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Emergency Declaration  
User currently offlineFuturestar68 From Austria, joined May 2004, 235 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5468 times:

Hi guys,
yesterday, I was flying a C172 (G1000 equipped), I departed from KISM, destination was KSGJ. Approx. 15mins after take-off, the left screen started flickering and after a couple of minutes it failed completely. A few moments later, the second screen startet flickering and dimming, but didn't fail. Additionally, I and my passengers (both are working on their private licenses) smelt something like burning electronics or something similar, I couldn't say what it was, it just smelt like ... So I (P.I.C.) decided do divert do KDAB, where we landed safely approx. 30 mins after departure from KISM. I didn't declare an emergency, but I let ATC know that we are having problems with our technical equipment and that we need to divert.

What do you guys think - would you declare an emergency in that or a similar situation?

What are the consequences of declaring an emergency? paperwork?

Appreciate all answers, enjoy your day!

martin

28 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFlybyguy From United States of America, joined Jun 2004, 1801 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 5434 times:

I think you were probably right in informing ATC of your situation... I wouldn't have declared an emergency in your situation unless instruments were out in IFR conditions. I'm not sure how you were trained, but I was trained to declare an emergency if in my best judgment there was imminent danger to aircraft or passenger... i.e. engine out, low fuel, fire, medical emergency etc.

Your situation might have been a "Pan Pan" situation as opposed to the emergency "Mayday Mayday"... much like if you took your best bud up flying and he ended up puking all over himself and the controls. An instructor of mine had that unfortunate situation happen to him and it kept one of our 152s grounded for a week with the doors opened to get the smell out.



"Are you a pretender... or a thoroughbred?!" - Professor Matt Miller
User currently offlineDingDong From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 661 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 11 hours ago) and read 5356 times:



Quoting Futurestar68 (Thread starter):
What do you guys think - would you declare an emergency in that or a similar situation?

Well, for the situation that is already done with, and had a happy ending... glad to hear.

What would I have done had I been in your shoes? I probably would have had taken the more conservative route of declaring an emergency or a Pan Pan. Why? Because burning smell could be either a false alarm or it could indicate a small fire breaking out in an area you can't see, with potential to eventually become large and burning through control cables or other key components. Or the smoke (after fire breaks out) could have obscured vision or incapacitated the PIC and other occupants THEN you'd have had loss of control at a bad time (while in the air).

You just don't know, in the heat of the moment, and don't have benefit of hindsight or being on terra firma at that moment. It's very much a judgement call. Better to be a little too cautious and be proven wrong in the end than to not be sufficiently cautious and risk ending up in the hospital or taking a dirt nap is the way I look at it. But no matter what, always keep a clear head (which you did).

I've read too many NTSB accident reports in which a GA pilot lets a situation spiral out of control before finally calling for an emergency [if at all] when it's too late and beyond the point of no return.

It's still a judgement call, though. You, as PIC, made a choice, got yourself, your passengers, and the aircraft down safely. Good job! bigthumbsup 

(Another option might have to been to pull the circuit breaker for the bus feeding power to the left LCD -- to remove power, potentially stopping the smell and any burning. But when you're smelling potential electrical burning, that might be a risky proposition because doing this has some small potential for unintentionally causing arcing. This might be a good time to become familiar with which CBs feeds which systems.)



DingDong, honey, please answer the doorbell!
User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5094 times:

I have to concur with DingDong, in that the better, more conservative course of action would have been to declare. There can can sometimes be a tendency to downplay malfunctions and not declare, and whether it's due to over confidence, self-deception, or an un-natural fear of post-landing FAA involvement and paperwork, none of those change the original situation that one finds themselves in.

If something goes "PFFT!" and it's accompanied by a burning electrical smell, it's obviously abnormal, but the critical thing is that one doesn't know (absolutely) how bad the malfunction chain is going to progress. Fire? Lost comm? Smoke in the cockpit that obscures vision or that incapacitates? Just MHO, but I think one is better off declaring (while one can) rather than not, and risking the situation deteriorating further and putting one behind the 8-ball later with fewer (if any) options.


