"MAYDAY vs PAN PAN" Why do pilots use these CALLS? Explained by CAPTAIN JOE

Joylandi 27-Dek, 2018
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Dear friends and followers welcome back to my channel and to a great video about the famous MAYDAY and PAN PAN call.
We´ll be looking at why and when pilots use these calls.
First off the definition of MAYDAY:
Mayday is an emergency procedure word used internationally as a distress signal in voice-procedure radio communications.
It is used to signal a life-threatening emergency primarily by aviators and mariners, but in some countries local organizations such as firefighters, police forces, and transportation organizations also use the term. The call is always given three times in a row ("Mayday mayday mayday") to prevent its being mistaken for some similar-sounding phrase under noisy conditions, and to distinguish an actual mayday call from a message about a mayday call.
The "mayday" procedure word was originated in 1923, by a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London. The officer, Frederick Stanley Mockford, was asked to think of a word that would indicate distress and would easily be understood by all pilots and ground staff in an emergency. Since much of the traffic at the time was between Croydon and Le Bourget Airport in Paris, he proposed the expression "mayday" from the French m'aider ('help me'), a shortened form of venez m'aider ('come and help me').It is unrelated to the holiday May Day.
Before the voice call "mayday", SOS was the Morse code equivalent of the mayday call. In 1927, the International Radiotelegraph Convention of Washington adopted the voice call mayday as the radiotelephone distress call in place of the SOS radiotelegraph (Morse code) call.
PAN PAN call definition:
The radiotelephony message PAN-PAN is the international standard urgency signal that someone aboard a boat, ship, aircraft, or other vehicle uses to declare that they have a situation that is urgent, but for the time being, does not pose an immediate danger to anyone's life or to the vessel itself. This is referred to as a state of urgency. This is distinct from a mayday call (distress signal), which means that there is an imminent danger to life or to the continued viability of the vessel itself Radioing pan-pan informs potential rescuers (including emergency services and other craft in the area) that an urgent problem exists, whereas mayday calls on them to drop all other activities and immediately begin a rescue.
The exact representation of PAN-PAN in Morse code is the urgency signal XXX, which was first defined by the International Radiotelegraph Convention of 1927.
But see more in the video on how they are being used accordingly!
Thank you very much for your time! I hope you enjoy this video!
Wishing you all the best!
Your "Captain" Joe
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  • all media is only waiting to hear the word MAYDAY to run to the scene and make a good rating

  • Willie is a little far

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  • Brilliant, never knew the story behind Mayday/M’aidez.

  • Pilots rock, I have the same admiration for them as a surgeon because both have my life in their hands.

  • PanPan PanPan PanPan, PanPan PanPan PanPan, Shining Justice, metabete, Even Aircraft emergincies are JoJo references

  • oki

  • Interesting! A pilot with a channel!

  • I thought that Pan Pan translated from French to " Brad Bread" and it's what you would call out when you had baguettes get sucked into your engine.

  • I don't know how anyone understands those radio communications. They are so muffled. Why don't they make better microphones?

    • @ZK-APA Thanks.

    • In actual flying, it sounds clearer. Also, one is far more used to the aviation lingo being used.

  • Guy at 6:30 had afterburner

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  • Mayday (x3)=imminent danger to plane/boat or life Pan-pan (x3)=urgent, not dangerous There. No need to watch video

  • ...---... ( stands for *SOS* )

  • Captain Joe, I’m not a pilot but years ago I use to fly with my friend who had a Cessna 174 and I loved it even when in turbulence and got thrown around but as I have got older I am getting more nervous when flying, why... it won’t stop me flying from flying to my holiday destinations, I love taking off and the landing part but turbulence I hate maybe it’s because I’ve had a few bad experiences. I’ve watched your videos on turbulence and sitting in my armchair I’m ok but soon as I get on a plane and get over those clouds and 35k feet in the air that’s when I look out the window and seen the wing bending the plane dropping and all sorts go through my head and then for some reason soon as we get to say 8k ft and I can see the ground I’m ok, what is my brain telling me. Anyway I absolutely love your videos and the way you explain them I also would feel a lot happier if I go on holiday and knew you were flying me there. haha. Thanks again Captain. 👨‍✈️ 👏

