ATC "declared emergency"???

I thought ATC could declare an emergency for a pilot if they thought (or knew) an emergency existed? ASR … _great.htm shows it can be done for fuel situations, one would think it can be done for engine outs? … son-crash/

Huh… I did not know that.

If the controller is willing to do all the paperwork, why not…

I thought the same thing, but the way I read the CNN article, it’s not an “emergency for ATC purposes” if the transponder is not squawking 7700???

hmm, Interesting reading the report on the 320 seaplane and the way radar handled it. No time to change the transponder but an emergency certainly existed. The controller gave the crew time to do their thing and was busy making phone calls trying to find them a place to land. The only glitch was Teterboro tower and the other approach controllers could not readily identify which aircraft had the emergency without a 7700 code.
I think after the Avianca crash years ago controllers have been instructed to not be afraid to treat minimum fuel as an emergency.

An emergency can be declared by the Pilot, ATC or Dispatch. As an ATC’er I’ve declared an emergency for a pilot and the pilot never even knew it. At least not until he landed and the firetrucks were in crash positions.

A 7700 code is only used when an aircraft is NOT radar ID’ed. If you are radar ID’ed you never want to switch to a 7700 code unless you go nordo. The next ATC facility knows about an emergency aircraft even if it’s not on a 7700 code.

The is NO paperwork to fill out after declaring an emergency assuming something stupid didn’t get you into trouble.

An emergency does not guarantee priority handling. Priority handling would depend on the circumstance.

An ATC’er often works an emergency every week and few are the wiser. I’ve had more than one emergency in a shift. Few are life or death issues. In my experience the pilot that comes up on guard screaming and squawking mayday rarely makes the airport.

Frank Holbert

Couple of questions Frank on excerpts of what you posted.

Why do controllers instruct pilots to squawk 7700 even when in radio contact? I’ve seen this time and time over in ASRS (one included in my original post)

I seen it many, many times in ASRS reports especially airline pilots that don’t get approved for weather deviations and they are forced to declare an emergency and ATC instructs them to squawk 7700.

Emergencies are supposed to be declared when the safety of flight is in doubt. I was understanding that emergencies are the top priority. It’s not in my understanding for ATC to decide circumstances on how urgent the situation is if the pilot declares the emergency. An emergency is top priority and ATC needs to accommodate, not the other way around.

And you are right, in my one instance where I declared an emergency, I was pleasantly surprised there was no paper work, just a call into FSS to let them know I was ok and to pass it on to ATC since I landed at an uncontrolled airport.

Because they are not in RADAR ID’ed. I had a woman call me once losts and low on fuel. “Squawk mayday code 7700”. She responded with “What’s that mean?” and started to cry. I told her what a transponder looked like and she dialed in 7700. Alarms went off everywhere and pretty soon we got a call about a 7700 code from another facility 120 miles away.

Only on TV. There is no reason to change a ID’ed aircraft to a non-discrete code.

Sure it is. I put an emergency C5 in holding so long the AF sent a tanker up with fuel.

Frank Holbert

Can you please explain the ASRS report I posted? That’s not TV Frank. Plenty others if you choose yourself to look them up.

Also explain NTSB’s recommended reported on the CNN on changing a radar identified plane like the plane that went into the Hudson to squawking 7700?

Seems that NATCA agrees with these thoughts? Apparently, word of mouth is not getting passed on to the next sector or else these recommendations wouldn’t be coming out.

Gee, this should be interesting. Why? Did you have a higher priority emergency going at the same time?

That’s someones opinion, no more.

The NTSB has made corn ball recommendations before. They are not always followed.

No, I had normal operations that wanted to use the runway before the emergency aircraft closed it. Some were over 1000 miles away.

In Viet Nam there were published holding patterns for emergency aircraft.

Frank Holbert


Someone feel the ground to make sure it’s not just me. Are Frank and Allen having a civil discussion???

Living up to your rep Pike.

Smart @$$ :stuck_out_tongue:

It was either that and hopefully allowing the discussion to continue or demand the thread be locked because it is freaking me out and might signify the end of the world…as we know it. Yes the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine…

Okay ,hold short Frank…you’re telling us you issued a 7700 to a pilot declaring low fuel state, and she didnt know what that meant? or where the txponder was to dial it in? what was she doing flying? And where did she get her license? out of a cracker jack box? :question:

Student pilot, 1st x-country solo.

Call me crazy (which I am used to), but I figured that would be something taught BEFORE going up on your first solo. It was for me. Hell, I even had a “test” on what squawk codes were what before my CFI even thought about sending me up on my own.

Your part of the country. Ardmore to Altus 1978. Many new planes in OK didn’t even have transponders.

Good point. Didn’t even think of the time frame.

Thank goodness someone else has noticed!

I was afraid it was just a side effect from my new drugs! :wink:

I was afraid it was just a side effect from my new drugs!

It is! :open_mouth: :open_mouth: :laughing: