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  • ATC Declares Emergency for 747

    CHICAGO, Illinois -- On Thursday, 2 January 2020, an Atlas Air Boeing 747-400 Flight 5Y-551 (Giant 551 Heavy) from New York's JFK airport to Chicago O'Hare was in the initial descent through FL320 towards Chicago when the crew reported they just had to shut down their number 2 engine. They did not declare an emergency. ATC told the crew they declared an emergency for them instead. The aircraft landed safely on Chicago's runway 28C about 40 minutes after reporting the engine failure.

    Listen to the ATC conversation here

    Is it normal for ATC to declare the emergency in lieu of the pilot?

  • #2
    Originally posted by okgood View Post
    CHICAGO, Illinois -- On Thursday, 2 January 2020, an Atlas Air Boeing 747-400 Flight 5Y-551 (Giant 551 Heavy) from New York's JFK airport to Chicago O'Hare was in the initial descent through FL320 towards Chicago when the crew reported they just had to shut down their number 2 engine. They did not declare an emergency. ATC told the crew they declared an emergency for them instead. The aircraft landed safely on Chicago's runway 28C about 40 minutes after reporting the engine failure.

    Listen to the ATC conversation here

    Is it normal for ATC to declare the emergency in lieu of the pilot?
    It is not usual but it is not unheard of either. ATC or even another airplane can declare an airplane in emergency.

    --- Judge what is said by the merits of what is said, not by the credentials of who said it. ---
    --- Defend what you say with arguments, not by imposing your credentials ---

    Comment


    • #3
      Oh no, not the dreaded 3 engine approach!

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by BoeingBobby View Post
        Oh no, not the dreaded 3 engine approach!
        Something tells me ATC would have to declare emergency for you even if the other three were on fire.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Evan View Post

          Something tells me ATC would have to declare emergency for you even if the other three were on fire.
          A single engine out in a 74 when you are already in the decent for your intended airport is NOT an emergency. Nor did the crew think so. Would have avoided a lot of extra paperwork for the Captain and crew. Not to mention rolling the emergency vehicles, which cost a bunch of $$ and disrupt the aircraft on the ground.

          Comment


          • #6
            I love aeroplanies and have been guilty of over analysis.

            Edit: I see that Bobbieeeeee has slipped in ahead of me with the other side of the story.

            That being said, I think there's a tad of over-analysis here.

            Maybe by ATC 'declaring an emergency', it sets lots logical things get put into action regardless if it is a DIRE emergency OR a Boeing Bobby Not_Emergency.

            Maybe when the plane goes to the tower, the "emergency status" is handed off ahead of time and- because of the "emergency:- the tower thinks twice about trying to squeeze one more departure out and possibly cause a dreaded 3-engine go-around (not the end of the world, but it should be avoided if it can reasonably be avoided).

            Maybe the trucks scramble and are ready to save the paint job near the engine wing or flap components from expensive heat damage...even if it's not a dire emergency.

            Bobby has been scoffing at "over use" of the term emergency, but there's a dull side that it simply get's "everyone" out of the way and lets pilots (cover your eyes, Evan) bend the rules a little to appropriately address the situation.

            Or maybe I'm full of crap, like I almost always am.

            I have noted from ATL crew that there may be a relatively valid fear of paperwork, but I THINK that may pay money as though you are flying with simpler processes to use the Lav.
            Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by 3WE View Post
              I love aeroplanies and have been guilty of over analysis.

              Edit: I see that Bobbieeeeee has slipped in ahead of me with the other side of the story.

              That being said, I think there's a tad of over-analysis here.

              Maybe by ATC 'declaring an emergency', it sets lots logical things get put into action regardless if it is a DIRE emergency OR a Boeing Bobby Not_Emergency.

              Maybe when the plane goes to the tower, the "emergency status" is handed off ahead of time and- because of the "emergency:- the tower thinks twice about trying to squeeze one more departure out and possibly cause a dreaded 3-engine go-around (not the end of the world, but it should be avoided if it can reasonably be avoided).

              Maybe the trucks scramble and are ready to save the paint job near the engine wing or flap components from expensive heat damage...even if it's not a dire emergency.

              Bobby has been scoffing at "over use" of the term emergency, but there's a dull side that it simply get's "everyone" out of the way and lets pilots (cover your eyes, Evan) bend the rules a little to appropriately address the situation.

              Or maybe I'm full of crap, like I almost always am.

              I have noted from ATL crew that there may be a relatively valid fear of paperwork, but I THINK that may pay money as though you are flying with simpler processes to use the Lav.
              Did you by chance hear them say that they had an engine fire? Not what I heard. They will get all the same priority handling by letting them know that they lost an engine. The crew did not wish to declare one, and they also advised they would not require emergency equipment standing by. Other than some poor cowboy radio work by the F/O I assume, they did a good job.

              Comment


              • #8
                Bobby in Black, 3BS in Red.

                Did you by chance see my comment that MAYBE it makes some reasonable things happen for the folks at ORD?

                Did you by chance hear them say that they had an engine fire? Not what I heard.Fine. I see below where they said, they didn't need equipment...Did they get equipment anyway? If they did, I'm with you- ATC appears to be wrong in their actions.

                They will get all the same priority handling by letting them know that they lost an engine. So say you. From listening to a number of "emergencies", I tend to give ATC grades of B or C...Sometimes they are a bit too insistent and poorly timed on "how much/many lbs of fuel, souls and hazmat are on board." "Not now guys".

                There's also another good one of "hold on a minute, I need to address other air traffic".

