why do pilots say mayday may day in emergencies

It's the call that no airplane pilot or ship's captain ever wants to have to make. Why? Because it means trouble. Big trouble! is the word used around the world to make a call radio communications. signals a emergency, usually on a ship or a plane, although it may be used in a variety of other situations. Procedure calls for the signal to be said three times in a row Б! Б so that it won't be mistaken for another word or phrase that sounds similar under noisy conditions. A typical
call will start with repeated three times, followed by all the information that rescuers would need, including type and identity of craft involved, nature of the emergency, location or last known location, current weather, fuel remaining, what type of help is needed and number of people in danger. got its start as an international call in 1923.


It was made official in 1948. It was the idea of Frederick Mockford, who was a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London. He came up with the idea for Б " because it sounded like the French word m'aider, which means Бhelp me. " Sometimes a call is sent by one on behalf of another in danger. This is known as a. A is sometimes necessary if the in danger loses radio communications.


If a call is repeated and not acknowledged, another hearing the call may attempt to it again and again until help is reached. A call is not something to be taken lightly. In the United States, it's illegal to make a fake call. Doing so can land you in jail for up to six years and subject you to a $250,000 fine! For situations that are less than, one of several other messages can be conveyed. For example, БPan-Pan" Б from the French word panne, which means Бbreakdown" Б can be used to signal an situation involving a mechanical or medical issue. Another signal is БSecurite"Бfrom the French word sцcuritц, which means Бsafety. " Securite is often used to a message about safety, such as bad weather or hazards.


Like, these phrases are usually repeated three times to avoid confusion. Yup, I used the word Mayday while flying!!!!!!! It is standard radio procedure to learn Mayday and Pan pan calls, and even if it does sound 'silly', it was one of the first things out of my mouth when I had an engine failure 10 seconds after takeoff. The circuit pattern was empty, I was in my flight school's C172, it was night and I was taking off from City Centre airport one cold April's eve, going into my 3rd circuit of the night.


I began climbout and the engine power was suddenly cut. not totally, and the engine was still running. But, there was not enough power to keep climbing, and as I found out, even to remain level. I radioed the tower that I had an engine problem (to panicked to give any more info). I remember just silence over the radio, and then the controller started saying something, but at that time I was descending fast towards the lake and realizing that I was in serious trouble, and said "Mayday mayday, I have an engine failure and I'm going into the lake!!! " The funny thing is he probably never heard it what I said because I radioed overtop of whatever he had started to say. 5 seconds later I leveled the plane off just above the lake surface, and it promptly stalled, and the aircraft plowed into the lake nose-first.


Less than a minute later I heard the emergency sirens wailing from the airport as I struggled out the window into the frigid water. I guess he heard my Mayday call after all! Yeah, there's more to this story but it doesn't relate at all to Mayday calls. A real adventure though! And one I hope I'll never have to go through again.