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Kestrel 469 - Mayday declared (smoke inside aircraft) divert to CDG

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Kestrel 469 - Mayday declared (smoke inside aircraft) divert to CDG

Old 2nd Jun 2001, 20:40
  #1 (permalink)  
Old King Coal
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Red face Kestrel 469 - Mayday declared (smoke inside aircraft) divert to CDG

Earlier this morning, on a Paris ATC frequency, we heard the above mentioned flight declare a Mayday (smoke in the cabin ? ). We tried (as you do) to follow their progress on box # 2, for as long as the signal held out, whilst they descended into CDG.

Nb. Now without wishing to appear xenophobic, I've gotta say that, imho, French ATC weren't a patch on what you'd experience from the same 'service' in the UK - e.g. never mind "Direct CLM, you're cleared to descend to FL200", what I'd want to hear from ATC is "You're cleared direct the centre fix for RWY ??L/R with radar vectors, descend Altitude 3000, QNH is .... MSA in your sector is ..... , we are informing the airport emergency services, etc" ! ...... there again, maybe he just had to wait his turn for vectoring behind an Air France aircraft ?!

In any event, it sent shivers up and down both of us in the front of our aircraft - one hopes that it turned out ok for all the folks aboard 'Kestrel 496'.
Old 2nd Jun 2001, 22:05
  #2 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

I dont know anything about this incident, but 469 is an A320 from Gatwick to Mahon. There was nothing in the press so I presume everything turned out OK
Old 2nd Jun 2001, 22:18
  #3 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

Before you jump in to criticise French ATC, it may be of interest to know that there is a sector split at FL195 across much, if not all, of France. It would seem entirely logical, therefore, for the controller receiving the Mayday to clear the aircraft to the lowest level he/she KNOWS is safe and turn it towards CDG, before coordinating with colleagues on adjacent (lower) sectors and passing the info to CDG.

Immediate descent to 3000ft towards the centre fix may sound impressive but, in Europe's increasingly sectorised airspace, it is not always possible.

Thanks for the nice comments about UK ATC though, but I, for one, have a great respect for my French colleagues also.
Old 2nd Jun 2001, 22:20
  #4 (permalink)  
Bally Heck
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How about this Old King....You're cleared direct the centre fix for RWY ??L/R with radar vectors, descend Altitude 3000, QNH is .... MSA in your sector is ..... , we are informing the airport emergency services, etc. Oh and by the way, as you descend below FL200, keep a very good lookout. It's very busy with jet traffic. Please try not to hit anything on your way in there. More than my jobs worth m'sieu.

Remember the big picture!
Old 3rd Jun 2001, 01:09
  #5 (permalink)  
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I gather from the idle chit chat that the Airtours a/c in question must have landed without incident!!!
Old 3rd Jun 2001, 15:58
  #6 (permalink)  
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Red face

I think you mean Hawker Siddley HS748 HOGG, if that is your real name which i doubt it is.

Best Regards,
Old 5th Jun 2001, 12:15
  #7 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a

On 02 June 2001 16:40 Old King Coal wrote

"Now without wishing to appear xenophobic"

You said it.

As much as a rushed approach is dangerous, a rushed clearance by ATC is no differant animal. I am sure the french ATC are up to scratch if it really comes to it and they will be ready for you before you are ready to shoot your approach.

In good co-operation

Smooth Trimmer
Old 5th Jun 2001, 12:27
  #8 (permalink)  
Eli Vator
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A couple of years ago I had occasion to divert with an emergency in French airspace. The controllers in essence said "tell us what you want to do and we'll get everything out of your way".

Their efforts and professionalism were to the highest order and I received a service that could not have been better.
Old 5th Jun 2001, 20:29
  #9 (permalink)  
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Ah, so that was what the AIH A320 was doing in CDG. T'was standing there all day with no activity around it. I was thinking mmm not good for an aeroplane to be on the deck all day on a saturday. It had gone by Sunday. G-COEZ I think it was.

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