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Introduction to Emergencies

Remaining calm during an emergency offers the best chance of:

Thinking clearly
Following procedures properly
Obtaining maximum assistance
Ensuring minimum loss of life

There are many cases where a controllers calm voice over the radio has kept a
distraught pilot from becoming a victim of panic, resulting in a successful conclusion instead of
a statistic.
Lesson Objectives
On an End-of-Lesson Test, and in accordance with FAA Orders 7110.65 and 7110.10 and the
Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), you will identify:

1. Terms associated with emergency services.

2. Roles and responsibilities of the pilot and controller during an emergency.

3. Information necessary to handle an emergency.

4. Types of emergencies.
Emergency Determination
Because of the infinite variety of possible emergency situations, specific procedures cannot
be prescribed.

Pursue a course of action which appears to be most appropriate under the


circumstances.

Emergency situations can be classified as either:

Distress
Urgency
Distress is a condition of being threatened by serious and/or imminent danger and
requiring immediate assistance.

Example: Aircraft on fire

Pilot communicates word MAYDAY.

Preferably repeated three times


DISTRESS CONDITION
Being threatened by serious
and/or imminent danger
MAYDAY!

MAYDAY!

Requiring immediate
assistance MAYDAY!
4

Urgency is a condition of being concerned about safety and of requiring timely, but not
immediate assistance; a potential distress condition.

Example: Low fuel

Pilot communicates word PAN-PAN

Preferably repeated three times

If pilot does not use the words MAYDAY or PAN-PAN and you are in doubt that an
emergency exists:

Handle as an emergency
URGENCY CONDITION
FUEL
1/2
Being concerned PAN-PAN!E F

about safety
Requiring timely,
but not immediate,
assistance
A potential distress
condition PAN-PAN!
PAN-PAN!

Emergency Frequencies
The universal emergency frequencies are:

VHF 121.5 MHz


UHF 243.0 MHz

Although 121.5 and 243.0 are emergency frequencies, it is usually best to leave the aircraft
on the frequency they initially used to contact you.

Change frequency ONLY if there is a valid reason.


Emergency Situations
An emergency situation exists if declared by the:

Pilot
ATC Facility personnel

Air Traffic Control

Aircraft owner or officials responsible for operation of the aircraft

An emergency situation exists if:

There is an unexpected loss of radar contact and radio communications with


any IFR or VFR aircraft.
Reports indicate:

Aircraft has made or will make a forced landing.


Crew has abandoned or is about to abandon the aircraft.

Emergency radar beacon response is received.

Code 7700
Intercept or escort aircraft services are required.
Need for ground rescue seems likely.
Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) signal is heard or reported
Emergency Locator Transmitter
Emergency Locator Transmitters (ELTs) are required for most general aviation airplanes.

Developed as a means of locating a downed aircraft.

ELTs are electronic, battery-operated transmitters.

Emit a distinct audio tone on 121.5 MHz and 243.0 MHz.


If armed and when subject to crash-generated forces:

Designed to automatically activate


Continuously emit signal
Newest generation ELTs transmit a stronger signal on 406MHz and can send a
digitally encoded message containing owners information, aircraft data and exact
position

ELT transmitters will operate continuously for at least 48 hours.

ELTs properly installed and maintained can expedite search and rescue operations and
save lives.
RESPONSE ITEM
In which emergency condition would a pilot transmit PAN-PAN, PAN-PAN,
PAN-PAN?

A. Help
B. Distress
C. Urgency

Obtaining Information
Obtain enough information to handle the emergency intelligently
MINIMUM REQUIRED INFORMATION
AIRCRAFT NATURE OF
IDENTIFICATION THE
AND TYPE EMERGENCY

LOST

PILOTS
DESIRES

RETURN TO POINT OF DEPARTURE

Minimum required information:

Aircraft identification and type


Nature of emergency
Pilots desires
OBTAIN AS NECESSARY
0
9 1
ALT FUEL REMAINING, IN TIME
8 2
2992 FUEL In gallons? NO
7 3 E 1/2
F
In pounds? NO
6 4
5 In time? YES

ALTITUDE
WEATHER, AS REPORTED BY THE PILOT

After initiating action, obtain as necessary:


Aircraft altitude
Fuel remaining in time
Pilot reported weather
OBTAIN AS NECESSARY
OBTAIN AS NECESSARY
AERO CENTER, PIPER TWO ONE
KILO, LAST KNOWN POSITION
TWO FIVE MILES EAST OF MIAMI
VORTAC ON VICTOR TWO.

