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MAYDAY over the Bay of Biscay

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MAYDAY over the Bay of Biscay

Old 28th May 2006, 13:12
  #21 (permalink)  
Yaw Damper: "Never Leave Home Without It"
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A MAYDAY cal is used when there is imminent danger to the aircraft or it's occupants.

However, that being the rule, is is not always evident that a PAN call will get noticed by ATC all over the world.

The use of the MAYDAY call can therefore be justified if subsequantely it is made clear that the full blown emergency services are not needed.

Best practice is to start with a PAN call if conditions do not justify a MAYDAY and if no reaction by ATC then just go ahead with the MAYDAY.....believe me you WILL be able to defend yourself.

Last edited by AIMS by IBM; 31st May 2006 at 12:27.
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Old 29th May 2006, 04:50
  #22 (permalink)  
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Ain't it the truth...

>>Ye Gods - I hope the media don't read this and report that very inexperienced pilots fly for many EU airlines. I know it is true but isn't it scary- especially when passengers believe in all innocence there are two experienced polers up front - not apprentices.<<

I think they know already.
Young guys spring loaded to the mayday and pan panic stations.
Ain't it grand?
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Old 29th May 2006, 07:07
  #23 (permalink)  
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411A, I hope that when you call MAYDAY your fellow pilots show the lack of consideration that you obviously would.

Not only do I hope that I never fly with you, but I hope I nor anyone I know have the misfortune of being a passenger on one of your flights.

I've read many an accident report that begins with a pilot with an attitude like yours.

Have you thought about retiring?
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Old 29th May 2006, 07:08
  #24 (permalink)  
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3000+ posts and still belongs in a:

Shitsu_Tonka is offline  
Old 29th May 2006, 10:11
  #25 (permalink)  
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We had a situation yesterday where an aircraft called MAYDAY because one of the engines failed. They were in the final stages of their climb to cruising altitude when one of the two engines just shut down. I can imagine this was rather unpleasant for the crew as it seemed they were unsure at first what exactly happened. Glad to report they made it safely into EHAM (with thanks to the chaps in Brussels and Amsterdam ACC for the assistance)
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Old 29th May 2006, 11:23
  #26 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by dusk2dawn
We didn't actually call mayday but being forced to descend we did declare an emergency.
And the internationally recognised method of 'declaring an emergency' is?

So you avoid the big 'M' word and potentially cause confusion to a controller who has English as a second language and may not be able to interpret your definition of an emergency, but one that doesn't warrant a Mayday?

Very professional.

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Old 29th May 2006, 11:46
  #27 (permalink)  
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Pilot Pete, I agree. "Declaring an emergency" is for Hollywood stars in action movies. It means nothing.

If there is a problem don't flute around. Mayday gets peoples attention sharpish and gets you what you need immediately. When your back on the ground afterwards you can discuss the rights and the wrongs.

I spend most of my working days in Italian airspace, communication is a major problem and I have experienced that any questions that deviates from standard RT usually has the controller stumped. Our company demands a PAN if EFATO, and I play that game in the sim, but if it happens for real I will use the word MAYDAY!
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Old 29th May 2006, 11:51
  #28 (permalink)  
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I think most people know (or will know at the time) when to put a mayday call, with or without the Arizona cowboy's approval. He makes controversial statements (talking rubbish) to create his own debates and boost his ego. Look at some of his previous posts (if you have time to waste) and you’ll see him hijack every threat possible with the cliché “I remember when…..that co-pilot…..” Actually, I wonder if he ever flew (hands on) an aircraft or just heard too many war stories in the bar. Hey, I’m doing what he wants. I am discussing him! Sorry.
The business of declaring a Mayday or not has been discussed many tmes before on this forum.
Let’s go back to the initial post. Obviously there isn’t an ATC member or crew member out there that knows what happened? Thanks.
Once again, hope that everything went well for the aircraft and its occupants.
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Old 29th May 2006, 15:27
  #29 (permalink)  
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From a UK perspective only Mayday or Pan is recognised as an emergency call, however both pilots and ATC can decide if one should be declared. If an a/c loses 50% or more of its power then a Mayday will automatically be declared. ATC Towers have more catergories describing emergencies from local standbys to full emergencies to ground accidents, and they alone decide what to apply and dependent on which they choose decides if any or all the local flashing blue lights greet you at the runway threshold. This has been discussed at length many times before, a search of rumours and news and also ATC Issues will drag the threads up.
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Old 29th May 2006, 16:03
  #30 (permalink)  
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Ladies and Gentleman...don't let ol 411A wind you up!

Whilst he sits on his rocking chair sucking on an unlit pipe and thinking of the good ol days...he is out in the pasture and its just best to give the ol horse some sugar cubes, pat it on the nose and let it think it still runs the stable...

