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An emergency is any situation that threatens the safety of an aircraft, the people on board it, or people on the ground.

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Why is a plane escorted while in technical difficulties?

In a recent incident, where the pilots of an Embraer 190 lost control and started flying erraticly in Portugal, two fighter jets started escorting the troubled plane after the emergency was declared. ...
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Where to relocate a bomb on a plane to minimize damage?

In a video blog I saw today on the net, an airline Captain said: "if a bomb is found on board in-flight, pilots are trained to relocate it someplace where it would do the least damage" without further ...
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In a Practice Forced Landing (PFL), what are Low Key and High Key and how are their locations determined?

Please explain what are "low key" and "high key" in practice forced landings? Are they any particular locations with respect to the airfield? Are they the same for every aircraft? Will they change ...
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Do you need strong muscles as far as applying the yoke is concerned, in order to be able to deal with some emergencies?

In some of the plane accidents, the pilot had to use all his might to apply the yoke in certain direction to save the plane from imminent crash; in some cases even crew members had to help with the ...
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Is every emergency landing of a commercial flight documented?

A friend told me she was on a Royal Jordanian commercial flight in 2006 that had an emergency and was forced to land in a field in Greece. She said the final destination was supposed to be Italy, ...
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What components on a fully functional A-380 could fail in mid flight while still allowing the plane to land without loss of life? [closed]

I'm doing some research for a potential fan story in the Dresdenverse. Summary: a passenger is flying for the first time in an A-380. The A-380 is fully functional: it's the first flight after a ...
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4answers
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What do flight attendants do if a passenger asks what is going on in case of a potential emergency?

This is related to, but not the same as, another question I asked on Interpersonal Skills. I was on a flight last year, on a route I fly on a fairly frequent basis. Shortly after takeoff, I heard the ...
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1answer
220 views

What happens if an ATC tower is completely disabled? [duplicate]

What is the procedure for aircraft, if the ATC they were relying on to land, is, in some way, completely disabled? (for example there is a fire that destroys the whole building and all equipment). If ...
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On an engine failure, can I contact the tower instead of 121.5?

Let's say I am cruising at a very high altitude with my Cessna, like at 5000ft+ AGL, and I got an engine failure. After going through the checklist, my engine is still not working, but I realized ...
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1answer
138 views

Declaring an emergency - protocols for commercial aircraft

I am researching for a book and would like to know how a commercial aircraft would signal that his aircraft has an emergency. Not mechanical or violence, but possible biological contamination. ...
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0answers
83 views

Can Anyone Fly A Plane? [duplicate]

Have it ever happened that the flight attendants asked the most wanted and feared question of all flight-simmers out there: "Can Anyone Fly A Plane?" My question is for events when all the pilots was ...
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1answer
236 views

Should I monitor the emergency frequency (121.5 Mhz) at all times?

When flying on a plane with two or more radios, should I set the second radio to 121.5 at all times? (Assume I'm not using it to listen on other frequencies) I've heard that sometimes when an ...
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2answers
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In an emergency near a remote island is it better to land resulting in the airport closing or ditch in the water?

Consider a landing at a remote island (like Easter Island or perhaps one with a calm lagoon, like YLHI) in which the aircraft is likely to crash and close the airport. (For example a gear-up landing ...
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3answers
227 views

How to best recover from an excessive descent?

Suppose I found myself in a rapid, steep descent, perhaps right after breaking a spin. E.g. a 60 degree nose down with 100kt and accelerating rapidly, on a Cessna 172. What might be an ideal ...
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2answers
352 views

Could a civilian aircraft in distress land in Area 51? [duplicate]

Just curiosity, but in case of a real life-threatening emergency (where you can't fly to closest airport or strip), would they (Air Force, military or whoever) allow the plane to land on the Area 51 ...
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Why didn't NWA 85 request/receive fighter jet help with their mysterious rudder failure? [closed]

I recently watched a documentary about the Northwest Airlines Flight 85. The flight experienced a grave rudder malfunction when it was over the Bering Sea and had to turn back for an emergency landing ...
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3answers
399 views

What are the consequences of falsely and/or unnecessarily declaring an emergency?

