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When to give a mayday

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I was reading a previous thread an in no way want to question the writers actions as communicating in any situation is the right thing to do.



My question is when is a Mayday call appropriate and when is the less known PAN call to be given.



From 20 years ago a PAN was given when declaring a possible problem and a mayday was only to be given when lives were in danger. Any comments?



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I think to be technically correct a MAYDAY is when "The ship is in grave and imminent danger" now ultimately that also means the people involved too.


Its the PIC to decide however a PAN is used in a case like fuel is leaking overboard and you are requiring immediate priority to land, now some could say that may be more serious, or when a crew member is ill or incapacitated,......both crew = mayday. engine failure is a good example.


Have heard a MAYDAY from a RPT jet with a birdstrike and engine failure.......its certified to keep taking off and fly on one engine so not sure why the MAYDAY, unless they feared the second engine may be not much better! (it was fine).


This will get some interesting responses though.





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As an ex RAN Aircraft Controller the definitions (from memory) are.


Mayday - Emergency. I am in immediate distress or danger, there is imminent danger to life.


i.e. loss of power or control. Passenger in severe medical difficulties. Engine fire, etc


PAN - Urgency. Situation requires urgent action to avoid imminent danger to life.


Smoke in cockpit, losing fuel, low fuel, EMS warning lights, low oil pressure, fuel pressure.


Hope this helps.


p.s. dont ever think about appropriateness, just make the call. Its better to be heard than not heard. I'd rather be around and be criticised, than be dead and be criticised, at least I have right of reply!;)


My only (very recent) mayday call involved a fair amount of swearing!



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When to give a mayday.?


In time for those listening to be able to do something.


Should it have been a Pan?


Who cares?


However my thinking would be Mayday when the situation is completely out of my control and Pan when I can still affect the outcome especially if by eliciting the assistance of those listening I could bias the outcome in my favour.





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Guest Redair
Old mate had every reason to suspect an engine fire, all the smoke was probably a bit of a hint, so mayday was definatly the go..my 2 cents

Yep, I second that. Fire or suspected fire... get the call out of the way early, give yourself more time to try and do what you can to get down safely.


That makes it 4 cents now.





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