61

When you are breathing, oxygen ($\mathrm{O}_2$) and carbon dioxide ($\mathrm{CO}_2$) are exchanged between the alveoli in your lungs and the environment. This gas exchange is based on diffusion, which means the partial pressures of each gas involved will move towards equalization: Henry’s law states that the amount of a specific gas that dissolves in a ...


41

To supplement Jimmy's answer, if they had to land right away, they could have; it just would've resulted in an overweight landing being recorded, and which on most airliners triggers a special inspection of the landing gear and its attaching structure, and if nothing is permanently bent or cracked or broken, you are good to go. An overweight landing in ...


34

Wake Island has had aircraft divert there before, as it serves as an ETOPS diversion airport. Per the remarks on AirNav and the NOTAMs: RSTD: VERY LIMITED OPERATIONS STATUS, AVBL FOR EMERG LDG AND MIN PRIORITY TFC. TRAN ALERT: SVCG FEES RQD. TRAN SVC HRS 2000-0400Z (0800L-1600L) TUE-SAT. CLSD SUN, MON, HOL. FUEL: FLIGHT CREW REQUIRED TO ASSIST ...


33

For the US, the FAA's Intercept Procedures list several things a pilot can indicate without radios: Acknowledge instructions: rock wings, flash nav lights Unable to land at indicated airport: flash landing lights Cannot comply: switch all lights on and off at regular intervals In distress: switch all lights on and off at irregular intervals


32

The answer is no, not totally, but it would really slow things down. I don't think anybody knows the precise answer because only flat water ditchings seem to result in the airplane stopping in the water in one piece (such as 1549 and a similar one in Malaysia) and flat water incidents (like Malaysia and some airport overruns) are usually in shallows where ...


30

ATC has successfully talked down folks with zero experience in GA planes, and if there's one thing you need to learn, it's how to call ATC so they can give you that help. Any pilot would be happy to teach you this, and it should only take a few minutes while you're sitting in the plane before departure. Anything you know beyond that will make ATC's help a ...


24

Where I work, we have to stay in the tower for 15 minutes after the last departure in case they need to return. To my knowledge, there are no international regulations about this, so the rules may well be different from place to place.


24

I think the characterization that it's "too heavy to land safely" is erroneous; the fuel burning is probably out of circumspection and to allow for a better safety margin. The runway length may also be beyond the landing field length and/or the brake energy limit of the heavy weight, so decreasing weight would add to the safety if immediate return to land is ...


23

Not just departures. Assume an emergency takes place en route, and that airport with the closed runway is the only one available within a big area. What now? There are two things to distinguish: Operating hours Temporary surface (runway) closure If the airport is already 24/7, the tower will remain staffed. If not, once the airport closes on schedule, ...


23

The situation in a high altitude depressurization is different because: The air in your lungs is now "FL500 air" - i.e. the pressure is about 0.1 atmosphere. This means that the partial pressure of O2 (ppO2) is about 0.021 atm, instead of 0.21 atm. Oxygen will rapidly diffuse out of your blood and into your lungs, and your brain will very soon not have ...


20

An interceptor can gain cooperation from an intercepted aircraft by means of a show of force ie forming up on the target’s 6 and 9 o clock position and attempting to contact them on the emergency radio channel. If the target remains unresponsive or refuses to comply, a fighter will often cut in front of its flight path in afterburner, causing the target ...


17

In theory, yes. In practice, no. FAA regulations (specifically, 14 CFR 25.801(d)) require that, under reasonable water-landing conditions, an airplane must remain afloat long enough for the occupants to evacuate. Most airplane manufacturers don't actually test the ditching performance of their aircraft, but instead rely on the clause of paragraph (c) to ...


17

Landing at a military base is not off limits to civilian aircraft but typically requires some pre-approval. In an emergency situation (and declared over the radio) most military facilities will be helpful. If you came diving in with out any radio announcements and on an apparent crash course the situation may not play out in your favor. But a stable glide in ...


15

Many years ago, I had an unexpected landing at a non-towered military base. I did not need fuel which made things easy. The base stored nuclear weapons, and we were escorted at all times, until we were able to depart. Security was annoyed, but polite. Since we did not leave the ramp, there was no paperwork that we needed, however we did provide the MPs ...


13

That's way too complicated a question. The best thing you can do is get MS Flight Simulator and learn to fly one of the light planes on it. It even has lessons in it. You can easily learn enough to survive the real deal if that ever happened and you had access to the controls. Instructors these day frequently get new students who've spent time with FSX ...