I'm curious as to what would happen to a pilot should they falsely declare an emergency to expedite their landing. By 'falsely' or 'unnecessarily' I mean that the hypothetical pilot is not ...
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2answers
333 views

How do Airbus planes flare in normal operation?

In reading the reports and Sully's comments regarding the flight that was ditched in the famous events of US Airways Flight 1549, I am wondering how the Airbus control system works to flare an ...
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2answers
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Do pilots reject takeoff if aircraft doors are not properly locked down?

This particular incident, the pilot rejected takeoff "due to a aft door indication". My questions are: Is it a such serious situation so as to reject take-off? If the pilots had taken off, could the ...
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3answers
352 views

Flying VFR in uncontrolled airspace, what to do if one spots an apparently out-of-control fire on the ground?

Suppose I'm flying VFR in class G (uncontrolled) airspace, monitoring the local CTAF frequency while doing so. Maybe I'm alone in doing circuits around the local airport, or maybe I'm practicing ...
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1answer
159 views

What is the best glide speed for the DC-3 with 2 engines out?

What is the best glide speed for the DC-3 with 2 engines out? I realize we may consider best speed for ground distance traveled or best for duration - and that weight can be a factor. I can't find ...
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0answers
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What is happening with the Southwest Airlines fleet of B737s? [closed]

Another Southwest emergency landing today. Engines catching fire, fan blade separations, windshields cracking, resulting in emergency landings, casualties, and one fatality in just the last few ...
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3answers
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Could a plane land on specialized vehicles if its landing gear failed?

This (fake) video has stirred up a lot of questions online about whether such a scenario would be possible in reality - and the answer to those questions appears to be a resounding "No, that's very ...
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2answers
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Does MMO (limiting Mach number) assume any maneuvering limits?

This answer to a question about emergency descents notes: [Y]ou can accelerate descents by banking the aircraft into a turn. This allows you to increase angle of attack, thus increasing drag to ...
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1answer
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About how many aborted takeoffs are there each year in commercial aviation?

Watching this sim of a 777 engine failure on takeoffs got me wondering about RTOs, and how often they occur. The interest was further driven after reading a comment by N1755L that might underline ...
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3answers
273 views

Does it help to climb in case of a partial engine failure?

When the engines of a airplane show irregularities that do not reduce performance but indicate a possible failure of the engines, is it useful to climb to a higher level, to increase the glide length ...
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3answers
254 views

Do aircraft automatically send a message to the ground if there is a catastrophic failure?

For example, if there is a engine failure, it will be displayed on EICAS as a CAS message. As per my knowledge, the pilot will initiate the contact with any ground station nearby for guidance to land ...
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1answer
329 views

Why are emergency water landings the majority of the pre-flight safety briefing if they're so rare?

According to an article published in the New York Daily News a few months after the "Miracle on the Hudson", when US Airways flight 1549 safely landed (watered?) on the Hudson River to the survival of ...
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1answer
263 views

How can I use a window for an emergency exit?

A survivor of US-Bangla Airlines Flight 211 crash reports exiting out of a broken window. My question is, in case you need to break an airplane window, what is the best way to do that?
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Can regular emergency exits not work after crashlanding?

Live accounts of survivors of Bangla Air 211 mention getting out after breaking windows but not out of the emergency exits. My question is can regular airline exits not work in such cases?
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Can an aircraft be stalled at low altitude and safely land on water?

P.S Its just a random question...please consider the fact I have zero knowledge of aerodynamics of a plane.
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What would a pilot do if a medical emergency occurs slightly further from the destination than the nearest diversion?

Imagine a long-haul flight and that a passenger on board starts suffering from a heart attack. At that very moment, they notice that they are 3 hours away from where they came and 3.$m$ hours, such ...
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1answer
335 views

If a pilot's plane suddenly and unintentionally becomes inverted, what is the pilot's best course of action?

If a plane was suddenly inverted through no action of the pilot, say wake turbulence from a much large plane (think 747 vs. Learjet), should the pilot first try to right the plane or get the nose ...
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1answer
197 views

Are evacuation slides meant to be used as safety boats?

