Sponsor Message:
Aviation Technical / Operations Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Emergency If Flying VFR  
User currently offlineJoffie From Australia, joined Mar 2006, 812 posts, RR: 2
Posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1857 times:

Hi all

3 years ago, I used to fly with my family in a Pa28-121 Piper Warrior from A small airport with no ATC, only unicom.
We would remain on this frequency at all times whilst giving way to other A/C. As this was usually quiet airspace we would tune into the Melbourne ATIS then back to Unicom.

Question is: IF the PIC has a stroke, or requires medical assistance on the ground how would we get help to meet us on the ground? Would you tune into the centre and speak to ATC?

Also the same if there is a engine fire and must commence an emergency landing.

Thanks

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineSoku39 From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 1797 posts, RR: 9
Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 1850 times:

I would personaly use a cell phone. You could call direct to emergency services, instead of wasting time with ATC (you do know the exact status of everything actualy being there). I always carry that as a backup to your radios (but memorize the light gun signals), but that is just what I would do.

If an engine fire you're going to want to get it down as soon as possible, and that may be a field where there are no immediate emergency services. When it's down, get out, get the extinguisher and do your best, and again call somebody. You're more important than the plane.



The Ohio Player
User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 6
Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1843 times:

Wasting time with ATC? They can probably get you medical assistance faster than 911 can.


09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4491 posts, RR: 21
Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 1841 times:

Quoting Soku39 (Reply 1):
I would personaly use a cell phone. You could call direct to emergency services, instead of wasting time with ATC (you do know the exact status of everything actualy being there). I always carry that as a backup to your radios (but memorize the light gun signals), but that is just what I would do.

Umm, I'm definitely going with a "No" on that one.

1) No guaranteed reception
2) Run the risk of picking up some podunk 911 call center that won't know where to send you
3) It's just pretty darn hard to communicate in a light aircraft on a cell phone
4) etc etc etc

Tune 121.5 on the radio and tell someone your situation. It's universally monitored not only by ATC but the military as well. That's the best way to get fast help with ambulances going exactly where you are, getting the best trained help, etc.



I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offline727EMflyer From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 547 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1831 times:

Like Jbird' said above, 121.5 is the preffered way to get help since everyone is monitoring it. There arel always other options though! Any ATC facility that you can contact can provide the help you need, so even if you are flying VFR in the vicinity of a controlled airport, you can go straight to their frequency to save yourself a freq change. Likewise, other support facilities will provide help. Flight service stations are always there and even that UNICOM you said you were talking on... UNICOM has someone on the ground listening to the radio, otherwise it would be a CTAF.

User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1805 times:

Just because I'm flying VFR does not mean I'm not in contact with ATC, either. Around here, there are a Class B airport, a Class C airport within 50 NM, 3 Air Force bases, an old nuclear weapons plant, 3 professional sports arenas, and a host of other VFR traffic, just to name a few! Nine times out of 10, when I want to fly up North somewhere, I'll tune in Denver Approach and get cleared through the Class B. They're happy to do it if I am professional and responsive on the radio, and there's much less traffic inside the Class B at lower altitudes than outside of it.

It's true that most ATC facilities monitor 121.5. Other airplanes do, too; airliners with their hundreds of radios often leave one tuned in to "Guard" to listen for ELTs and other interesting stuff. However, if I had recently departed a Class D airport for example, or was just monitoring an approach frequency to get a handle on other traffic but not yet actually in contact with them, I wouldn't waste time switching my radio. A simple "MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY" will shut everyone up and give me highest priority.

The other very important thing is to set the correct transponder code. As I was keying the mike with the left hand, I'd be setting 7700 with the right. Then, every civilian and military controller with radar coverage in my area will get a big bright blip on their screen, clearly identifying exactly where I'm located.



Position and hold
User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4491 posts, RR: 21
Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 1798 times:

Quoting Bri2k1 (Reply 5):
The other very important thing is to set the correct transponder code. As I was keying the mike with the left hand, I'd be setting 7700 with the right. Then, every civilian and military controller with radar coverage in my area will get a big bright blip on their screen, clearly identifying exactly where I'm located.

Definitely true as well.

If I had to pick one or the other, though, I'd probably pick calling up 121.5 first. They'll be able to assist you in squawking 7700 then.



