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PAN PAN PAN  
User currently offlineSudden From Sweden, joined Jul 2001, 4130 posts, RR: 6
Posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 11769 times:

Hi all,

What I wonder is pretty simple, I think.
When a pilot declares PAN PAN PAN, what is the procedure for ATC then?
MAYDAY MAYDAY MAYDAY is very clear in regards to give priority for landing at nearest suitable airfield, or the pilot will set the A/C down where appropriate, assuming pilots have some control over the A/C.
PAN is not as severe as MAYDAY, so what action does ATC take, and what info will the pilot need to provide ATC with?
Would there also be any preparations made at the airport they are inbound for? Firedepartment and so forth.

A couple of years ago we had an inbound flight declaring PAN PAN PAN, but ATC didn't know what it meant. Now that's a scary thing, cause a PAN can eventually lead to MAYDAY call, I would guess.

Couple of days later I spoke to some pilots about it while preparing their outbound flight, and they found it really "odd" (what they really said is not suitable for this board) as this is something ATC should know about.

Aim for the sky!
Sudden

[Edited 2009-12-24 05:17:14 by sudden]


When in doubt, flat out!
31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offline9VSIO From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 717 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 11761 times:
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Well, they might not have known about it as the correct call is "Pan Pan, Pan Pan, Pan Pan"

:P



Me: (Lining up on final) I shall now select an aiming point. || Instructor: Well, I hope it's the runway...
User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 11718 times:



Quoting Pilot/Controller Glossary, http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publi...ons/atpubs/PCG/pcg.pdf:

PAN-PAN− The international radio-telephony urgency signal. When repeated three times, indicates uncertainty or alert followed by the nature of the urgency.
(See MAYDAY.)
(Refer to AIM.)



Quoting AIM, http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publi...ons/ATPubs/AIM/aim.pdf:

a. A pilot who encounters a distress or urgency condition can obtain assistance simply by contacting the air traffic facility or other agency in whose area of responsibility the aircraft is operating, stating the nature of the difficulty, pilot's intentions and assistance desired. Distress and urgency communications procedures are prescribed by the International
Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), however, and have decided advantages over the informal procedure described above.

b. Distress and urgency communications procedures discussed in the following paragraphs relate to the use of air ground voice communications.

c. The initial communication, and if considered necessary, any subsequent transmissions by an aircraft in distress should begin with the signal MAYDAY, preferably repeated three times. The signal PAN-PAN should be used in the same manner for an urgency condition.

d. Distress communications have absolute priority over all other communications, and the word MAYDAY commands radio silence on the frequency in use. Urgency communications have priority over all other communications except distress, and the word PAN-PAN warns other stations not to interfere with urgency transmissions.




Position and hold
User currently offlineSudden From Sweden, joined Jul 2001, 4130 posts, RR: 6
Reply 3, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 11718 times:



Quoting 9VSIO (Reply 1):

Well, they might not have known about it as the correct call is "Pan Pan, Pan Pan, Pan Pan"

That was more my mistake as I wrote it the same way as Mayday. I stand corrected.

Aim for the sky!
Sudden



When in doubt, flat out!
User currently offlineJayeshrulz From India, joined Apr 2007, 1027 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 11654 times:

When the pilot Tells PAN PAN PAN, he says it in the sense of urgency...
maybe when the fuel is low,the pilot may say he is low on fuel and atc will help it atleast to get in to no 2 or 3.
Or if he declares pan, it may lead that atc will act fast and give it immediate landing.
the pilot may be helped to divert to nearest airport if it wont be anything fast.
So what i think is he will get more attention...in it maybe done in medical emergencies for fuel thing...or if there is a minor problem to the aircraft.

just my 2 cents..



Keep flying, because the sky is no limit!
User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 11602 times:

As a pilot, I don't think I'd use PAN-PAN too often. If I have a situation that needs priority from ATC, I'm going to delcare an emergency. That does a number of things:

1.) It eliminates any confusion (within ATC's mind, my mind, or other pilot's minds) about what ATC should do for me. They should do everything they can to accommodate my request, period.

2.) It invokes a clause in the FARs allowing me to violate any FAR to the extent necessary to meet the demands of the emergency I've declared. For a simplistic example, if I am (stupidly) low on fuel and need to land NOW, I might make non-standard maneuvers or exceed speed limits or other instructions in order to get on the ground quickly and safely.

3.) It allows me to set 7700 in my transponder, so if I end up having an off-airport landing, my location is prominently displayed on the controller's screen and rescue personnel can find me immediately.

I have always believed that filling out a form, if requested by the FAA, is a small price to pay to guarantee those things. PAN-PAN just seems like it would confuse things.