User currently offlineSandroZRH From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 3428 posts, RR: 50
Reply 4, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 5088 times:

Usually the consequences are some paperwork, maybe a visit at the chief pilots office (not in your case of course), and if something happens, and investigation by the authorities (which would take place wether or not you had declared an emergency).

I guess every flight school and/or airline handles this differently, but in general, we at LX are trained to rather declare an emergency if in doubt than letting it be, because it will certainly guarantee the attention of air traffic control, aircraft in the vicinity and services on the ground. I personally would rather fill out the paperwork of a declared emergency that was probably not "necessary" than flying an aircraft in a state of emergency without having ATC know, btu again, thats my personal opinion formed with my very limited experience and classroom work at school. What I'm trying to say is that declaring an emergency doesnt "hurt" anybody, but ATC and other personnel are alarmed and ready if a real emergency develops.

In the end, as I said, opinions and procedures vary, and since nothing happened, you acted the right way.

[Edited 2009-04-13 06:10:32]

User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21552 posts, RR: 55
Reply 5, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 4909 times:



Quoting Futurestar68 (Thread starter):
What do you guys think - would you declare an emergency in that or a similar situation?

I probably would have. First of all, you had the burning smell, and that's something that I'd want fire service for when I got on the ground. Electrical fires can be nasty. Secondly, if you lost both G1000 screens, it would affect your navigation and communication capabilities, and so I'd want ATC to know about that possibility.

Of course, you could have requested both those things without actually declaring an emergency, so what you did isn't incorrect. In fact, ATC's policy is to treat the situation like an emergency if they think it's one, even if the pilot doesn't declare. But it never hurts to take the more conservative course of action.

Quoting Futurestar68 (Thread starter):
What are the consequences of declaring an emergency? paperwork?

In your case, probably not even that. Just because you declare an emergency doesn't mean that the world is coming to an end. You might have been asked to fill out a report, but remember that it means extra work for ATC as well, so they have a certain amount of incentive not to request one.

What I would do, however, is fill out a NASA report - this will cover you in the VERY unlikely event that the FAA decided to come after you for something. I can't see why they would, since as far as I can tell your actions were 100% appropriate. But it is the FAA, so....

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 6, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 3 days ago) and read 4804 times:



Quoting Mir (Reply 5):
remember that it means extra work for ATC as well, so they have a certain amount of incentive not to request one.

The paperwork for ATC would be done by the QA office at the facility in most cases, which doesn' t require the controller working the aircraft to usually do more than write a statement of the events, end of story. It is that simple and has nothing to do with incentives to not declare an emergency for the aircraft. I will not even have a second thought as a controller about handling the aircraft as an emergency even if the pilot never knows how they are being handled right up to the time I'm asking for souls on board and fuel.

Quoting Mir (Reply 5):
In fact, ATC's policy is to treat the situation like an emergency if they think it's one, even if the pilot doesn't declare.

 bigthumbsup 

I'd much rather see the equipment in a stand-by mode when I land just in case I did have a fire of some sort, conservative is the only way to act in MHO.



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineFuturestar68 From Austria, joined May 2004, 235 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 4637 times:

Hey guys,

I talked to my old flight instructor who did my instrument rating with me about that situation and about declaring emergencies.

He said that he would never ever declare an emergency unless it is a situation which is really life-threatening. He also stated that declaring an emergency means much paperwork after the landing, fire trucks along the runway and absolute priority (ATC), as well as an investigation by NTSB. If they (FAA, NTSB, ...) find out that declaring an emergency was absolutely not necessary (e.g. the pilot just didn't do a thing that could have solved the biggest problem) or if they don't smell anything after landing, allthough people onboard did indeed smell it, they could even take one's licence away for declaring an emergency for close to zero reasons.

