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Questions tagged [emergency]

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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69 votes
14 answers
73k views

Why are commercial flights not equipped with parachutes for the passengers?

I understand that commercial flights are equipped with life vests. I also understand that most military jets are equipped with ejection seats. It may be costly and technically challenging to equip ...
Question Overflow's user avatar
34 votes
6 answers
25k views

How would an airplane land if the on-board radio breaks down?

Is there a special protocol for a situation where the on-board radio communication equipment suddenly breaks down? Would the pilot be able to land on a busy towered airfield or would they be forced to ...
JonathanReez's user avatar
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45 votes
6 answers
17k views

When are aircraft required to dump fuel for emergency landings?

I've heard that in a lot of instances a jet that is making an emergency landing is required to dump excess fuel. In a lot of instances this would make a lot of sense. For example, if the gear cannot ...
Jae Carr's user avatar
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36 votes
10 answers
6k views

Is it even remotely feasible to turnback a single engine aircraft with an engine failure?

Note before reading further that I'm asking this question purely on theoretical grounds, though you are more than welcome to talk about practical aspects as well. Now, my question. It's common ...
Qantas 94 Heavy's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
27k views

What is the descent rate in emergency situations?

I fly a plane at 40000 feet. There is a sudden depressurization; what is the maximum vertical speed I can keep to come back at a proper altitude? Is this speed different for different emergency ...
Gianni Alessandro's user avatar
32 votes
9 answers
7k views

What things can a passenger look out for, to indicate an emergency?

As a passenger with a keen interest in aviation, I'd like to think I'd be eagle-eyed enough to spot a problem that the pilots mightn't be able to see, from where they're sitting (for example, an ...
Danny Beckett's user avatar
43 votes
4 answers
9k views

Why is laser illumation of a cockpit an emergency?

Another answer pointed out that laser illumination of a cockpit may be considered an emergency, and that pilots may take evasive action when under laser illumination. Why is laser illumination ...
Adam Davis's user avatar
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33 votes
6 answers
90k views

If a typical passenger plane had total failure of all engines mid-flight, is it possible for passengers to survive?

I have pretty bad flying phobia and often wonder what would happen if all the engines on the craft went out at the same time. I initially had the anxiety-ridden thought that the hundreds of thousands ...
user avatar
28 votes
5 answers
40k views

When should the term "pan-pan" be used instead of "Mayday"?

FAAO JO 7110.65, §10-1-1 states that "pan-pan" can be used to indicate a state of urgency: a. An emergency can be either a Distress or an Urgency condition as defined in the "Pilot/...
Danny Beckett's user avatar
23 votes
2 answers
5k views

What happens to incoming flights when the airport shuts down?

In Die Hard 2 terrorists take over an airport's ILS and landing lights on a snowy night (visual landing is impossible) and start making threats essentially holding the planes hostage. The tower ...
ratchet freak's user avatar
17 votes
3 answers
3k views

What happens if a passenger dies mid-flight?

Last month (December 2014), there were news that a passenger passed away during a flight. As mentioned in this answer, it appears that it is not a very uncommon scenario. In an unfortunate incident ...
Farhan's user avatar
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14 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is it possible to fly a large aircraft inverted?

I am curious if the inverted plane in the movie Flight 2012 has anything to do with reality / emergency practices. And if it does, can you please explain the concept/ aerodynamics behind of it , or ...
blended's user avatar
  • 573
13 votes
7 answers
11k views

What is the Beggs/Mueller emergency spin recovery technique?

I've always used PARE for spin recovery: Power to idle Ailerons neutral Rudder opposite the spin until rotation stops Elevator forward to break the stall What is Beggs/Mueller emergency ...
rbp's user avatar
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32 votes
11 answers
37k views

If a helicopter's tail rotor fails, is it possible to perform an emergency landing?

In the event of a total failure of the tail rotor, is it possible to maneuver a helicopter to an emergency landing spot that is within, say, 30 minutes flying time? What are the maneuvers required ...
Krishnaraj Rao's user avatar
29 votes
10 answers
52k views

Can a plane fly without the vertical stabilizer?

What would happen if a plane (for the sake of the question let's say that the plane is an Airbus A380) lost its vertical stabilizer? https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:...
Gabriel Brito's user avatar
18 votes
4 answers
5k views

Do I have to declare an emergency if I cut into fuel reserves?

In another question, I wrote You only need to plan for regulatory reserves. You don't actually have to land with them and @Jan replied: you have to declare emergency if you do cut into them though ...
rbp's user avatar
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30 votes
2 answers
10k views

How is fuel dumped in aircraft?

