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Kestrel Mayday (TCAS discussion)

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Kestrel Mayday (TCAS discussion)

Old 11th Mar 2003, 13:25
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MyTravel Mayday

Heading north over Barcelona this morning (11th March) at abot 0940 I hear the following conversation:

Kestrel 203: "Mayday Mayday Mayday, Kestrel 203 engine failure, descending to FL 100"

Manuel (for it is he): "Say again?"

Kestrel 203: "Mayday Mayday Mayday, Kestrel 203, engine failure, descending to FL 220 (wise move that!) turning on to heading 145"

Manuel: "Roger"

I 'followed' Kestrl 203 through all the frequencies (on box 2) until he went to BCN tower on 118.1 when he was blotted out by (I think) Toulouse tower. Hope all went well despite [apparent] lack of assistance or even interest by the Spanish controllers.

Boeing or Airbus?
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 14:28
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sources say it was a A320
 
Old 11th Mar 2003, 15:38
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All is well, aircraft landed safely
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 16:50
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Tcas climb
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Boeing or Airbus?
Does that matter? What is more interresting is who made the engine.
 
Old 11th Mar 2003, 17:09
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Oh! come on, TCAS - how on earth are we going to get ANOTHER Boeing v Airbus thread going with an attitude like that?
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 17:18
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Question

LOL BOAC.

Glad to see it ended without misshap. Well done to the people at the front Poshbird any other info?
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 17:51
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Boeing or Airbus?

Does that matter? What is more interresting is who made the engine.
Not wishing to start an Airbus vs Boeing thread, but it seems hard to imagine a Mayday call that doesn't involve an issue with the airframe.
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 17:56
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Oh dear! I hope I haven't opened up another Boeing v Airbus argument! It was just that I used to work for the company concerned and was curious, that's all!
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 22:31
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> Hope all went well despite [apparent] lack of assistance or even interest by the Spanish controllers.

I was the first person to hear that and I must admit it makes me sad to hear what you say.
As you can imagine, when there are so many lifes at stake, the last thing one wants to do (both proffessionally and personally speaking) is to ignore such an emergency.
Nonetheless, just in case anyone is not aware, strict set emergency procedures have to be followed in these cases, both in the cockpit and in the control room.

There was everything except lack of interest and I should tell you that as a controller the last thing you can do is to disturb the pilot when he is facing an emergency like this.

These comments do not do anything good but alarm and missinform people and just to put your mind at rest, YES, everything went allright because everybody did what they had to do at all times despite what you call a lack of interest.
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 22:39
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Why should it not be a Mayday call?? The aircraft lost 50% of its power and I was taught that situation = Mayday. On top of which the aircraft was UNABLE TO MAINTAIN HEIGHT and wasn't requesting descent, but telling ATC they were descending regardless, and that is 100% a Mayday.

As for my Spanish comrades, probably more a lack of experience with handling emergencies than anything else. UK ATC was one of the first to get a full and compulsary emergency training course going and now its a yearly session, however I know many others do it much different.
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Old 11th Mar 2003, 23:22
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Technically, a MAYDAY is declared when the aircraft is threatened by "grave and imminent danger" and requires "immediate assistance".

PAN is appropriate to an aircraft being in a state of "urgency".

However, in the real world I would not blame any aircraft commander who declares a MAYDAY should this be deemed necessary.

I see to recall a thread a long while ago which implied that Spain and several other states did not recognise the PAN status.
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Old 12th Mar 2003, 00:30
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A few points here from a Controllers point of view.
Firstly.as has been previously state a 50% percent loss of power controllers are taught should lead to a "Mayday" call (just typing the word makes my blood freeze!).
Secondly, as has been previously stated, a controllers first response to a "mayday" calll will be simply "Roger Mayday". this is not disinterest on the part of the controller but what is taught because it is understood that the cockpit workload has just gone through the roof.
Finally, what appear to be periods of silence on the R/T,are actually the controller phoning everyone around to clue them into the situation and the possible repurcussions.
Sometimes what pilots fail to realise about the job of ATC is that only about 30% of the job is talking on the R/T, the rest is co-ordination between different units and agencies. This percentage increases dramatically on the co-ordination side in the event of an emergency situation.
A classic situation for this is a (fingers crossed) incident at an airfield, where the controller may be too busy to talk to you because he is phoning the fire service, ambulances ,police, d+d and airfield operations. it is not to say that the incident has been trivialised, indeed it is to say that it is being treated with the upmost urgency.
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Old 12th Mar 2003, 00:55
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Very good repplies from the ATC guys....
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Old 12th Mar 2003, 06:35
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Interesting comments about PAN v Mayday...