Position and hold
User currently offlineSwiftski From Australia, joined Dec 2006, 2701 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 11589 times:



Quoting Sudden (Thread starter):
A couple of years ago we had an inbound flight declaring PAN PAN PAN, but ATC didn't know what it meant. Now that's a scary thing, cause a PAN can eventually lead to MAYDAY call, I would guess.

I don't believe this is true.

----------------------------------

A PAN PAN call gives the aircraft priority over all other aircraft except MAYDAY aircraft.


User currently offlineSudden From Sweden, joined Jul 2001, 4130 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 11555 times:



Quoting Swiftski (Reply 6):
I don't believe this is true.

I can tell you it's true as I worked at the airport in question where this happened, and everybody was talking about it at work after seeing it on the news.

Quoting Bri2k1 (Reply 5):
If I have a situation that needs priority from ATC, I'm going to delcare an emergency. That does a number of things:

1.) It eliminates any confusion (within ATC's mind, my mind, or other pilot's minds) about what ATC should do for me.

Great and logic answer! May I ask a follow up question?
I know that PAN PAN is not as severe as declaring an emergency, but what main factors differentiate the 2 in that case? You state that you would declare an emergency to eliminate any confusion. Makes sense, so is it fair to say that PAN PAN could be taken out completely?

Aim for the sky!
Sudden



When in doubt, flat out!
User currently offlineAirstairFear From United States of America, joined Nov 2009, 82 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 11190 times:



Quoting Bri2k1 (Reply 5):
It allows me to set 7700 in my transponder, so if I end up having an off-airport landing, my location is prominently displayed on the controller's screen and rescue personnel can find me immediately.

Many many years ago I believe I heard something to this effect at some sort of FAA safety workshop: *IF* you are already in contact with ATC and have been assigned a transponder code, it's better to _not_ squawk 7700 and just remain where you were assigned.

I do not remember the reason. Is this even true, any controllers care to chime in?

Perhaps it causes their computers to lose your info attached to the target? And first responders do not have radar scopes anyway so they're just going to get the loc info from the same guy at center you were already talking to. Again, this all is assuming you were in contact with somebody before you got in trouble.

And closely related... 121.5 is about the worst way to ask for help if you know where you are. That one I can understand.



CAM-1: Aw #. We're gonna hit houses dude.
User currently offlineJgarrido From Guam, joined Mar 2007, 340 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 11114 times:



Quoting AirstairFear (Reply 8):

Yes, if you arbitrarily change your transponder code it could cause your tag to drop off the scope. This would create more work for the controller or worse cause him to lose track of where you are.

As for the original question there wouldn't be much difference in how I would handle the situation if a pilot said Pan Pan or Mayday. I would find out what the problem was, what the pilots intentions were and go from there. Honestly unless there is a lot of frequency congestion it's just easier for pilot forgo the "theatrics" and explain what problem is, what they need and declare a emergency if need be. I think both expressions are mostly holdovers from older eras of air transportation. Also there is no ATC flow chart that says if a pilot declares pan pan then he gets x% of the attention unless someone declares mayday then the pan gets y% and then mayday gets z%. Each situation is different and needs unique handling.


User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 11069 times:



Quoting Sudden (Reply 7):
what main factors differentiate the 2 in that case

I don't really know, and flying single-pilot, I wouldn't really want to waste time trying to figure it out. I could probably think of a few examples where I could use PAN-PAN, but I could also use MAYDAY in any of those and still get the results I want. I am very appreciative of the bevy of resources available to me from ATC, and will do what I need to in order to take advantage of them as necessary. I could think of a few examples:

1.) Flying VFR, I encounter IMC and need ATC assistance immediately. Calling up the local controller "VFR with request," I am told he/she is too busy for VFR requests. I could declare "PAN-PAN, PAN-PAN, PAN-PAN, Cessna N12345 inadvertent IMC, request immediate radar service" or something similar. But I could do the same with "MAYDAY" and get the assistance I need. In either case, I'm probably going to be asked to review the incident with the FAA later on, but if I am safely on the ground, that's the best outcome.

2.) Flying with a passenger who experiences a medical problem. Perhaps it's not life-threatening, but a passenger gets severely ill. The closest field with good access to medical resources is a Class C airport, and Approach tells me to remain outside of the airspace on initial contact. I could declare "PAN-PAN," explain the medical needs of the passenger, and request immediate landing, and I would probably get it. Of course, declaring "MAYDAY" with the same conditions would result in the same outcome for me and the passenger.

There is only one thing about declaring "MAYDAY" that I don't like -- the request from the controller, time permitting, for the pilot to relate "fuel remaining and number of souls on board." That always sends an ominous chill down my spine.

Quoting Jgarrido (Reply 9):
if you arbitrarily change your transponder code it could cause your tag to drop off the scope

If I was IFR or VFR with flight following and a discrete code, there would be no need to use the emergency code. I should clarify that I would do this only if VFR and squawking 1200 as my target might be indistinguishable from other VFR traffic at the point where I might lose radar contact.



Position and hold
User currently offlineBWI757 From Israel, joined Dec 2004, 429 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 11059 times:

Where did the MAYDAY and PAN terms originate from?

BWI757



I live in the US but my heart is in Jerusalem!
User currently offline9VSIO From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 717 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 11056 times:
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Quoting BWI757 (Reply 11):
Where did the MAYDAY and PAN terms originate from?

Mayday is a corruption of "M'aidez", french for help me. Not sure about Pan though...



Me: (Lining up on final) I shall now select an aiming point. || Instructor: Well, I hope it's the runway...
User currently offlineARFFdude From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 152 posts, RR: 1
Reply 13, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 13 hours ago) and read 11052 times:

Don't forget the controllers can also declare an emergency for you. I've had it happen several times where the tower has requested us to roll the trucks and be out there for an aircraft where the pilot has specifically stated he does not want any equipment response. There was actually a fairly heated argument between the pilot and the controller once over it.

User currently offlineStarlionblue From Greenland, joined Feb 2004, 17038 posts, RR: 66
Reply 14, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 10979 times:



Quoting 9VSIO (Reply 12):
Not sure about Pan though..

Pan was an ancient Greek god. His name is the origin of the word "panic". So I guess that would fit.  Wink In any case I bet the origin of the expression is something else.



"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots."
User currently offlineSpencer From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2004, 1635 posts, RR: 17
Reply 15, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 10948 times:

Sudden, was the incident you're referring to the BA one at GOT a few years back?
Spence.



EOS1D4, 7D, 30D, 100-400/4.5-5.6 L IS USM, 70-200/2.8 L IS2 USM, 17-40 f4 L USM, 24-105 f4 L IS USM, 85 f1.8 USM
User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 25288 posts, RR: 22
Reply 16, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 10866 times:



Quoting 9VSIO (Reply 12):
Quoting BWI757 (Reply 11):
Where did the MAYDAY and PAN terms originate from?

Mayday is a corruption of "M'aidez", french for help me. Not sure about Pan though...

Not sure, but "pan" may also originate from French, as "panne" (pronounced like the English "pan") is the French word for a technical or mechanical breakdown or failure of a car/machine etc.


User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 3 hours ago) and read 10858 times:

Bri2k1: I am not sure about FAA procs, but from what you are saying, it sure seems as if there is no difference between emergency and distress there.

While here, distress call (pan pan) is made, when attention is necessary, but destruction or damage of the aircraft is not likely i.e. aircraft is not in "imminent danger" (typically, medical condition, non-destructive engine shutdown inflight, or limited fuel) while emergency call (mayday) would be issued when immediate action is required to avoid plane damage up to destruction (destructive engine shutdown, for ex. as result of birdstrike, rapid fuel loss, explosive decompression, etc). There is also difference in rescue service provided etc.

Hope I am speaking clearly and no confusion is about to arise  Smile



The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offline9VSIO From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 717 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 10838 times:
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There is a difference in that a Pan will be superseded by a Mayday. But the controller, assuming that nothing else is going on, will take pans very seriously as it could well develop into a mayday.

The only time I've heard a pan call was when I had requested a MATZ transit and before the controller could reply, one of the Red Arrows made a pan call due to a bird strike. The controller pretty much stopped everything and gave his full attention to the Red Arrow, right up till he was handed off to tower.

Perhaps not the fairest indication of a Pan situation, as it was a Red Arrow, but thought I would share. He did a broadcast to the effect of "all stations, stand by, emergency in progress".

Also, one can do practice pans, but not maydays. At least in the UK.



Me: (Lining up on final) I shall now select an aiming point. || Instructor: Well, I hope it's the runway...
User currently offlineMeristem From United States of America, joined Jun 2009, 73 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 8 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 10830 times:

My experience with the degree of difference between pan-pan and mayday comes from boating and from EMS; based on some situations it's transferable. A pilot would pan-pan due to mechanical failure not leading to immediate critical system failure (I need down, but not down now now now) or, for example, you have an adult passenger who is suddenly presenting with high fever above 100 F, or who just had an asthma attack needing the use of an inhaler and the passenger's breathing seems ok but he or she has no idea why the attack was triggered. These are emergencies with relatively long fuses.

Compare with low fuel (stupid human trick category), low fuel (stupid mechanical trick category), heart attack reversed by onboard AED, passenger throwing up blood, passenger in sudden advanced stage of labor. Those emergencies have very short fuses.