I have heard incidents in which commercial aircraft are required to dump fuel in event of an emergency to avoid landing over maximum landing weight. What systems do aircraft have in place to dump fuel?...
shortstheory's user avatar
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26 votes
1 answer
5k views

Is there any emergency situation in which jet engines would not be shut down before passenger evacuation of a transport aircraft?

A comment to this answer discusses the possibility of evacuating passengers risking ingestion into the engines if evacuating over the leading edge of the wing. That particular question discusses the ...
user's user avatar
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16 votes
4 answers
3k views

Are there any known incidents of ejections by capsule? What are the survival chances?

One hears of many stories of ejection seats but rarely of ejection by capsule. Probably because seats are so much more common. So are there any known incidents of ejections by capsule? F-111 was one ...
curious_cat's user avatar
  • 8,446
16 votes
6 answers
5k views

What is the optimal bank angle to accomplish a given turn in a glide?

For an aircraft in a glide, what—if any—is the optimal bank angle to make a given turn while maximizing glide distance and maintaining published best glide speed? In other words, at a constant ...
J W's user avatar
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9 votes
1 answer
3k views

What is the Extent of the Emergency Authority of the Pilot-in-Command (FAA)?

When writing an answer to this question regarding flight deck access during flight, I mentioned the authority of the PIC to deviate from regs as necessary for safety purposes, citing the usual FAR, 14 ...
reirab's user avatar
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7 votes
5 answers
4k views

Could a plane land inside or on top of another plane in flight?

I'm sorry if this is a little fantastical, but I'm just wondering if this type of maneuver is possible in any way. I understand if this question gets pulled. I'm trying to make a little action-...
NormLDude's user avatar
  • 1,585
6 votes
1 answer
1k views

Why is the 737’s aileron/spoiler authority reduced at low flap settings?

According to the NTSB report on the crash of United Airlines Flight 585, the ability of the 737’s lateral controls (ailerons and flight spoilers) to counteract the rolling forces produced by (say) a ...
Vikki's user avatar
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6 votes
1 answer
3k views

What should a pilot do to perform a successful emergency water landing?

What should a pilot do to perform a successful emergency water landing, also known as ditching of a big commercial jet? Is there any checklist, or best practices, like "elevate the nose" or "retract ...
Gabriel Brito's user avatar
4 votes
2 answers
4k views

Is there a list of aircraft which squawked 7700?

Is there an accurate and updated list of aircraft which squawked 7700?
user avatar
3 votes
3 answers
2k views

Are there any cockpit indications when an engine has separated from the aircraft?

On this answer, there is a comment that asks if there is an alerting alarm of some sort when an engine falls off an airplane. Is there a direct alarm from the engines specifically saying "You lost an ...
SMS von der Tann's user avatar
47 votes
9 answers
176k views

What are the advantages of squawking 7700?

I was reading this question about how do pilots send distress signals in emergency scenarios, and that got me thinking... In voretaq7's answer, he states that there are three ways to send distress ...
Gabriel Brito's user avatar
39 votes
3 answers
45k views

Why are pilots deemed unfit to fly after emergency ejection?

There are many instances where pilots need to eject out of the cockpit due to emergency situations, and after such an ejection from some modern aircraft, pilots are deemed unfit to fly airplanes for ...
Victor Juliet's user avatar
37 votes
5 answers
11k views

What prevents a passenger from opening the emergency door on his own will, mid-flight?

I have never sat on the emergency seats near the wings, with the emergency exit. I have seen cabin crew instruct the passengers seated near the door on how to operate the door. My question, what ...
Firee's user avatar
  • 9,131
35 votes
4 answers
15k views

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 ...
user541686's user avatar
33 votes
2 answers
7k views

Why did the Swiss International Air LX40 (a 777-300ER) emergency land at Iqaluit airport?

Swiss International Air LX40 (a brand new 777-300ER) was en route from Zurich to LA on 1 Feb 2017 when one of the GE90 engines shut itself down because of data from its self-monitoring algorithms. ...
RoboKaren's user avatar
  • 8,071
31 votes
3 answers
9k views

Does air traffic control identify a distress situation when an aircraft flies triangles in the sky?

There is an account in a TSB Canada investigation report after a loss of radio and transponder: The emergency procedure to be followed by a pilot to alert radar stations when in distress and unable ...
mins's user avatar
  • 73.6k
25 votes
5 answers
11k views

Can civilian aircraft fly through or land in restricted airspace in an emergency?

This is a super hypothetical question of mine. I was wondering if civilian pilots who happened to be faced with a severe emergency could fly through or possibly request to land in restricted airspace? ...
TBBT's user avatar
  • 1,842
24 votes
6 answers
9k views

Do you have to explain what your emergency is?