That kind of is the reason for people not to declare emergencies i guess? is it really that strict? I mean, I, as the pilot, just don't know what's really going on at places that I'm not able to see and the smell could indeed be an indication for a fire...

I for myself think that once one really smells anything, the smell is an indication for something, whatever it may be, and which could leed to a fire, you don't know, just not seeing a fire doesn't mean that there is no fire. So in that case it would probably be good to have assistance on the ground, just in the case that the fire breaks out once you are on the ground... how often did that happen that a fire broke out and worse things happened just because the firetrucks were like 2 minutes too late? ...

anyway, I think I did the right thing in informing ATC about it and diverting to this airport, but I'm still not sure if this situation would have justified the declaration of an emergency, I don't want the FAA to take my licence away because it turns out that there was just a little malfunction of something...


User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1793 posts, RR: 18
Reply 8, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4593 times:

Read the incident report of the Avianca B. 707 that crashed near JFK about 10 years ago. The copilot failed to make ATC understand that the aircraft was running short on fuel until eventually the engines flamed out and the aircraft crashed. Instead of declaring an emergency he simply kept requesting ATC to give their flight 'priority handling'. During the investigation the question was raised as to why the pilot hadn't declared an emergency. The report concluded that probably the copilot was reluctant for fear of the consequences of an investigation following the declaration of an emergency.

User currently offlineMandala499 From Indonesia, joined Aug 2001, 6836 posts, RR: 75
Reply 9, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 21 hours ago) and read 4533 times:



Quoting Futurestar68 (Thread starter):
So I (P.I.C.) decided do divert do KDAB, where we landed safely approx. 30 mins after departure from KISM. I didn't declare an emergency, but I let ATC know that we are having problems with our technical equipment and that we need to divert.

At least you notified the ATC... and I hope you got the right response from ATC in that he/she understands your situation... that's the bare minimum... so if you declare a PAN or a MAYDAY, they wouldn't be in the dark until that moment. However, if you had been transferred into another ATCO then you could be back to square 1. A PAN would prevent that.

I had once declared a PAN on an IFR flight (had to hold altitude coz the fuel tank cap blew off) and had to RTB.... lucky we made the call, otherwise we would have ended up with a near miss and probably spun out of control in the wake of an MD80 on descent on crossing paths...

Did company flight following several times and there were a few occasions when the instruments in the plane would just go "NUTS"... the PIC just informed the situation to the ATC, requested a return, and if there was traffic, he would call PAN... ATC said no need and thanked for the info, and he was free to "upgrade" to PAN or MAYDAY if the situation worsened.

All in all, it depends on the situation and your judgement at the time... each case would be different. At least you didn't hide the fact that there was a problem and let someone know about it...

Just my 2 cent's worth...

Quoting Flybyguy (Reply 1):
Your situation might have been a "Pan Pan" situation as opposed to the emergency "Mayday Mayday"... much like if you took your best bud up flying and he ended up puking all over himself and the controls. An instructor of mine had that unfortunate situation happen to him and it kept one of our 152s grounded for a week with the doors opened to get the smell out.

Had that once! We ran out of airsick bags on a 402 and 2 of the guys on board still needed to puke more... PAN or no PAN? The stench in the aircraft was horrendous that almost caused the 2 pilots to puke themselves... the PIC had the sense of humour to ask the ATC whether he needed to call PAN (since we needed to go back to an airport that's shared by the military, who "normally" gets priority)... the ATC just laughed, said no need for PAN, and gave us direct to and high speed... the first thing we did after slowing down, open the friggin' storm window! I lost my appetite until the evening though!

Mandala499



When losing situational awareness, pray Cumulus Granitus isn't nearby !
User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6369 posts, RR: 3
Reply 10, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 4481 times:



Quoting Futurestar68 (Thread starter):
I didn't declare an emergency, but I let ATC know that we are having problems with our technical equipment and that we need to divert.