10

ICAO describes the following distress signals in Annex 2 (Rules of the Air): The following signals, used either together or separately, mean that grave and imminent danger threatens, and immediate assistance is requested: a) a signal made by radiotelegraphy or by any other signalling method consisting of the group SOS (. ...


10

The jet fighters could harass the small plane, to the point of making it very clear: You will not get much farther on this path! Note what happens when the F-14s fly under the Zeroes here: The Zeroes aren't waggling their wings. This is an upset - they are being flipped over by the wake vortex from the Tomcats. The ...


9

I would say talk some to the pilot before departure. If the pilot tells you anything that contradicts any of this, forget this and go with what the pilot tells you! They know the airplane far better than any stranger you'll find on the Internet. Ask them to point out the important controls; throttle, yoke or stick, elevator trim, and how to change the ...


9

The simple answer is no, there are no "subclassifications" of emergency or urgency calls in standard aviation phraseology. In terms of priority, they are all the same; however, in terms of actions taken, there can be differences based on what caused the aircraft in question to make the emergency or urgency call. There's mayday (emergency), pan-pan (urgency),...


8

In the USA, when an airplane is in the air, it is governed by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations, also known as the Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs). FAR 91.3(b) gives the pilot in command authorization to deviate from any flight rule necessary to meet an emergency: if that pilot needs to land on a road to meet an emergency, it is certainly legal ...


7

Let's assume you started exactly with ICAO minimum fuel required (as explained in What are the ICAO fuel reserve requirements?): Taxi fuel Let's assume you used all of it at your departure airport. Trip fuel Used for the flight to the destination airport. Contingency fuel Let's assume this was used in a holding pattern at the destination. Alternate fuel ...


6

The F-111 capsule was great and I always felt glad to have it, especially at high speed. However in my 8 years flying in it, I'm not sure that the ejections I knew about were much different statistically. The fatal outcomes were late, upside down in a rapid roll or otherwise outside the parameters and the successful ones were mostly okay with a few non-...


6

One example of a helicopter bailout that I am aware of was the ditching of a USAF Sikorsky HH-60G during the infamous "Perfect Storm." After several failed attempts to refuel from a tanker in the extreme weather the pilot decided to ditch. He hovered to allow the other occupants to bail out, but he was unable to bail out himself as the engines flamed out ...


6

« Some of the survival game involves factors passengers largely can't control, like the weather, flight crew skills, the design of airline seats and the construction, maintenance and age of the plane. But passengers themselves can do a lot to improve their chances of survival simply by making smart choices and being informed. »⁴ Things you can do: ...


6

I can imagine a couple of reasons why ATC could tell the pilots to please land somewhere else even if they have an emergency All runways are closed, e.g. they are repaving the runway surface or when the snow trucks haven't yet cleared a thick layer of snow or the instrument landing system is inop and the visual conditions are not good enough, runway flooded ...


6

In the U.S. at least, HADR doesn't launch aircraft until a crisis aka disaster has been identified, even if at launch they don't yet know if the problem is lack of potable water or civil unrest over rigged elections. An already flying commercial airliner won't have a glut of doctors and medicine unless it's been chartered for an already identified crisis, ...


6

I flew to Libya under humanitarian support in 2013 when there was a civil war going. We flew with the technician to operate cargo doors and one cabin crew to support us. We were carrying a cargo of medicine and food with Airbus A320. It may not be the complete answer of yours but we followed a special procedure as; Malta control was the closest and working ...


5

I think that in United Airlines Flight 232 Dennis E. Fitch did. While flying as a passenger on this flight, he actually was a certified flight instructor for the plane of that type so competent. Chances to find a type-rated ATP between the passengers who would fly as if nothing may look slim but they are not zero. It is statistically more probable to find a ...


5

Actually lost a tail rotor. On a UH-1 in 1971. Slung a blade, ripped off the gearbox, destroyed the driveshaft. Occurred at about 80 knots. Aircraft has a tendency to nose forward and obviously no yaw control. Control was very tenuous. Since you won't know exactly what's going on back there, suggest you autorotate. That's what I did. It was a normal ...


5

If you are in an emergency situation and think landing on a road is the safest option for everyone, you might as well do so. Usually grass areas or fields are preferred due to the fact that roads usually have more obstructions (traffic signs, street lights, bridges, cars,...) than fields, which might only have a fence or similar. Example: If you lose engine ...


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