Story Time: Let's assume, for the sake of the question, that you were piloting a twin engine plane and the right engine, out of the blue, shuts down. After realizing it you declare emergency, and ...
Gabriel Brito's user avatar
22 votes
6 answers
20k views

Is there a dedicated emergency frequency?

Coast patrol has a dedicated frequency for emergency that must be watched at almost all hours, and even if I recall, it had a "dead silent period" to prioritise whatever emergency might be reported. ...
ppp's user avatar
  • 1,415
21 votes
4 answers
7k views

What are the risks in landing on a beach vs. shallow waters?

I recently read a story where a pilot of a light aircraft died having attempted to land on a beach. Would it be potentially safer to try an emergency landing on a beach, or go for shallow waters of 6-...
aleister's user avatar
  • 311
20 votes
3 answers
7k views

What constitutes an "emergency" in flight procedures?

In reading through the more informal literature (Wikipedia, FAA PDFs, Av.SE), I often come across a caveat to standard flight rules and procedures: "unless an emergency exists". The intention is ...
KeithS's user avatar
  • 22.9k
20 votes
5 answers
6k views

Why did this Cirrus deploy the parachute while ditching over Pacific Ocean?

In this incident near Hawaii, a Cirrus SR22 had fuel problems and deployed its airframe parachute. My question is why did the pilot deploy the parachute rather than perform a "normal" ditching ...
Keegan's user avatar
  • 6,877
19 votes
5 answers
9k views

Was the miracle on the Hudson saved exclusively by the APU?

In the film Sully, (staring Tom Hanks) the APU is switched on straight after both engines rollback, why was this step necessary; Airbus said this was the "15th thing" to do on the checklist. How or ...
cmp's user avatar
  • 821
18 votes
2 answers
13k views

How is aircraft control positively transferred between pilot flying and pilot not-flying?

I am watching the video NTSB Animation Flight 1549 Hudson River Landing US Airways (Youtube) and at 0:36 in the video, after the bird strike, you see the following dialogue: ...
Cactus 1549's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
2k views

How do airports handle traffic during emergencies?

What does ATC do when there is an emergency? This could be a tower or an ARTCC being evacuated or otherwise unusable. How do they decide whether to close the airport/airspace? What do they do with ...
fooot's user avatar
  • 73.3k
17 votes
8 answers
9k views

What items could you bring on-board to maximise your chance of survival in an emergency?

A question on Travel (Are parachutes allowed on airplanes as cabin baggage?) got me to wondering: hypothetically, what items could the "über-paranoid" passenger or pilot bring on-board to potentially ...
Danny Beckett's user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
8k views

How common are emergency landings for airliners? Is there really more than one per day at Heathrow?

I've just found an article on one of Italy's most popular newspapers, the "Corriere della Sera", which states that emergency landings are far more common than is normally believed: according to it, at ...
Fabio says Reinstate Monica's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
3k views

Under what conditions are passengers required to take precautionary measures during refueling?

I was on a recent flight with a fuel emergency, during which the passengers were required to take precautionary measures. Under what circumstances are the precautionary measures mentioned below ...
dotancohen's user avatar
  • 6,357
15 votes
6 answers
4k views

What is the difference between a tire deflation and a tire explosion?

In this question, our intrepid former 747 pilot Terry mentioned, in the accepted answer, that: As I understand it, tires that dangerously overheat will explode before melting, and that's why ...
FreeMan's user avatar
  • 16.2k
14 votes
2 answers
4k views

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?...
lemonincider's user avatar
  • 7,565
14 votes
2 answers
15k views

If the landing gear is stuck in an airliner, can the crew go down and manually open it?

There are several instances where we see the landing gear getting stuck before landing. In these kind of situations, can the crew, or one of the pilots, go down to the landing gear area and solve the ...
Firee's user avatar
  • 9,131
11 votes
2 answers
6k views

Is there a maximum airspeed to deploy a ram air turbine?

Is there any airspeed limit for deploying a ram air turbine? Can airspeed be determined from the rate of its propeller rotation? Could that data be used to determine altitude?
Horizontal Vertikal's user avatar
11 votes
1 answer
1k views

In this 2nd brace position, should your head lean against the seat in front?

Air Crash Investigation: M1 Plane Crash (S14E01) motivated this question, the relevant timestamps for which I greened. Neither the audio or picture below (in which the hands are hiding the front of ...
user avatar
9 votes
4 answers
5k views

Are military jets always scrambled when communication to a commercial aircraft is lost?

I've heard that in case a commercial flight does not respond to Air Traffic Control, military jets would always be scrambled to check the state of the flight. The benefits of scrambling jets are ...
algiogia's user avatar
  • 210