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B-737 Cargo Plane down in Hawaii

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B-737 Cargo Plane down in Hawaii

Old 4th Jul 2021, 13:04
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Engineless,

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.
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 13:42
  #82 (permalink)  
 
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Angry

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

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
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 14:01
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But she might have been quicker had someone shouted MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY.
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 15:09
  #84 (permalink)  
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At TWA we were taught to use "emergency" in FAA airspace and "Mayday" everywhere else. In fact, Mayday three times in oceanic.
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 16:04
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-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/AircraftInq...umberTxt=810TA
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 16:21
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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.
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 16:25
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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.
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 18:32
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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!
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 18:43
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SOP for engine out

In this situation , engine out in initial climb, is the SOP to level off or to continue to climb ?
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 19:37
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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.
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 20:51
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Originally Posted by aterpster
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.

Last edited by Easy Street; 5th Jul 2021 at 08:05.
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 20:55
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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.
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 21:12
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BrogulT

"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 ...
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 21:28
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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 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.
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 21:30
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https://webapp.navionics.com/?lang=e...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!
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 22:42
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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."
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 23:01
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Since the Americans tend to favor "Emergency", they could consider tx that three times.
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Old 4th Jul 2021, 23:56
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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?
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Old 5th Jul 2021, 00:57
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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.
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Old 5th Jul 2021, 02:13
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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.
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