In fact, on an IFR flight, you are required to report any instrumentation failures to ATC. Good move on your part  bigthumbsup 

Quoting Futurestar68 (Thread starter):
What do you guys think - would you declare an emergency in that or a similar situation?

If I were VFR, I would have tried shutting the avionics master switch off first, since whatever was happening was obviously electrical in nature. This is where a handheld transceiver comes in-something that, IMHO, no one flying a GA plane should be without.

IFR, of course, this would have definitely been a full blown emergency, as your nav and situational awareness would have been severely compromized. Not a bring out the fire trucks emergency, but a get me safely out of the clouds emergency.

I also might have been reaching for the fire extinguisher, just in case...always know where that is on any bird you fly!  twocents 

Don't forget the emergency checklists, either-that's why they're there. After all, the manufacturer does know lots of things about the bird that you don't.

Quoting Futurestar68 (Thread starter):
What are the consequences of declaring an emergency? paperwork?

Remember part 91-you, Captain (and all of us who hold a pilot's license are one of those, even if it is just a private pilot's license) are solely responsible for the safe outcome of any flight that you engage in. Do what you need to to get the bird and everyone on board down safely. Worry about the paperwork after you're on the ground. The worst that can happen is that ATC or the administrator can request that you write up a report within 48 hours if you declare an emergency.

What does declaring an emergency do for you? It gives you priority #1 over all other air traffic, if you need it, and it allows you to step outside the normal restrictions (all the part 91 regs) that we are held to on a regular flight. If you need either one of those, time to say the magic words on the radio.

I'm not going to try and armchair this one, because I haven't been there and done that. Sounds like you handled things well, after all, no one is reading an accident report and your friends are all safe and sound...



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlineADent From United States of America, joined Dec 2006, 1368 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 4387 times:

Remember the NASCAR crash from 2007 ( http://www.blnz.com/news/2009/01/28/...olated_regulations_plane_5130.html ). Flying from Daytona to Lakeland.

Electrical fire in weather radar killed everyone on board and 3 on the ground. So while it turned out to be OK, it has killed before and in my mind as an arm chair pilot could have justified a PAN or Emergency.

I probably would have pulled the circuit breakers and disabled the G1000 though and not go for an emergency if the smoke/smell stopped - esp if daytime VFR.


User currently offlinePilotaydin From Turkey, joined Sep 2004, 2539 posts, RR: 51
Reply 12, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 4352 times:

Remember this...there is VFR and IFR, these are not the same as VMC and IMC....

one of the important things for declaring an emergency is where ya are...
if there is heavy GROUND traffic and AIR traffic, it's going to take longer to arange stuff, to get you in...so think about everything....
also, you will never find a rule that tells you when and when not to declare a 7700....if you ask me, icing could be an emergency when you cant really control your a/c....it doesn't come in any shape or form...people are too fixed on fires, heart attacks and engine outs...there are a CRAP load of emergency situations i could list out for you right now...

here is one i used to tell my students...if something happens on the airplane, and you find urself uneasy or you find urself REACTING with a whoa! or a hmm, or a what the....
then you're probably heading for an emergency situation in some way or form...
a small cable fire can hurt your flight controls, or even poison you into not flying the plane....anything is possible...the system is set up to host most emergencies...and the guys on the ground always get a kick out of flicking the lights on  Smile



The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
User currently offlineXdlx From United States of America, joined Aug 2008, 635 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3324 times:



Quoting Futurestar68 (Thread starter):

Great real life experience! ... Congratulations!

Never allow the thought of "paperwork" interfere with the decision making process.

Checklist discipline is the most important thing to learn.... IIRC in both "CABIN FIRE"
or "ELECTRICAL FIRE" sections the first two items are MASTER OFF, AVIONICS OFF.

