Mayday is a distress call that is used to signal a life-threatening emergency used aircraft pilot. Call will start with the word “Mayday” being said 3-times in a row so that it is not mistaken for another similar-sounding word or phrase.The distress call has absolute priority over all other transmissions. Mayday” derived from the French word “m’aider” that means “help me” and is a shortened form of “venez m’aider”, which means “come and help me”.
This is originated from French word “panne” that means “a breakdown“. It indicates an urgent situation such as a mechanical failure or a medical problem.A Pan-pan call is generally of a notch lower than a Mayday in terms of threat.The word “PAN-PAN” being said 3-times in a row so that it is not mistaken for another similar-sounding word or phrase.
What is the format for transmission a Mayday call ?
The pilot captain must call out “Mayday, Mayday, Mayday” loudly. Following this:-
- the pilot has to read aloud the name of his station,
- aircraft call sign and type,
- nature of emergency, weather, pilot’s intentions and/or requests,
- present position and heading,
- and if lost then the last known position and heading and time when aircraft was at that position,
- altitude or flight level, fuel remaining in minutes, the number of people on board, followed by any other useful information