                Remember, ATC declared the emergency- and I'm just saying that MAYBE it's because it causes some nice things to happen...maybe ORD does
                crazy $hit, like using a different runway for some takeoffs...JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN AND IT DOESN'T COST MUCH AND SAFETY FIRST...simple, but real stuff.

                The crew did not wish to declare one, and they also advised they would not require emergency equipment standing by. Repeating- did ATC really defy them and roll the equipment? My credentials include a few hours on a frequency scanner, and I know it's very common to bring equipment out (heard it 5 or 6 times) just because it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it...and I'm sure it does the guys good to practice.

                Other than some poor cowboy radio work by the F/O I assume, they did a good job. I assume so too.

                Aside from assuming, I KNOW that ATC declared an emergency...I suppose they could have done that in a totally ignorant fashion, but I also assume that maybe they had an OK reason for doing so to.

                If you think ATC was dumb, let us know.

                Thanks.


                Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by 3WE View Post
                  Bobby in Black, 3BS in Red.

                  Did you by chance see my comment that MAYBE it makes some reasonable things happen for the folks at ORD?

                  Did you by chance hear them say that they had an engine fire? Not what I heard.Fine. I see below where they said, they didn't need equipment...Did they get equipment anyway? If they did, I'm with you- ATC appears to be wrong in their actions.

                  They will get all the same priority handling by letting them know that they lost an engine. So say you. From listening to a number of "emergencies", I tend to give ATC grades of B or C...Sometimes they are a bit too insistent and poorly timed on "how much/many lbs of fuel, souls and hazmat are on board." "Not now guys".

                  There's also another good one of "hold on a minute, I need to address other air traffic".

                  Remember, ATC declared the emergency- and I'm just saying that MAYBE it's because it causes some nice things to happen...maybe ORD does
                  crazy $hit, like using a different runway for some takeoffs...JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN AND IT DOESN'T COST MUCH AND SAFETY FIRST...simple, but real stuff.

                  The crew did not wish to declare one, and they also advised they would not require emergency equipment standing by. Repeating- did ATC really defy them and roll the equipment? My credentials include a few hours on a frequency scanner, and I know it's very common to bring equipment out (heard it 5 or 6 times) just because it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it...and I'm sure it does the guys good to practice.

                  Other than some poor cowboy radio work by the F/O I assume, they did a good job. I assume so too.

                  Aside from assuming, I KNOW that ATC declared an emergency...I suppose they could have done that in a totally ignorant fashion, but I also assume that maybe they had an OK reason for doing so to.

                  If you think ATC was dumb, let us know.

                  Thanks.

                  The emergency equipment was talking to the aircraft on the radio. That means they rolled. I never said anything about ATC being dumb. However, in my opinion, unnecessary and unwarranted.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by BoeingBobby View Post
                    The emergency equipment was talking to the aircraft on the radio. That means they rolled. I never said anything about ATC being dumb. However, in my opinion, unnecessary and unwarranted.
                    Acknowledged.



                    Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      As BoeingBobby says a 3 engine approach and or go-around is really a non-event. So here is one of my experiences. A UPS friend told me about a DC-8 sim ride where they did the typical takeoff and lose 2 engines, always on the same side. The instructor accidentally failed a third engine. They continued and made a successful one engine landing. Cool, so I wanted to try that also. So my next DC-8 sim check I asked for the same thing, fail three engines once I got to 1500ft. Well it really was pretty easy. Then me being the smart a** I said to my instructor do that again but fail all four. So at 1500ft on downwind he failed all four. Well it's just energy management and I made it. Actually a fun challenge. Well every sim check I did after that in the DC-8 then the B-747, then at NetJets in the Hawker 1000 and later the Citation X, I asked for the same thing.

                      Was it worth it? One day on a test flight in the Hawker 1000 after we took off and at about 12,000ft I had a dual flame out. We declared an emergency and I turned around and made a "no engine" approach and landing. Turned out to be fuel contamination. Simulator training is well worth it if you have a flexible instructor.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by kent olsen View Post
                        and later the Citation X, I asked for the same thing.
                        You asked for a four-engine failure in the X?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by kent olsen View Post
                          Simulator war stories.
                          Cool stories (genuinely).

                          We are under the impression that professional pilots get relatively little sim time and that it is rather regimented. We once heard that in some cases, folks never did stalls, but 'always' stopped a bit short at the activation of the stall warning.

                          Pure ass-hat parlour talk, but it sounds cool and educational to do 'unusual' stuff.

                          Conversely, we see simple stuff get botched and I can get it that sim time gets focused strongly on reducing errors as opposed to total engine failures.

                          So- was your experience kind of special and unusual, or is this sort of thing widely available. (I did note your final disclaimer)
                          Les règles de l'aviation de base découragent de longues périodes de dur tirer vers le haut.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Kent, did any of your sims have the aircraft carrier in HKG harbour? That's a fun one for a touch and go in the 74!

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by 3WE View Post

                              Cool stories (genuinely).

                              We are under the impression that professional pilots get relatively little sim time and that it is rather regimented. We once heard that in some cases, folks never did stalls, but 'always' stopped a bit short at the activation of the stall warning.

                              Pure ass-hat parlour talk, but it sounds cool and educational to do 'unusual' stuff.

                              Conversely, we see simple stuff get botched and I can get it that sim time gets focused strongly on reducing errors as opposed to total engine failures.

                              So- was your experience kind of special and unusual, or is this sort of thing widely available. (I did note your final disclaimer)
                              When you know the instructors for 20 years, and there is some extra time, we get (got) to do all kinds of fun stuff.

                              Comment

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