NOTE: In the event of an ELT signal see para 10-2-10, Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) Signals.
Although 121.5 MHz and 243.0 MHz are emergency frequencies, it might be best to keep the aircraft on the initial contact frequency. Change frequencies only when there is a valid reason.
Orientate an aircraft by the means most appropriate to the circumstances. Recognized methods include:
When you consider it necessary and if weather and circumstances permit, recommend that the aircraft maintain or increase altitude to improve communications or radar.
NOTE: Aircraft with high-bypass turbofan engines (such as B747) encountering volcanic ash clouds have experienced total loss of power to all engines. Damage to engines due to volcanic ash ingestion increases as engine power is increased, therefore, climb while in the ash cloud is to be avoided where terrain permits.
Consider that an aircraft emergency exists and inform the RCC or ARTCC if:
NOTE: USAF facilities are only required to notify the ARTCC.
NOTE: EN ROUTE. ERAM: Code 7700 causes an emergency indicator to blink in the data block.
Hijack attempts or actual events are a matter of national security and require special handling. FAA Order JO 7610.4, Special Operations, describes additional procedures and reporting requirements that must be followed.
NOTE: When an aircraft squawks code 7500, ERAM will display “HIJK,” and STARS/MEARTS will display “HJ” in the data block.
Use the following techniques to the extent possible when you provide radar assistance to a pilot not qualified to operate in IFR conditions:
When an ELT signal is heard or reported:
NOTE: FAA Form 7210-8, ELT INCIDENT, contains standardized format for coordination with the RCC.
NOTE: Fix information in relation to a VOR or VORTAC (radial-distance) facilitates accurate ELT plotting by RCC and should be provided when possible.
NOTE: Portable hand-carried receivers assigned to air traffic facilities (where no technical operations personnel are available) may be loaned to responsible airport personnel or local authorities to assist in locating the ELT signal source.
NOTE: An FAA aviation explosive expert is on call at all times and may be contacted by calling the FAA Operations Center, Washington, DC, Area Code 202-267-3333, ETN 521-0111, or DSN 851-3750. Technical advice can be relayed to assist civil or military air crews in their search for a bomb and in determining what precautionary action to take if one is found.
NOTE: Equalizing existing cabin air pressure with outside air pressure is a key step which the pilot may wish to take to minimize the damage potential of a bomb.
NOTE: Emergency handling is discretionary and should be based on the situation. With certain types of threats, plans may call for a low-key action or response.
NOTE: This information is needed by the FAA aviation explosives expert so that he/she can assess the situation and make immediate recommendations to the pilot. The aviation explosives expert may not be familiar with all military aircraft configurations but he/she can offer technical assistance which would be beneficial to the pilot.
NOTE: The following details may be of significance if known, but it is not intended that the pilot should disturb a suspected bomb/bomb container to ascertain the information: The altitude or time set for the bomb to explode, type of detonating action (barometric, time, anti-handling, remote radio transmitter), power source (battery, electrical, mechanical), type of initiator (blasting cap, flash bulb, chemical), and the type of explosive/incendiary charge (dynamite, black powder, chemical).
NOTE: Passenger deplaning may be of paramount importance and must be considered before the aircraft is parked or moved away from service areas. The decision to use ramp facilities rests with the pilot, aircraft operator/airport manager.
Take the following actions should you receive an aircraft request for the location of the nearest explosive detection K-9 team.
When a threat or attack from Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS) is determined to be real, notify and advise aircraft as follows:
NOTE: All personnel can expect aircrews to regard lasers as an inflight emergency and may take evasive action to avoid laser illumination. Additionally, other aircraft may request clearance to avoid the area.
NOTE: Depending on the nature of the emergency, certain weather phenomena may deserve weighted consideration when recommending an airport; e.g., a pilot may elect to fly farther to land at an airport with VFR instead of IFR conditions.
NOTE: In the event of an Emergency Autoland system activation, the system will select a suitable airport and advise ATC. The Emergency Autoland system does not consider closed runways, equipment on the runway, construction, or other possible airport hazards when selecting a suitable airport.
NOTE: Appropriate terrain/obstacle clearance minimum altitudes may be defined as Minimum IFR Altitude (MIA), Minimum En Route Altitude (MEA), Minimum Obstruction Clearance Altitude (MOCA), or Minimum Vectoring Altitude (MVA).
NOTE: Altitudes and obstructions depicted on the EOVM are the actual altitudes and locations of the obstacle/terrain and contain no lateral or vertical buffers for obstruction clearance.
NOTE: Volcanic ash clouds are not normally detected by airborne or air traffic radar systems.