PILOT CAPABILITY FOR TIME AND PLACE


IFR FLIGHT OF LAST KNOWN
AERO CENTER, KING AIR ONE
POSITION
SIX X-RAY IS HEADING TWO
FOUR ZERO.
AIRSPEED 0
200 40
6 25 24 23 2 180AIRSPEED 60

160 80
HEADING SINCE
140 100
LAST KNOWN 120
POSITION

Pilot capability for IFR flight


Time and place of last known position
Heading since last known position
Airspeed
OBTAIN AS NECESSARY
DME VOR ADF NAVAID SIGNALS RECEIVED
DME
0

FROM 270 90

180
TACAN
NAVIGATION EQUIPMENT TUL
MIO
CAPABILITY

VISIBLE AIRCRAFT COLOR


LANDMARKS GREEN AND BLUE
CESSNA

WHITE AND YELLOW


BEECHJET
OBSERVATORY

COW
RIVER PINK AND GREEN
HIGHWAY ON
WEST BANK OF BEECHCRAFT
COW RIVER

Navigation equipment capability


NAVAID signals received
Visible landmarks
Aircraft color
OBTAIN AS NECESSARY
EMERGENCY EQUIPMENT ON
BOARD
PARACHUTES

NUMBER OF PEOPLE
ON BOARD

POINT OF DEPARTURE AND DESTINATION

Additional Information, As Necessary


Number of people on board
Point of departure and destination
Emergency equipment on board

RESPONSE ITEM

The minimum information required for handling an emergency is

A. aircraft identification and type, nature of the emergency, and pilots


desires.

B. aircraft identification, altitude, fuel remaining in time.

C. aircraft identification and type, altitude, color of aircraft.

Pilot in Command
The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for and is the final authority as to
the operation of that aircraft.

In an in-flight emergency, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule to the extent
required to meet that emergency
Controller/ Specialist
If you are in communication with an aircraft in distress:

Handle the emergency.

Coordinate and direct activities of assisting facilities.

Transfer responsibility to another facility only if better handling can be provided.

When you receive information about an emergency, forward detailed data to the center in
whose area the emergency exists.
Inform supervisor in charge of the emergency so he/she can:

Ensure Rescue Coordination Center (RCC) is notified.


Issue Alert Notice (ALNOT).

The Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) shall be responsible for:

Receiving and relaying all pertinent Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) signal
information to appropriate authorities.
RESCUE COORDINATION CENTER (RCC)

An RCC is a facility that performs Search and Rescue (SAR).

Equipped and manned to coordinate and control SAR operations in an area designated
by the SAR plan.

The U.S. Coast Guard and the U.S. Air Force have responsibility for the
operation of RCCs.
RESPONSE ITEM

If an aircraft declares an emergency while you are working it on your


frequency, you should normally

A. assign the emergency frequency.


B. leave the aircraft on your frequency.
C. instruct the aircraft to change to an alternate frequency.

Hijacked Aircraft
A hijacked aircraft is indicated by the nondiscrete code 7500.

Pilot can be expected to squawk transponder code 7500.


HIJACKED AIRCRAFT

Fly the plane.

Hijack attempts or actual hijacked aircraft are a matter of national security and require
special handling.
Bomb Threats
For information on bomb threats received from any source:

Inform your supervisor or facility air traffic manager.

If threat is general in nature it is to be handled as a suspicious activity and reported to


the appropriate authorities
If the threat is targeted against a specific aircraft and you are in contact with the suspect
aircraft:

Advise the pilot of the threat and comply with any pilot requests.
Handle the aircraft as an emergency and/or provide most expeditious handling possible
with respect to safety of other aircraft, ground facilities, and personnel.

If pilot requests, or appears to need technical assistance, DO NOT suggest actions the
pilot should take, but obtain the following information:

Type series and model of aircraft


Precise location/description of bomb device if known
Other details which may be pertinent
Radio Failure
An aircraft experiencing two-way radio failure is expected to squawk code 7600.

Controller attempts to reestablish communications using various methods including use


of emergency frequencies, NAVAIDs with voice capability, and relaying through other
aircraft
Air traffic control is based on anticipated pilot actions as set forth in procedures and
recommended practices contained in the FARs, AIM, and pertinent military regulations
Consider the aircrafts activity to be possibly suspicious if radio communications have not been
established/reestablished with the aircraft after five minutes

In-flight Equipment Malfunction


May include, but is not limited to, partial or complete failure of equipment which may affect:
Safety
Separation standards
Ability of aircraft to proceed under IFR or in RVSM airspace
When inflight equipment malfunction is reported by the pilot:

Request the nature of malfunction.


Ask if any special handling is desired.
Provide maximum assistance possible.
Relay any special handling being provided to other specialists or facilities.
Aircraft in Adverse Weather
VFR aircraft in weather difficulty

VFR aircraft unintentionally entering IFR conditions is one of the leading causes of
general aviation aircraft fatalities
If not in your control area, determine which facility is able to provide the best service,
and inform the appropriate control facility/sector.
If a frequency change is necessary, advise the pilot of the reason for the change.
Overdue Aircraft
Consider an aircraft overdue when:
Neither radio nor radar contact can be established and
30 minutes has passed since:

Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) over compulsory reporting point or clearance limit

Clearance void time

Used by ATC to automatically cancel a takeoff clearance if departure is not made


prior to a specified time.

Volcanic Ash

RESPONSE ITEM

When a bomb threat has been received involving an aircraft you are
working, you should inform the pilot of the threat and

A. instruct the pilot to land as soon as possible.


B. assign Code 7700.
C. comply with any pilot requests
RESPONSE ITEM

The exclusive transponder code for hijacked aircraft is

A. 7700.
B. 7600.
C. 7500

Minimum Fuel
Minimum fuel indicates that an aircrafts fuel supply is such that it can accept little or no
delay upon reaching destination.

This is not an emergency situation.

Until the pilot declares it

An emergency situation is possible should any undue delay occur.