You described a "smell" and the continued operation of the Avionics suite, ' when the
PFD failed but the MFD only flickered but did not fail... !
Again I think your handling of the situation was spot on, with the obvious outcome. But keep
in mind that .30min of flight with an electrical malfunction is an eternity. If nothing else
remember the phrase "Checklist Discipline" it will serve you well as you move to more advanced
aircraft.

Congratulations AGAIN !


User currently offlineFuturestar68 From Austria, joined May 2004, 235 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3306 times:

Thank you guys for all your answers... sorry that I didn't make clear what time and which flight rules... it happened at night and I was flying IFR (but weather was VMC)... hope that explains a littlebit... thank you

User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21552 posts, RR: 55
Reply 15, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 3224 times:



Quoting Futurestar68 (Reply 7):
I talked to my old flight instructor who did my instrument rating with me about that situation and about declaring emergencies.

He said that he would never ever declare an emergency unless it is a situation which is really life-threatening. He also stated that declaring an emergency means much paperwork after the landing, fire trucks along the runway and absolute priority (ATC), as well as an investigation by NTSB. If they (FAA, NTSB, ...) find out that declaring an emergency was absolutely not necessary (e.g. the pilot just didn't do a thing that could have solved the biggest problem) or if they don't smell anything after landing, allthough people onboard did indeed smell it, they could even take one's licence away for declaring an emergency for close to zero reasons.

With all due respect to your former instructor, that statement doesn't make sense. What does he mean by "really life-threatening"? So if the situation is just sort of life-threatening, an emergency should not be declared? What about life-threatening but not really life-threatening?

Yes, if you declare emergency because you don't feel like waiting in line to land, you can expect to hear it from the FAA. But as long as the reason is at least a bit legitimate (which yours was - for all you know, you could have had a fire on your airplane), there is nothing wrong with declaring the emergency. Letting fear about certificate action prevent you from using all the resources you need to keep you safe is not good airmanship.

And if the FAA does want to come after you, that's what the NASA report is for.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineShmax525 From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 13 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2994 times:

I would have done the same thing in that situation. You were correct to divert immediately and to inform ATC of your situation. My attention would have been focused on the burning smell. In that situation electrical fire would have been my biggest concern. An electrical fire is a whole different set of issues. I wouldn't have declared an emergency unless an electrical fire broke out... My judgment might be slanted though because i fly training aircraft that love to break on us so you learn to prioritize  Smile


Airspeed, altitude or brains: Two are always needed to successfully complete the flight
User currently offlineDispatchguy From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 1249 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2954 times:



Quoting DingDong (Reply 2):
Because burning smell could be either a false alarm or it could indicate a small fire breaking out in an area you can't see, with potential to eventually become large and burning through control cables or other key components. Or the smoke (after fire breaks out) could have obscured vision or incapacitated the PIC and other occupants THEN you'd have had loss of control at a bad time (while in the air).

As a dispatcher, I have declared an emergency on a flight, and notified ATC before talking to the crew, but I knew when I would be able to talk to the crew, they wouldve agreed.

I also agree with OPNL, that smoke smell is a warning, get me down NOW. If you are familiar enough with your systems to pull a breaker just ONCE, if the smell goes away, good deal. If it doesnt, you have a bigger problem.

I would NEVER let the problem of paperwork clutter my judgment on when to declare an emergency, it shouldnt be a part of the decision making tree. Declaring is a judgment issue, and if you, with admittedly little experience, felt that the E-word is the way to go, then by God do it.

Quoting Mir (Reply 15):
But as long as the reason is at least a bit legitimate (which yours was - for all you know, you could have had a fire on your airplane), there is nothing wrong with declaring the emergency. Letting fear about certificate action prevent you from using all the resources you need to keep you safe is not good airmanship.

I agree 10000%. Declare when you have to, the small amount of paperwork then pales in comparison to the paperwork if you become a smoking hole in the dirt. It is a tool, and when you need it - USE IT.



