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7

"Mayday, Mayday, Mayday" tells ATC (and everyone else on frequency) that you have an emergency, but it gives them exactly zero information about the nature of the emergency or what you need other than getting their attention and time on frequency. If you're in a portion of flight where you don't already have the attention of the controller, then adding "...


60

I'm a controller, not a pilot, so I can only speak from my own perspective. What we are taught in ATC school is that many pilots are reluctant to use the word mayday because they feel it might escalate a situation unnecessarily and potentially create a lot of paperwork. I guess, mentally, it seems like calling mayday is a significant, irreversible step ...


26

Saying mayday or pan-pan is only recommended, and repeating it three times is merely preferable. That statement applies to USA, and ICAO in general, by referencing both the AIM and AIP; and ICAO's Annex 10 Volume 2, respectively. Let's begin with the basic (from the linked AIP): A pilot who encounters a distress or urgency condition can obtain ...


1

Mayday is a protocol for "breaking in unannounced" you might say, or for broadcasting in the clear on an open frequency to whoever might hear you. So if you are flying around VFR and need to broadcast that your engine just quit, or are in an airliner on the North Atlantic Tracks out of ground based VHF and radar coverage, you use Mayday for sure. When you ...


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