Pan-pan: Non-life threatening/ Need priority assistance
Mayday: Life threatening/Need immediate assistance

However, I do believe that at thousands of feet ASL, the definition of 'life-threatening' cannot be narrow.



Curiosity killed that cat. I still have some lives left.
User currently offlineKimon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 20, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 15 hours ago) and read 10736 times:

the difference between pan-pan-pan and mayday is here:
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6m...h-sr-111-last-recording-audio_news


User currently offlineBri2k1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 988 posts, RR: 4
Reply 21, posted (4 years 8 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 10720 times:



Quoting Meristem (Reply 19):
Pan-pan: Non-life threatening/ Need priority assistance
Mayday: Life threatening/Need immediate assistance

However, I do believe that at thousands of feet ASL, the definition of 'life-threatening' cannot be narrow.

This kind of sums up my feelings. I don't mean to imply there's no difference, and I quoted from the FAR/AIM and Pilot/Controller Glossary which is as close to the FARs as I can get from a Part 91 pilot's perspective for these terms.

I guess the key for me is that ATC is almost always very efficient, professional, and responsive, and I'm going to do what I need to so I get their attention when I need them. I don't think anyone is going to get in trouble for declaring MAYDAY when they could have declared PAN-PAN, or even the other way around. ATC is standing by and prepared to help me when I'm in trouble, and I'm going to take advantage of that.

If I declare PAN-PAN and then relate that I need EMS at the airport for a critically ill passenger, ATC is going to have the ambulance standing by even though I didn't call MAYDAY. As another poster mentioned, ATC can also declare an emergency even if the pilot doesn't, and can have ARFF crews or other assistance mobilized at their discretion.

My instructor always said, "You're paying for the services of ATC, why not use them?" I always file IFR or get VFR flight following at a minimum. Someday, it might not be "free" like it is today, and I'll sure miss it.



Position and hold
User currently offlineJayeshrulz From India, joined Apr 2007, 1027 posts, RR: 2
Reply 22, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 10393 times:

I think it is still useful.

Eg, If you are low on fuel and you want to land in priority, even though there are 15 aircrafts holding, you get the priority.
But when you land, you get to face a lot of questions by the ATC as why were you low on fuel and why wasn't the appropriate fuel carried in the airplane.It may freak you out sometimes.
But if its a necessity, the you can for sure declare a pan and get help.



Keep flying, because the sky is no limit!
User currently offlineSprout5199 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 1853 posts, RR: 2
Reply 23, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 10358 times:

To me, flying in a C-152, a Pan-Pan would be my door window flying off, no real emergency, but makes me nervious (but in reality I, being a low time student, would call a Mayday in real life), and a bird strike or something like that would be a Mayday. Both would also call for new shorts, and seat covers.

Dan in Jupiter


User currently offlineGemuser From Australia, joined Nov 2003, 5651 posts, RR: 6
Reply 24, posted (4 years 8 months 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 10157 times:

Reaching back into my BAK (Basic Aeronautical Knowledge) test days ( and that's quite a ways now), in Oz jurisdiction anyway, a pan pan call signaled an emergency that DID NOT threaten the immediate operation of the aircraft and a mayday call was an emergency that DID threaten the operation of the aircraft.

An example commonly used was an engine failure was a mayday, but a pax heart attack was a pan pan.

Quoting Sprout5199 (Reply 23):
To me, flying in a C-152, a Pan-Pan would be my door window flying off, no real emergency,

Interesting example as the C-152 is certified to fly without the window/door fitted, so pan pan would be appropriate, but some aircraft are NOT certified to fly without the door being intact, in that case it would be a mayday call. (Can't remember now but there were several aircraft types around in the 1970s that were not certified to fly without the doors on).

Gemuser



DC23468910;B72172273373G73873H74374475275376377L77W;A319 320321332333343;BAe146;C402;DHC6;F27;L188;MD80MD85
25 Sudden : Thanks all for the useful info and clarification. Well, this was about 12+ years ago. Saw in yor profile that you are located where I used to live. Ai
26 Swiftski : Not sure about other countries, but we'd also use MED1 in this case.
27 Gemuser : Airline or GA? Gemuser
28 MarSciGuy : Question - In marine radio parlance....PAN PAN, PAN PAN, PAN PAN (pronounced pawn by the Coasties) seems to mean the same thing as it does in the avia
29 Swiftski : Both. This exists in aviation too, however I've never heard it used anywhere outside of the classroom.
30 RJ111 : I should think PAN-PAN has more maritime applications. A ship can float indefinitely (unless it's sinking of course) whereas a plane cannot fly indefi
31 Post contains images Mastropiero : That may be so, but it´s definitely not the only use for the Securité call. Securité is issued, for example, by coast stations before every weathe
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