I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 19 hours ago) and read 1761 times:

I don't know. I don't need assistance sqwaking 7700. If I was already talking or listening to a busy frequency, why would I waste time tuning a radio? I had this discussion with my flight instructor a number of times. A tower might have 121.5 tuned in on some radio in the back, but they're constantly talking and listening on their frequency. Not that you won't find help on 121.5, but if you're going down, you want people to know where you are and to send help, and then immediately prepare for the landing. Attempting a restart is great, but once you know it's not going to happen, tighten seat belts, secure or jettison loose items, crack doors, and secure the powerplant.


Position and hold
User currently offlineLH463 From United States of America, joined Apr 2006, 68 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 1746 times:

Definately go with ATC on emergencies, sqwak 7700 and tune 121.5. You could also use a local class B,C,D facility control tower (familiar with the area) or even and Approach/Departure or Center facility.


Turning final...
User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4491 posts, RR: 21
Reply 9, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 1711 times:

Quoting Bri2k1 (Reply 7):
I don't need assistance sqwaking 7700

I didn't say you did. The typical front seat passenger might not have a clue what a transponder is, but they'll generally know where, or at least what, the radio is. If I'm taking a newbie up as a passenger, I generally explain to them basic radio procedures (grab the hand mic and push the button). Squawking 7700 is still important, though--if you're in radar coverage, you'll set off an alarm and ATC will know pretty quickly where you are.

Quoting Bri2k1 (Reply 7):
had this discussion with my flight instructor a number of times. A tower might have 121.5 tuned in on some radio in the back, but they're constantly talking and listening on their frequency.

I disagree with your instructor on this point. I'll have to ask my ATC friend to be sure, but controllers have the ability to monitor several frequencies at once, and I'm pretty sure that Guard is actively monitored (not "in the background" as you might suggest) and a reply can and should be made extremely promptly. As I mentioned before, too, other aircraft and other branches of the government monitor the same frequency.

Many of us have the luxury of flying in airspace like B's, C's, and TRSAs and around accommodating ARTCC's that can give us VFR flight following. While it is a great safety tool, it should not be counted on as "the only way." Asking for help on 121.5 is an almost sure-fire way to get quick assistance. The non-pilot passenger shouldn't have to be digging through charts trying to find the nearest frequency in an emergency. 121.5 was established for a reason.



I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 10, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 1690 times:

Quoting Bri2k1 (Reply 7):
If I was already talking or listening to a busy frequency, why would I waste time tuning a radio? I had this discussion with my flight instructor a number of times. A tower might have 121.5 tuned in on some radio in the back, but they're constantly talking and listening on their frequency. Not that you won't find help on 121.5, but if you're going down, you want people to know where you are and to send help, and then immediately prepare for the landing.

121.5 is always on, not just on a radio in the back. Every towered airport I have been to (I've also seen it on three tower tours) has the capability of transmitting and recieving multiple frequencies. Second, while touring the STL ARTCC, the controller working asked a lear on approach to SUS to squawk 7600 momentarily to show the group what happens. Your signature and data tag get bright, and an alarm sounds in the controller's headset.



DMI
User currently offlineRalgha From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 1614 posts, RR: 6
Reply 11, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1681 times:

Why would you waste time tuning a new frequency (121.5) when you're already actively communicating with ATC on one (tower, tracon, center, etc.)? You start twisting knobs, you might get the wrong frequency in there, 121.55, or 121.47 for example, and not notice until you've wasted precious time trying to raise someone on a frequency that no-one is listening on. If you think that can't happen then you haven't been flying for very long. It happens when there are NO distractions, now think about what might happen when the shizz is hitting the fan.

If you're actively communicating with ATC (NOT just monitoring), spit it out on THAT FREQUENCY. Spout a trio of "MAYDAY"s and people will shut up and listen. You don't have to be on 121.5 to get someone's attention. ATC is not going to give you less consideration because you're not on "the emergency frequency". The only time I would tune 121.5 without first trying a frequency I was already active on would be if it were realistically too busy to get a word in edgewise, which really doesn't happen all that often. If you can't raise help after trying your active frequency (pretty low chance if you're active on it), THEN try 121.5.

If you're motoring around VFR without talking to anyone on the radio, THATs then you use 121.5 as a first resort. If you're motoring around just MONITORING a frequency (center, tracon, etc.) then you should give serious thought to trying 121.5 first, since you don't know that the controller can actually hear you.

