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declaring an emergency

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Apr 26, 2002
I was just wondering from some more experienced pilots--what are some real-life situations where you would declare an emergency. Loss of engine when in a twin. How about vacuum system failure in IMC? Thanks for the imput.
Forgot the Miracle Whip!:D
Had a rapid decompression at 330 in a old cargo Falcon 20...
That was no fun......
We declared on the way down
I know somebody who did that...mine was a clogged line, atleast thats what maint told me.....
That particular plane wanted to kill me... It was a old fedex plane....
Jumpseated into PHX about 8pm last nite in an A319 when a Piper Cheyenne declared an emergency due to smoke coming out of his overhead panel.

PHX ATC closed runway 26 and gave it to him, and the controller did one helluva job rerouting all of the arrivals to the 25s, while managing 25R departures.

By the time we landed, ATC was allowing arrivals onto 26 again, so I assumed that it all worked out ok.
Declaring an emergency

Loss of vacuum system in IMC is a no-brainer emergency declaration. I realize we practice partial-panel NDB approaches during training, but that is an extreme, non real-world situation. As a practical matter, you would declare and request clearance to the nearest airport that has VFR or an ILS.

Opinions differ on an engine-out emergency. Some airplanes maintain altitude just fine on one engine. Others do not. Just the same, my gut reaction is I would declare.

Sputtering engine in a single might be reason to declare, if you can't fix it by switching tanks, or carb heat or alternate air, or by running on one mag. Even then, I'd declare or at least confess if my single was running only on one mag.

A lot depends. It's easy for me to say what I'd do while I'm sitting here and typing. Actually mulling over my options while trying to fly the airplane may change things. Of course, the first thing you must always do is fly the airplane. The Eastern guys in the Florida swamp are proof positive of the consequences of not flying the airplane.
If the s hits the f and you plan on violating an FAR or exceeding a limitation, declare!

Always remember the Monday morning QB's who will second-guess your every decision.
About four years ago I was in an Archer at night between San Antonio and Austin, about 9,000. I remember one of the comets was up, and the sky was crystal clear. There were solid stratus clouds from 1000 agl to 7000 msl in the Austin area.

I was really enjoying the sky when I heard a little "pop", followed by the alternator light.

This Archer used to have air conditioning, which means there is a rubber band instead of a real alternator belt. The rubber band had broken.

I powered down everything except one radio. I declared an emergency and asked for a heading to intercept the Austin ILS. They gave me a heading and discretion to descend. Based on the distance, it was about 12 to 15 minutes away, so I told the controller I'd be back in 10 minutes, and turned the radio off.

I started a descent after five minutes or so, and came back up at the ten minute point (it was hard to wait). They gave me a corrected vector to intercept which worked out fine. I broke out at a thousand feet and canceled the emergency and landed.

I never heard a word about it from the Feds, and the next day I ordered a handheld GPS.


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