What are design considerations and usage procedures for these slides in case of some successful water landing? For instance, are they meant to be detached from the fuselage at some point? Or ...
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2answers
155 views

What construction standards are used to increase impact survivability of passengers in case of a crash landing?

There are several equations on the site about effectivity of passenger seats and restraints, and how beneficial they would be in case of a crash landing: This question about lack of shoulder ...
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1answer
562 views

Why is powering on the APU so low on the A320 emergency checklist?

In the movie Sully we have this section of dialogue He wasn't following proper procedure at all. And I know because I had the QRH in my hands. He switched on the APU immediately after engine ...
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4answers
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Why do airplanes use MAYDAY when in danger but ships send SOS?

I thought SOS means "save our souls", but apparently it doesn't. But ships send SOS when in danger and they used Morse code. Why do airplanes use MAYDAY?
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What is the purpose exactly of a ‘Control Check’?

I recently watched an Air Crash Investigation episode where Qantas flight 32 lost an engine shortly after takeoff. It was revealed that a stud pipe in a Rolls-Royce engine was made incorrectly, ...
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What criteria are used for exiting an airplane in an emergency?

I often see after a crash that people die unable to exit the aircraft. The news reports and passenger and safety organizations criticize the FAA for not having realistic emergency exit regulations. ...
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Why do the emergency oxygen masks for some 787 premium class seats have an extra 'streamer' to pull them down?

Specifically, on Norwegian 787s, you are briefed: "In economy seats, reach for your mask. In premium seats, pull the streamer for the mask to drop the full distance." (source) Now the ...
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1answer
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At a non-towered airport in the US, what should I do if I hear a medevac flight waiting to take off while I'm turning base?

I'm in the left downwind at my favorite non-towered airport. Just while I'm making the turn to base, I hear a radio call on CTAF: "Such-and-such Traffic, Medevac 123, holding short runway 31." They ...
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1answer
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How many landings per year are performed using the integrated standby instrument system?

Could you tell me how many landings are exclusively driven by Integrated Standby Instrument System or equivalent in the world per year ? Same question with "partially" using instead of "exclusively".
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Can a normal PASSENGER pilot a plane with no training? [duplicate]

This is an extreme question, but I am daring it because I want to. 😂 Situation : All pilots, officers, die. just say no crews can pilot a plane no former pilot in the passenger Only option is for ...
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2answers
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Is it standard procedure to unlatch the cockpit door before an emergency landing in a small aircraft?

I was watching an Air Safety Institute video called "Real Pilot Story: Cemetery Crash – A near-death experience with valuable lessons for all pilots." It discusses a situation where a 1958 Bonanza ...
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0answers
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What are the odds that I'm the next most qualified pilot on a given flight? [closed]

On a given flight, let's say a commercial flight with about 100 passengers and a few flight attendants, what are the odds that I (or any other individual) am the most qualified person to fly the plane,...
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How long does it take for pilots to become unconscious after an uncontrolled depressurization at FL 340?

I've just read a news article on the depressurization incident that happened today in Australia. How much time did the pilots have before they lose consciousness if they hadn't used their oxygen masks?...
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4answers
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Why can't you ditch your aircraft in the sea?

Disclosure: I'm just a random guy who knows nothing about aviation. :-) I read: A voice in my earphones was shouting: “Ditch the plane! Ditch it in the ocean!” It must have come from the ...
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1answer
569 views

Which rough proportion of pilots haven't declared an emergency?

I have met a few pilots who have flown all their lives without declaring an emergency. Pilots such as these are very rare. says a Civil Aviation Safety Inspector from Transport Canada, source ...
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What happens to en route flights when a major earthquake etc. destroys facilities?

Suppose you're flying a big plane in to an airport like Mexico City, already in final descent, when an earthquake strikes. Large cracks appear in the paved infrastructure catching some vehicles by ...
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1answer
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How is the emergency locator transmitter of the A320 fixed, activated and carried away?

I've some closely related questions about the emergency locator transmitter, ELT, the "distress beacon", on the Airbus A320. From this question about antennas on the A320: The ELT antenna seems ...