If you're active on a non-ATC frequency (CTAF, UNICOM, air-to-air, etc.), then the best action requires some thought. If you're on CTAF, you might be better off trying 121.5 first, since ATC won't hear you on CTAF, the other pilots (if any) will take time to relay, and there's no guarentee that anyone on the ground is listening. On the other hand, if you're in the traffic pattern, your transmission on 121.5 might not carry far enough for any ground station (ATC, FSS, etc.) to hear you, and if you're really up shizz creek, there won't be any aircraft listening either. In the same situation, if your wings fall off, you're better off just shouting it on CTAF, since you won't have time to switch. So, if you're on a non-ATC frequency, think about it (preferably before you're in that situation), don't just blindly switch to 121.5.

Moral? 121.5 is not the magical guardian angel frequency (despite it's GUARD name). Don't just knee-jerk switch to it.

[Edited 2006-05-01 09:29:58]


09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0
User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4491 posts, RR: 21
Reply 12, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 1664 times:

Quoting Ralgha (Reply 11):
If you're actively communicating with ATC (NOT just monitoring), spit it out on THAT FREQUENCY. Spout a trio of "MAYDAY"s and people will shut up and listen. You don't have to be on 121.5 to get someone's attention. ATC is not going to give you less consideration because you're not on "the emergency frequency". The only time I would tune 121.5 without first trying a frequency I was already active on would be if it were realistically too busy to get a word in edgewise, which really doesn't happen all that often. If you can't raise help after trying your active frequency (pretty low chance if you're active on it), THEN try 121.5.

While I'd agree with you, the original poster's assumption was that the aircraft switched between CTAF and the ATIS for a local towered airport. Obviously in that situation you will not be "actively communicating with ATC." Assuming Joe Non-Aviation was in the passenger seat when the "shizz hit the fan" would it not be helpful to know what 121.5 was all about? Trying to communicate on the ATIS frequency is going to do you no good, and as you mentioned, the nearest person monitoring that particular CTAF frequency may be a 75-year-old flying a Super Cub 60 miles away.

In other words, yes I agree with you that 121.5 is not a panacea for all problems--but for the thread starter's situation, it's probably the best solution.

[Edited 2006-05-01 11:06:29]


I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 13, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1640 times:

Quoting JBirdAV8r (Reply 9):
I disagree with your instructor on this point.

I probably should have clarified this a little. My home field, where it all began, is APA, Centennial Airport. The A/FD clearly states "Emerg Freq 121.5 Not Avlbl At Twr." We asked a few tower controllers, and they said it is possible for them to monitor it, but being a Class D "satellite" airport (I put satellite in quotes because it's below an outer Class B shelf but there is a Class E gap between the Class D ceiling and the Class B floor) they are not the primary monitoring responsibility for 121.5 in my area. I assume it lies with the TRACON.

The other assumption about the non-pilot passenger is an interesting one. I always brief passengers, pilots and non, but especially non, about some basics on the radio. Sterile cockpit in the terminal area is the most important, but I also explain the PTT, and why they shouldn't press it. I also explain our callsign and ask them to help me listen for it. As I mentioned, I'm (personally) almost always tuned in to a very active frequency in the vicinity, so in the event I went unconscious, I have a pretty high degree of confidence that a passenger could generate some interest on the radio. Would it help them? It might help find the crash site a little earlier if a controller could somehow correlate the transmissions with a radar return, but that's probably about it.

[Edited 2006-05-01 14:29:21]


Position and hold
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Emergency If Flying VFR
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Tech/Ops related posts only!
  • Not Tech/Ops related? Use the other forums
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
VFR Flying - Questions For The Experienced posted Sat Oct 11 2003 02:33:35 by FSPilot747
What Happens If You're Flying.... posted Sat Sep 21 2002 02:41:39 by F.pier
Flying In A JAA Country With A Icao License posted Sun Dec 3 2006 02:56:26 by ZBBYLW
What Happens If You Put Petrol In A Jet? posted Sat Dec 2 2006 02:53:27 by RichM
Cockpit Emergency Exit On The 744 posted Fri Dec 1 2006 13:54:12 by SK A340
MIT/Cambridge To Unveil "silent" Flying Wing 11/06 posted Mon Nov 6 2006 02:24:03 by Lemurs
Water Coming Out The Emergency Exit? posted Wed Oct 25 2006 01:39:29 by Mohavewolfpup
Flying Wing/delta Wing Pitch Control posted Tue Oct 24 2006 08:34:00 by Speedracer1407
If A Plane Flies For A Long Time... posted Mon Oct 23 2006 07:32:52 by United777atGU
Anti-Skit Fundamentals/ Emergency Situations posted Tue Oct 3 2006 08:18:18 by Speedracer1407

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format