Alec asked in Cars & TransportationAircraft · 5 years ago

What's the difference between "pan" and "mayday", when used in aviation?

I recently started flight training and wanted to know the difference between the two.

What would the following situations be?

1. Engine failure (single/multi engine aircraft)

2. Medical emergency

3. Depressurization

4. VFR flight into IMC

Thank you!

P.S. My second flight is tomorrow :D Piper Warrior III

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago
    Best Answer

    Hey guys, Why not simply answer a question asked in good faith?

    Mayday is used when the pilot perceives there is an emergency which is likely to endanger the safety of his aircraft and he requires immediate and priority assistance When in doubt about calling PAN or Mayday, a wise Captain calls Mayday!

    PAN is for less immediate emergencies, which are basically things going quite seriously wrong, but not life threatening, requiring assistance and priority communication but not about to cause imminent danger.

    Basically, if the airplane and its crew are operating somewhere near normally, it is Pan, if they are not, Mayday. An emergency requiring a Mayday call is whatever you, as the Captain, think is an emergency warranting a Mayday call, don't be shy about it!

    1. Engine failure (single/multi engine aircraft)

    Single is a Mayday, Twin may be either, depending on your ability to stay airborne. A Pan at least

    2. Medical emergency

    If the crew is not incapacitated and the aircraft fully capable of flight, a Pan, otherwise a Mayday

    3. Depressurization

    Normally a Pan, unless the cause of the depressurization affects control of the aircraft

    4. VFR flight into IMC

    You have your hands full enough, fly the aircraft before you even think of calling either. Once you have that under control, being stuck above 10/10 is a Mayday for an inexperienced pilot.

    Source(s): Retired Airline Captain
    • Alec5 years agoReport

      Thank you, Eric. Lot's of... not exactly friendly people on here.

  • 5 years ago

    Second flight??? Have you study your books?? Not yet, I guess.

    Why asking here? You are paying an instructor...

    1. Engine failure (single/multi engine aircraft)

    - Mayday if single engine

    - Pan-Pan if one engine fails

    - Mayday if all failed

    2. Medical emergency

    - Pilot: Mayday

    - Passenger: Pan-Pan

    3. Depressurization

    - Pan-Pan

    4. VFR flight into IMC

    - If IFR qualified: nothing, but inform the ground of change in status.

    - if VFR qualified only:

    --- if relatively in control: Confess to approach, ask for S.R.A.

    --- if panic: Mayday!

  • 5 years ago

    I recently started flight training. I do not trust my instructor so I ask anonymous people on the web.

    As you are paying for instruction get your monies worth and ask your instructor to explain it.

    Three calls of pan-pan are used in radiotelephone communications to signify that there is an urgency on board a boat, ship, aircraft, or other vehicle but that, for the time being at least, there is no immediate danger to anyone's life or to the vessel itself.

    For your medical emergency May Day would be for the PILOT Pan Pan would be for a passenger.

  • there's this thing called books, manuals and regulations we PROFESIONAL pilots use for reference and for clearing unclear stuff.

    MAYDAY is used for immediate threat to safety of the plane. that does NOT include pax heart attacks and onboard child birth.

    there's a wiggle space about the one engine failures in multiengined planes..

    speaking of decompression, that requires immediate action that involves planes in nearby airspace. i'd call mayday.

    VFR flight into IMC, when you already screwed that much planning and looking out of the window that you flew INTO the stuff and you're not trained and equipped to change for IFR, you call your MAYDAY and have your licence ready for the FAA inspector.

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  • 5 years ago

    please review the definitions of pan pan and mayday and decide for yourself.

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