I have recently been using a mobile app to track flights, which is really cool. I live in the rural heartland of America, so it's an event for me to see an A380 actually flying.

Every once in a while, a squawk 7700 alert will come up, which I understand is the emergency transponder code. There are more, such as 7600 and 7500, which I find are less common.

My question is, is there a way to do some post-mortem followup as to why the aircraft squawked the code? Is this public information that can be found by some agency such as the NTSB?

  • $\begingroup$ The Aviation Herald publishes some of these events. The FAA (and corresponding agencies) publish periodic summaries of these events as well (if they are reported). $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Apr 4, 2014 at 15:35
  • $\begingroup$ That would actually be a really good answer :) $\endgroup$
    – tyler
    Apr 4, 2014 at 15:37

2 Answers 2


This FAA webpage has a list of the various transponder codes and what they are used for, which will give you an idea of what the problem is. Unless there is an actual aircraft incident or accident which requires the FAA to investigate though, you won't be able to find a record of it. In fact, pilots aren't even required to file a report unless requested, and those don't go into a public database.

For actual incidents or accidents, you can look at the NTSB Accident Database & Synopses.

For pilot reports to the NASA ASRS self-reporting safety system, you can search their database. If the pilot filed a report then you will see it show up there.

Commonly used emergency codes are:

  • 7500 - Hijack Code
  • 7600 - Loss of Radio Communications Code
  • 7700 - Emergency Code

Also, some countries use the code 7000 for VFR traffic (which is not an emergency code), but the US uses 1200 instead.

  • 13
    $\begingroup$ I have seen a mnemonic for the emergency codes in the past. I do not recall where I saw it, and I don't know how common it is, but I found it helpful in remembering them: "75, taken alive; 76, caught a glitch; 77, going to heaven". $\endgroup$ Apr 4, 2014 at 20:35
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I know "75 - man with knife" $\endgroup$
    – Philipp
    Feb 17, 2015 at 0:12

An emergency requiring a Service Difficulty Report (SDR), generated by owner self-reporting or investigation results, is reported by tail number. If you know the number, or other equipment identifying attribute, you can search here.

For reports filed less than a week to 6 months after incident, FAA packages are published within a week. You can find these on this FAA data source.

  • $\begingroup$ I am not sure this answer the question. where are the squawk codes? $\endgroup$
    – Federico
    Apr 12, 2015 at 7:08
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I think it answers the question. He's saying to find out why, write down the tail number then search some time later. $\endgroup$
    – kevin
    Apr 12, 2015 at 7:33

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