Nobody screws you better than an airline job!
User currently offlineLincoln From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 3887 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2827 times:

Quoting SandroZRH (Reply 4):
because it will certainly guarantee the attention of air traffic control, aircraft in the vicinity and services on the ground.

I read an interview few years ago from someone -- I want to say it was the Al Haynes, the captain of UA232 (the Souix City DC-10 uncontained engine failure/crash) that I finally found again after after about 20 minutes of Googling I finally found it (The full text is much longer and can be found at http://www.clear-prop.org/aviation/haynes.html, but this is the part I was thinking of, and I think it bears repeating here:

"When we declared an emergency, which Bill did, the copilot, Bill ?? declared an emergency, everything stopped on the ground. Everything went to us. They cleared the frequency for us, they gave us all the help they could get.

I don't know how many light airplane pilots you have here today, but I've talked to several groups of several pilots, and this one you can pass on Mary, they're afraid to say anything, they don't like to declare an emergency, they're afraid their' going to cause some problems or something like that. And they said to me, well, you have all these resources of United Airlines at your disposal, and the center, and all this. So do you Three words: I'm declaring an emergency, and you've got it. All the help you want. You've got American Airline's maintenance facility, United maintenance facility, if you stay in the air long enough, they'll patch you through to them, and you can talk to them. So you've got all kinds of help, if you just do that.

Now, if you do that, and then land, and nothing happens, you've got a lot of reports to fill out, and you're going to have a lot of airline pilots that are upset at you, especially at a place like Chicago, because they're out holding, while they're getting you on the ground. And you'll probably hear about it. But in truth, and when I've said this, the pilots, yeah, they shake their heads, yeah, they're going to complain, but they're really glad you made it, and they're very happy you're able to use the services available to you. So communicate with the ground, tell them your problem, and they'll help you. They really will."


That's a very powerful resource (or resources)...

Lincoln

[Edited 2009-04-13 18:47:25]


CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
User currently offlineJeffbart33 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 37 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 2607 times:



Quoting Mir (Reply 15):
And if the FAA does want to come after you, that's what the NASA report is for.

-Mir

Evening Mir,

What is the NASA report? Curious.



Regards, Jeff.
User currently offlineKellmark From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 691 posts, RR: 8
Reply 20, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 2463 times:

I think you didn't take it seriously enough. The initial PFD failure was cause for concern, then the MFD is also acting up. But the kicker is the burning smell. Turn off the avionics. Pull all the breakers you can, including the master if you have to, and put the airplane on the ground immediately. You say you were going from Kissimmee to St Augustine and wound up landing at Daytona Beach after 30 minutes of flight. Good move in not continuing. But remember that the closest airport may be behind you. You may have passed Sanford or Deland while going to Daytona.

As others have said, this is also a good reason to carry a back up radio. Even a cell phone can be used sometimes to call an ATC facility. It has been done by other pilots in an emergency.

Note the Swissair MD11 that delayed landing to dump fuel before it crashed off the coast of Canada. Smell of burning, can develop to smoke in the cockpit and develop into something much worse. And it can happen very quickly. It can incapacitate the pilot as well.

In my book it definitely warranted an emergency. Any kind of major electrical problem with a burning smell warrants declaring an emergency.

Don't worry about the paperwork. That is a ridiculous reason not to declare an emergency. It can help save your life and the lives of your passengers by giving you all the help available.

You can always explain what happened later. No one would question your judgment in declaring an emergency given these circumstances.


User currently offlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21552 posts, RR: 55
Reply 21, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 1976 times:



Quoting Jeffbart33 (Reply 19):
What is the NASA report?

It's a form that pilots can fill out to report incidents. Basic description: in an effort to improve air safety, NASA tries to gather data about things that go wrong in flight (both pilot error and otherwise), so that the causes can be analyzed, and hopefully addressed. In addition, the reports are published to the public (with any information that could identify the pilot removed), so that other pilots can read them and learn from the experience of others. But in order to have a free flow of information, there has to be protection for those that report things - nobody would admit their mistakes if they knew it would open themselves up to the wrath of the FAA. Therefore, filing an ASRS report (commonly known as a NASA report) will give you immunity from any certificate action that the FAA would want to take - the exceptions being if criminal activity took place or if an accident occurred.

