Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Tech Log
Reload this Page >

MAYDAY over the Bay of Biscay

Tech Log The very best in practical technical discussion on the web

MAYDAY over the Bay of Biscay

Old 31st May 2006, 14:14
  #41 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2000
Posts: 665
I can't help but think that this thread, (and countless other threads) would be far more interesting and remaining on its original point if only everyone put one patently silly and all too frequent poster on their 'ignore' list.
Andu is offline  
Old 31st May 2006, 20:32
  #42 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2000
Posts: 377
I'm with you all the way Andu, he joined my "ignore list" a couple of years ago.
woodpecker is offline  
Old 31st May 2006, 20:38
  #43 (permalink)  
Final 3 Greens
Posts: n/a

He's a saint compared to Captain Ed - anyone remember him.

And once you get used to his "good ole boy" style of delivery, he's really quite amusing, as well as being utterly predictable, which is reassuring in this fast moving and ever changing "world in which we live in" (to steal a few words from Paul McCartney.)

Give the old buzzard a break He needs to learn Spanish to deal with the hordes of latinos who are about to replace all the Europeans on holiday in the USA - won't be easy at the same age as Methusulah.
Old 1st Jun 2006, 00:02
  #44 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Rio
Posts: 43
Few years back,lost an eng.on lift-off on 737classic,didn't say Mayday,nor Pan,just told Tower what happened,requested climb straight ahead to 2000' AGL,performed the C.L.called for vectors for an ILS straight in and landed safely...Did it all wrong????I guess it very much depends on the circumstances of the situation you're in.My case it was in a period of very light traffic at the airport I was,good weather and all.I do agree that if you're in a place that's unfamiliar to you or in bad weather,heavy traffic and all,I would go for the big M or pan ....
Anyway,any news on tha ACTUAL mayday???????
Johnbr is offline  
Old 1st Jun 2006, 03:52
  #45 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 8,575
>>Few years back,lost an eng.on lift-off on 737classic,didn't say Mayday,nor Pan,just told Tower what happened,requested climb straight ahead to 2000' AGL,performed the C.L.called for vectors for an ILS straight in and landed safely...<<

Well done, as it should be.
411A is offline  
Old 1st Jun 2006, 04:12
  #46 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Otamatata
Posts: 72
Originally Posted by 411A
Well done, as it should be.
I seem to remember awhile back an aircraft mentioning they were low on fuel without using any dramatic language.....it wasn't prioritised and ran out of fuel while being vectored on the long route home. I know there were other factors at play in this incident, but it does highlight the need to ensure all parties are aware of the seriousness of a particular situation.
DickyPearse is offline  
Old 1st Jun 2006, 07:57
  #47 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,441
I disagree, 411A. Losing 50% of thrust on take-off certainly merits a "(C/S)MAYDAY x 3, engine failure, wait out" if nothing else.... Why not? What is there to lose by declaring an emergency in this way? Far better than the bumbling "Ah, sir, we err, are..err requestin'...errr....vectors...err, for a....err, problem...errr...sir,..errr...as of this time....err, sir" heard from some.

But the rest of that emergency sounds to have been well handled.

Last edited by BEagle; 1st Jun 2006 at 08:09.
BEagle is offline  
Old 1st Jun 2006, 08:36
  #48 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Here, there and everywhere
Posts: 152
I agree with BEagle and others with his line of thinking. As an ATCO I would much rather a pilot was over-cautious than didn't tell me anything. Similarly, if a pilot reports one engine out on a twin aircraft he will get an ATC "Full Emergency" which includes calling the outside services in. Yes, it may be a procedure landing, however it is always best to do too much for a situtation than not enough and have to explain to the subsequent board of enquiry if they do crash and burn.

HeathrowDictator is offline  
Old 1st Jun 2006, 16:19
  #49 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: south of BEXAL
Posts: 21
Flight Safety Foundation:

"International Civil Aviation Organization procedures for declaring mayday or pan pan eliminate ambiguity about an aircraft in distress or an aircraft in an urgency condition, respectively. Declaring an emergency generates maximum assistance from air traffic controllers worldwide, but delay in declaring an emergency may create confusion or narrow the pilotís options."



drag required is offline  
Old 1st Jun 2006, 20:30
  #50 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 1999
Location: Quite near 'An aerodrome somewhere in England'
Posts: 25,441
Actually, 411A's posts provide an interesting historical counterpoint to the modern age. Whilst many might consider them somewhat 'redneck blunt', they do provide another perspective and, as we all know (I hope) a good captain should listen to all inputs before making a decision. Hence the 'good ol' boy' does actually have a valid part in our PPRuNery, so please let's not be unreasonably insulting.
BEagle is offline  
Old 1st Jun 2006, 21:29
  #51 (permalink)  

