Technically, May 1st is considered May Day: it is International workers day.
But, May Day is also a distress call. One that not every pilot expects to make in his or her lifetime.
Once in a while, it becomes necessary.
One year ago today, it was a necessity…
Partial Engine Failure
“Did we hit a bird, ” I started to say…
There was no response from the cockpit. Barely a few seconds later I heard,
” Indy Center, Nxxxxx”.
“Go ahead, Nxxxxx, ” Indy Center responded.
“I want to declare an emergency. I am unable to maintain altitude, I want to land Parkersburg”
“What’s the problem,” queried Indy Center.
“I don’t have manifold pressure….I am losing engine power,” responded the pilot.
May Day is the prescribed distress signal that a pilot transmits in an emergency. It is the equivalent of SOS. Once uttered, air traffic control (ATC) will go to unlimited lengths to provide guidance, and help the pilot, and make any and all attempts to bring the pilot and passengers safely down. Another handy term is Pan Pan. If you are in trouble, but it is not life threatening, you can use Pan Pan. This conveys, to rescue…
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