A few weeks back I would have agreed with the thoughts about a Mayday being OTT for an Engine Failure in the cruise.

Whilst covering "Discussion Points", during a course with a TC, the issue arose, and I now agree a Mayday is more appropriate. As has been stated above "requires immediate assistance" is 100% the case. We ARE coming down NOW - no choice - we NEED IMMEDIATE ATC assistance to clear the decks below.

In fact, the need for assistance is more compelling here than an Engine Failure at rotation. The moment ATC have cleared you to descend to a FL at or below SE MAx Alt, the urgency is over, and a downgrade to PAN appropriate.

Personally, most of my (sim) PAN / Mayday calls tend to follow with the word "Standby". I am glad to see Spanish ATC did not follow up with 20 questions...

And as for <<Boeing or Airbus? >> shouldn't it be <<CFM or IAE>> !!

NoD
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Old 12th Mar 2003, 08:43
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I have been thinking about this, and have to agree that with todays crowded skies, descending without clearance could put you in "grave and imminent danger".
-You don't really have any way of assessing that danger in advance (you don't have the traffic picture below you).
-You can't respond to the TCAS god when he commands "climb, climb now". That will definately upset the other guy descending, descending now.

Maybe some companies need to update their SOPs?
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Old 12th Mar 2003, 08:45
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Having passed through BCN last night I assme it was the A320 that is now sitting on a relatively remote stand.

Very well done to all concerned.

WRT Mayday or not, an engine failure at any stage is definitely a very serious occurence and requires immediate assistance, therefore it is most definitely a Mayday call, you want anything and everything shifted out of your way immediately, and a dedicated freq if you can get it.
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Old 12th Mar 2003, 10:02
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Our SOP (not MYT) is engine failure ---> MAYDAY.

Simple.
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Old 12th Mar 2003, 10:12
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Ferris
Update SOPs??
If you cant maintain altitude, then you cant maintain...! What do you want the guy to do? Update the SOPs to read: Dont descend even though the aircraft is unable to maintain!!
We had a CRJ2 lose an engine and he immediatly lost 3000ft until he managed to hold FL254. He didnt bother descending any further to make it a round flight level, because I guess every foot of altitude proves its worth if the other engine should decide to give up too....
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Old 12th Mar 2003, 10:18
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Just to clarify that ATC considers it Mayday when 50%+ power has been lost. Its not that we aren't overly concerned by a 747 using only 3, there is always that 'if one's gone, so could the rest' so priority will still be given, but its not exactly going to affect a safe landing somewhere suitable, so a Pan is more appropriate.

On a point of ATC interfering at the wrong time, what would you prefer, a couple of questions every few mins, all the questions at once for you to answer when able, or for us to just say we have questions, and wait for you to come back?? Bear in mind, for some pieces of info we need to know immediately, ie FL needed, and diversion adme if its close so they can get all services present. For instances of engine failure, knowing if it was a routine shutdown, or due fire, and if fire still burning etc is needed, and this also prompts which way do you wanna turn (hear that fire determines this now) all the things we need to know to be able to give you the safest a/c free path possible. As has been said so many phone calls take place to organise this our time is crutial too, not forgetting the recall of staff to man a discrete frequency. We may have many bodies around to help, doesn't mean its any easier
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Old 12th Mar 2003, 10:20
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Reading the thread title, I wondered if it referred to one of their aircraft or the company itself.
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