Something Gorgeous in the City
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Edinburgh, UK
Posts: 93
At risk of getting flamed meself (and I'm reading in because I like to understand how airlines work, not because I know anything about the poor guy whose predicament started the thread) I felt I had to point out that, on the English/French language thing, "Mayday" is, er, French.
Stockpicker is offline  
Old 1st Jun 2006, 23:46
  #52 (permalink)  
Stealth Moderator - Rarely seen on radar
Join Date: Jul 1997
Location: Europe
Posts: 3,228
Actually 'Mayday' is anglais .... 'M'aidez' is probably the French
PPRuNe Radar is offline  
Old 2nd Jun 2006, 01:46
  #53 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: There's no place like home!
Posts: 84
Not so long ago, Duty ATCO at my unit received a non-urgent call from the parent ACC concerning a recently departed jet airliner (twin-engined), advising that said airliner was diverting back. Reason given was "Technical Difficulty". No further info was given in initial call, and the ATCO duly declared a Local Standby as per Emergency Orders.
On further investigation (through the ACC), it was discovered that the aircraft was suffering from a hydraulic leak, and as a result did not have full power available in both engines. At no time however, did the crew declare any sort of emergency!
On receiving this information; the ATCO immediately upgraded to a Full Emergency (with all the associated Bells & Whistles!), and from what I hear, the crew were even a bit miffed when they were greeted by the luminous blue welcoming commitee on landing!
The question in all of our minds though: why so reluctant to declare an Emergency?
If assistance may be required, then why not make use of it? Surely the crew couldn't have known for definite that the leak wasn't going to get worse, with all the possible scenarios that could have resulted from that (Control Surface problems; high-speed heavy landing, the aircraft had only recently departed after all! etc.) There are enough historical precedents out there to illustrate what I'm driving at.
Anyway, in the end the flight returned safely, thankfully. The aircraft didn't fly again for quite some time however (draw your own conclusions).
Unrelated as this little anecdote is to the original question with which this thread was started, it is nonetheless very relevant to the topic.
Even if (for whatever reason) you as a pilot should decide not to declare a Pan or Mayday at a time of difficulty or distress, we as ATCO's will decide our level of response to the situation based on the info available to us.
However, were the above scenario slightly different in that the ATCO concerned had not declared an Emergency because the crew had not done so; and the hydraulic leak that was the cause of the problem turned out to be worse than actually occurred, how different would the outcome have been?
I know we'd have preferred it had the crew declared at least a PAN, if for no other reason than to remove any possible ambiguity. At least that way there wouldn't have been any possibility of time being wasted in getting the necessary resources mobilised!
EastCoaster is offline  
Old 2nd Jun 2006, 06:32
  #54 (permalink)  
More bang for your buck
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: land of the clanger
Age: 77
Posts: 3,511
Originally Posted by PPRuNe Radar
Actually 'Mayday' is anglais .... 'M'aidez' is probably the French
Shurely Mayday is merely the phonetic pronunciation of the French M'aidez
and therefore it’s still French

Last edited by green granite; 2nd Jun 2006 at 08:33.
green granite is offline  
Old 3rd Jun 2006, 10:07
  #55 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Citizen of the World
Posts: 174
An engine failure in any aircraft IS a serious incident. In a twin, it's very serious and should warrant a MAYDAY call. That'll get you noticed and give you the required level of priority.

If/when you get everything sorted out satisfactorily and the aircraft is fully under control, there is no fire etc then it can be downgraded to a PAN if required.

It still requires a landing at the nearest suitable airport. Better to be down here wishing you were up there ....
SIDSTAR is offline  
Old 3rd Jun 2006, 10:41
  #56 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 1998
Posts: 67
To throw another ten-penny-worth into the 'Mayday' language debate...
'M'aider is the infinitive form of the reflexive verb "help me" within French syntax; however, it is not used as a stand-alone imperative command in standard French, but it is so used in some French patois. This has led some etymologists to claim that what the convention really meant was an abbreviation of the phrase, "Venez míaider" ("Come help me"). "M'aidez" (which is not grammatically correct either in standard French) is considered an acceptable alternative. In both cases, however, mayday must be considered as a rather crude English phonetic representation. It should be also noted that while in English the phrase is only used in distress situation, in French it carries no more sense of urgency than its English translation "help me".
What French people in distress actually shout is, "Au secours!"'
Bottom line...In many (most?) parts of the world a 'Pan-Pan' call will evoke the response, "What?" or something similar.
'Mayday' works every time!
The Trappist is offline  
Old 3rd Jun 2006, 14:29
  #57 (permalink)  

Time merchant
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Belgium
Posts: 352
I spoke to Brest ACC about the incident. All they could tell me was that the aircraft (French registration) landed safely at an unidentified aerodrome in France.
As alluded to above a number of aircraft were involved in relaying the various messages to/from the distressed aircraft.
So a happy ending.
flowman is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2006, 20:51
  #58 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Holland
Posts: 32
411A, you lost an engine and did not put out a MAYDAY or a PAN, that to me equals a very large PRAT.... what was your f/o doing or was he not allowed to have any imput.
KLMer is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2006, 22:09
  #59 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Arizona USA
Posts: 8,575
Well actually, KLM'er, he was busy at the time, raising the landing gear, silencing the fire bell, pulling the respective engine fire handle and discharging the engine fire extinguisher.... among other things.

First things first, old boy....
411A is offline  
Old 5th Jun 2006, 22:52
  #60 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Sussex
Posts: 137
Oh, KLMer!! Why?!! Oh, why did you invite him back? He was enjoying the tender grass on the prairie.
Oh well, this is nothing to do with me. I thought the thread was dead!
Viscount Sussex is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.