Basically, it's a way for pilots to say "I screwed up, and this is how I will make sure it never happens again" without risking their certificates. But it can also be used to report occurrences like this one where there doesn't seem to be a mistake that was made - you never know who might read the report and learn something about how to treat screen failures in a glass cockpit.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlineBrettdespain From United States of America, joined May 2005, 178 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 13 hours ago) and read 1936 times:

"Chapter 6. Emergency Procedures

Section 1. General

6-1-1. Pilot Responsibility and Authority

a. The pilot-in-command of an aircraft is directly responsible for and is the final authority as to the operation of that aircraft." - Airman's Information Manual (AIM)

I wouldn't have given 2 seconds thought about it - I would have declared an emergency. You've got a complete failure of a flight instrument - IFR or VFR doesn't matter. The real kicker is that burning smell followed by the flickering of the second instrument.

Often times in aviation we talk about "breaking the chain" of events that led to a disaster or accident. What if this burning smell (ie. fire) had progressed to complete electrical failure? Now you'd have to follow radio out procedures and you would most certainly be an emergency aircraft then. If that had happened you'd be thanking your lucky stars that you had already declared an emergency, were receiving priority handling and the fire trucks were standing by before your radios went out. And that someone on the ground knew in advance that you may be on fire when you land.

Gladly, none of this happened. But we don't prepare for best case scenarios in aviation, we prepare for the worst. Most major airlines are very conservative in dealing with "burning smells", especially after Swissair 111. My airline ops call for me to Land as soon as conditions permit even if we have the slightest inclination that something may have been on fire or burning. Especially if we can't identify the source of the burning smell.

Had you declared an emergency, I'm not convinced you'd have to do any paperwork or talk with the NTSB. If so, so what? Better alive doing paper work then dead and not.



V1...Rotate.
User currently offlineAdam42185 From United States of America, joined Dec 2005, 413 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1696 times:



Quoting Mir (Reply 21):

I remember learning about this in class and thinking what a great system that is in order to get as much information out there. I have not filled out a NASA report, nor had any reason to, but if I ever were to have a reason I most certainly would if not to add to the wealth of information but also for legal safety.


User currently offlineDingDong From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 661 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (5 years 4 months 1 week 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 1626 times:



Quoting Jeffbart33 (Reply 19):
What is the NASA report? Curious.

Mir covered it well; it's the NASA ASRS (Aviation Safety Reporting System) form for U.S. aviation -- both commercial and general aviation:

http://asrs.arc.nasa.gov/

It's essentially a 'get out of jail free' card for accidental violations that aren't serious enough to warrant formal action by the FAA or NTSB such as a certificate suspension or revocation.

The program was designed this way in order to solicit valuable insight from pilots into how accidents occurs -- so that the FAA could design better implemented programs or policies to break the accident chain before it ends up in an accident.

ASRS data is extremely interesting reading and sometimes a bit chilling. But immensely valuable for all of us in aviation, including passengers who directly benefits from the improved safety measures put in place as a result of the ASRS data.



DingDong, honey, please answer the doorbell!
25 Kellmark : Something that has come up in this thread deserves another comment. Some say not to declare an emergency because the FAA or NTSB may get involved and
26 ThirtyEcho : Don't wait around for flames to start licking up your pants legs. Declare an emergency and tell ATC why. Then, tell them where you are going, souls an
27 Futurestar68 : I did the preflight according to the checklist, we were 3 passengers onboard the C172 SP, no luggage, full tanks. Also the taxi and pre-takeoff check
28 Mir : I have no idea why they would say that - it makes no sense. If you think you need the extra help, declare the emergency. Simple as that. You did do a
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