore the existence of the published FAA Pilot/Controller Glossary.

Last edited by PukinDog; 20th Apr 2012 at 14:06.
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 14:02
  #152 (permalink)  
 
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It's a Human Factors thing

The argument about the meaning of the words "mayday" or "panpan" or "emergency" I think misses the point.

Human beings, though we like to think we live in realtime, have a perception the lags behind reality by varying degrees. For a completely anticipated event it may be a small fraction of a second, but for the completely unexpected it can easily be over a second - maybe two.

It has been decided by people who know a lot about these things, that a two syllable word, with a clearly understood meaning, repeated distinctly three times, is just about the right amount of time to get everyone fully tuned into the situation and ready for the detail that will inevitably follow.

The potential problem with saying "Emergency" just once is that you could then be several words into the detail by the time a busy controller becomes fully alert to what is after all an unexpected call outside the context of his/her current mental air picture. Momentary confusion, and a failure to understand at least part of the message is likely to result.
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 14:53
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Dns,

You just don't get it do you?

You've been given factual information by current US Pilots who've been flying in the FAA 121 world for countless thousands of hours, in the US and who've provided you with links to the relevant FAA Pilot/Controller Glossary.

Pukin amongst others, has quite succinctly shown you where you were wrong in your assumptions about the procedures used in the US and yet you still won't accept that you might just have been wrong. It's starting to sound like listening to a petulant teenager who's been chastised in public and just has to prove he's right. You may well think you're a qualified pilot but knowledgeable you certainly are not. Not on this matter.

If you are so sure you're right about this, head over to flightinfo (A US version of Pprune) and air your views there. If nothing else it'll be entertaining to watch what happens.
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 17:02
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When trying to interpret regs it would behoove you to first start at the beginning where they define the meaning of certain words found therein....
Even the brief, 15-page SOPs for my class of teenage Tuskegee Airmen flying-program students has a brief preamble defining the meaning of shall, should, will and may. They understand the difference...
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 17:15
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In my relativity short three decades in aviation, I have found that the word Mayday tends to make people both put up and shut up.

"Roll the trucks"?
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 17:27
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Nobody is saying they expect an Irish pilot, or a Brit or Frenchman or Mexican, to be familiar with the term "roll the trucks." We American pilots are, however, as are many nonpilots as well, and this incident did take place in the U. S.
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 17:34
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Fine, I'll try it next time I'm stateside. Do I need to change my accent as well?
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 17:48
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Fine, I'll try it next time I'm stateside. Do I need to change my accent as well
With 30 years of experience, surely then you can cite and reference the specific ICAO-published standard phraseology a pilot uses to request emergency equipment to be standing by?

"Request equipment standing by" is plain language. "Roll the trucks" is also plain language in the U.S, understood by pilot and controller to mean the same thing , and meets the brevity requirement.

So what are the correct magic words?...the specific phraseology?
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 18:17
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What's the point in the ICAO laid down phraseology if it doesn't get used in critical situations? Clearly they're wasting their time...
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Old 20th Apr 2012, 18:20
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I think if the US had phraseology like the UK it wouldn't have happend.

"mayday mayday mayday speedbird one two five six" - can easily hear the callsign

US: "twelve fifty-six emergency" if said rapidly or the pilot is a split second too late pushing the PTT in his high-stress situation the 12 could easily be lost and rather than AAL1256 being the a/c the controller thinks is in trouble he could think UAL56 is in trouble.

I think the RT should be a lot stricter, only need to listen to LiveATC to hear how laid back it is.

"Mayday" is used in so many things world wide from fire fighters to boating I don't see why they need to add the ambiguous word that is "emergency". Ambiguous by the fact it can mean mayday or pan pan.

Although, the US are very far from being a dangerous place for aviation so they're doing something right, but still...tighten the RT up.

I bet all you Americans are thinking how strict and tight us EUs are and we need to chill out.
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