Good to see you back in form 411A...and leave the littl'uns alone!

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Old 29th May 2006, 19:54
  #31 (permalink)  
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Out in the pasture you say, Fox3...ah, well, hardly.
Still working, flying from time to time, so not retired just yet, thanks to ICAO.

Now, for an engine failure in a twin, yes a mayday might be appropriate, but if you tried this in US airspace, I suspect you would not get as much attention from ATC as a simple 'emergency' call.

And as for a 'pan' call, I suspect ATC would wonder which frying pan you are referring to...
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Old 29th May 2006, 20:44
  #32 (permalink)  
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I'm sure that what you say is correct. However, shouldn't ATC at least have a working knowledge of www.faa.gov/ATpubs/AIM/Chap6/aim0603.html ?

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Old 29th May 2006, 20:45
  #33 (permalink)  
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There's the transatlantic difference.

A 'simple' emergency call isn't recognised in my world. PAN gets attention, MAYDAY gets instant response. "I am declaring an emergency" will suffer cocktail party syndrome (not significant enough to penetrate the background noise).

I spend my standby time listening to 121.5, 156.8 and 243.0 and reacting (or not).

And the only time in 28 years I have transmitted MAYDAY an engine had stopped in the circuit and I really fancied landing on the cross runway, so telling everyone in forceful terms seemed appropriate.

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Old 29th May 2006, 21:02
  #34 (permalink)  
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Pilot Pete et al.: This tread subject went from a question about a possible emergency to whether to declare an emergency in case of OEI.
414A chose not to think so.
My 10 cents was only to inform 414A that even the best American twoholer around was subject to some modified behavior when OEI. Behavior which just might require assistance.
Annex 10 and Doc 9432 defines distress as follows:
Distress: a condition of being threatened by serious and/or imminent danger and of requiring immediate assistance.
Now, why do you assume that we were subject to imminent danger and required immediate assistance? And what does "English as a second language" have to do with it?
We had a 5-5 connection with Madrid ATC and, using the prescribed ICAO phraseology, we coordinated descent and turn toward suitable airport before danger arose.
BTW: Neither Spain nor the United States have notified ICAO of differences to Annex 10 (Communication Procedures including those with PANS status).
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Old 29th May 2006, 23:37
  #35 (permalink)  
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FWIW I had an engine failure on rotation in a big twin at Heathrow a few years back. Gave a quick 'Mayday XXXXX engine failure' - not because we were in any immediate danger, but because it would alert Tower that we had a problem & he shouldn't expect us to to 'do the expected'. We then carried out all the necessary checks in blissful p&q, without being hassled for frequency changes etc etc.
ATC were fantastic (that'll be a 'no delay' next time I fly guys ) & all ended up happily ever after.
No regrets on the Mayday. I'd do the same tomorrow.
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Old 30th May 2006, 09:29
  #36 (permalink)  
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So back to the original post - does anyone know what the Mayday was about?
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Old 30th May 2006, 10:19
  #37 (permalink)  
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I think we are wasting our time on this one. Somebody would've said something by now if they knew what it was about. But the old chestnut about the correctness of mayday calls was brought in (courtesy of our “mate” the cowboy) and that’s the best way to kill a thread or turn it into the same boring stuff. Oh well. I am sure this is not the first time and certainly not the last one. Just keep giving it sugar cubes and the old horse will be happy.
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Old 31st May 2006, 11:14
  #38 (permalink)  
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I think someone needs to check on the definition of Mayday, as compared to Pan. I believe that the main difference is that Mayday means "requiring immediate assistance". Is 411A suggesting that a crew losing an engine never requires immediate assistance? Perhaps he needs more CRM training - use the resources you have, and they include ATC.

The fact that one pilot got his priorities wrong in a sim practice certainly provides no evidence that Pan or Mayday calls are overused. I have heard some exemplary emergncy calls.
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Old 31st May 2006, 11:31
  #39 (permalink)  
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Would 411a say that mayday declared to get attention and help when a serious problem arises that subsequently gets resolved and ends in a safe landing is unnessersary? I declared a mayday in a light aircraft a few years ago (in the UK talking to US military controllers providing a LARS service) when I had a serious problem because my initial low key attempts at getting help got nowhere. The mayday immediately got the help I needed and allowed me to resolve the rapidly deteriating situation. Does the fact I landed safely mean I didn't need to declare a mayday? I feel if I hadn't I wouldn't be here typing this.
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Old 31st May 2006, 12:16
  #40 (permalink)  
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Pan-Pan, Pan-Pan, Pan-Pan

wind up alert!

(or should it be Mayday )
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