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B-737 Cargo Plane down in Hawaii

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B-737 Cargo Plane down in Hawaii

Old 5th Jul 2021, 19:19
  #121 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 5th Jul 2021, 19:29
  #122 (permalink)  
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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?
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Old 6th Jul 2021, 00:41
  #123 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 6th Jul 2021, 01:26
  #124 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 6th Jul 2021, 01:31
  #125 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 6th Jul 2021, 04:04
  #126 (permalink)  
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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 trained
Procedure 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.
Section 3. Distress and Urgency Procedures.
  1. Distress and Urgency Communications
    1. 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.
    2. Distress and urgency communications procedures discussed in the following paragraphs relate to the use of air ground voice communications.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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).”
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. 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.
  2. Obtaining Emergency Assistance
    1. A pilot in any distress or urgency condition should immediately take the following action, not necessarily in the order listed, to obtain assistance:
      1. 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).
      2. If equipped with a radar beacon transponder (civil) or IFF/SIF (military):
        1. 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.
        2. If unable to immediately establish communications with an air traffic facility/agency, squawk Mode A/3, Code 7700/Emergency and Mode C.
      3. Transmit a distress or urgency message consisting of as many as necessary of the following elements, preferably in the order listed:
        1. If distress, MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAY-DAY; if urgency, PAN-PAN, PAN-PAN, PAN-PAN.
        2. Name of station addressed.
        3. Aircraft identification and type.
        4. Nature of distress or urgency.
        5. Weather.
        6. Pilots intentions and request.
        7. Present position, and heading; or if lost, last known position, time, and heading since that position.
        8. Altitude or flight level.
        9. Fuel remaining in minutes.
        10. Number of people on board.
        11. Any other useful information.REFERENCE-

          Pilot/Controller Glossary Term- Fuel Remaining.
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Old 6th Jul 2021, 06:45
  #127 (permalink)  
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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?
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Old 6th Jul 2021, 07:37
  #128 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 6th Jul 2021, 08:05
  #129 (permalink)  
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foibles (notably the use of French)
If anyone is going to respect the phrase MAY DAY it'd be the French... ("M'aidez").

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Old 6th Jul 2021, 08:20
  #130 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 6th Jul 2021, 09:28
  #131 (permalink)  

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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"
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Old 6th Jul 2021, 10:53
  #132 (permalink)  
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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..
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Old 6th Jul 2021, 10:56
  #133 (permalink)  
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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)
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Old 6th Jul 2021, 11:08
  #134 (permalink)  
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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
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Old 6th Jul 2021, 11:54
  #135 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 6th Jul 2021, 14:10
  #136 (permalink)  
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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?
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Old 6th Jul 2021, 14:49
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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.
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Old 6th Jul 2021, 16:09
  #138 (permalink)  
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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.
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Old 6th Jul 2021, 16:25
  #139 (permalink)  
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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. .
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Old 6th Jul 2021, 17:14
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher
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.
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