  • As an aviation SEP trainer I must say I love this channel. Great content Captain Joe 👌🏻

  • The plucky giraffe utrastructurally extend because fountain neurobiologically reach but a abrasive examination. stupendous, like wood

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  • You pilots are too nice, when you talked to those laser people, I expected at least 1 faul word :P. Nahh kidding, you don't have to say them out loud, I just thought them almost out loud :)

  • panpanpanpanpanpan just sounds stupid XD I would just say panpanpan

  • Excellent video--nice job and thanks for all the detail and great examples.

  • The ambitious banjo architecturally destroy because salad worryingly extend by a careless domain. grotesque, useless plier

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  • Pilot was hit by a laser?! Pew pew pew

  • May Day, May Day; Pan Pan, Pan; Pizza Pizza Pizza. ! :)

  • What kind of POS shines a laser at an aircraft? Some real losers in the world we all share.

  • can you do a video on the mentioned lasering of airplanes? since it apparently is a regular occurence

  • I found it interesting that Fredrick Mockford, Senior Air Traffic Contoller @ Croydon Airport came up with "Mayday, Mayday, Mayday" supposedly from French "M'aidez" = "Help me" - HOWEVER coming from Croydon he would also be very aware that there is a Mayday Road, and more importantly a very large hospital on that road MAYDAY HOSPITAL, which incidentally had a large "Casualty Dept" where any casualties in accidents at Croydon Airport would almost certainly be sent! Just a thought!!!

  • As seamen, we call Mayday to the USCG anytime we either have an on-vessel injury we cannot handle onboard, or "there are people in danger we cannot assist."

  • Joe at 3:50 ask: why the pilot ask to standby. Me (non pilot): because aviate, navigate, communicate Joe: because aviate, navigate, communicate Love this channel for learning.

  • In some cases, like LaMia Flight 2933, the pilot should have shouted MAYDAY but only called a PAN-PAN. Communication is SOOO important.

  • The pilot isn’t alone on the plane. He has help.

  • to those people who is thinking that pointing a laser to airplanes " GET A LIFE"

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  • Okay, everyone knows that the guy didn't actually google the French word right? He speaks French thus knows the English translation :D

  • At the very beginning of your video you display sending an SOS via CW. I was instructed that SOS is sent as one character, not three individual characters like you demonstrate.

  • 👍👍

  • It's nice to listen to an educated intelligent person speaking.

  • Being in US Coast Guard Auxiliary, heard a May Day call from a boater who had named his vessel ... "May Day". Confused. Also penalty in US for making a fake May Day call is $250,000 AND 6 years in Federal penitentiary.

  • Lovely video. Just a curious question. What medical issues can be caused by a laser strike on a pilot?

  • The worst are heavy maydays, an occasion for brown trousers! 😅

  • What about May Day, May 1

  • Gosh, a 13m video on a basic radio-comms procedure. In marine terms it’s super-simple: “Mayday, mayday, mayday. This is vessel xxxxx. Problem is ...... Mayday vessel xxxx. Position is ..... Over” This used when THE VESSEL is in imminent danger. Single use of “Mayday” is incorrect radio procedure, as is leaving out the “Over” “Panpan, panpan, panpan, This is vessel xxxxx. Problem is ...... PanPan vessel xxx. Position is ..... Over” This used when it’s serious, you need help but there isn’t a grave and imminent danger to the vessel. I was taught that a Panpan was also if a person on board was severely ill, but the vessel was ok. “Mayday relay, mayday relay, mayday relay....” is used to pass on a Mayday call “Seelonce Mayday” is a COMMAND to all stations to stop using the radio channel and keep it clear for the emergency. Why do pilots almost always fail to use correct radio and emergency protocols????? E.g. since when did “Panpan, panpan, panpan” become “pan-pan-pan”? BTW, the orange example should have been a Mayday Relay.

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  • Here I thought that's what they said when the they were didn't bring enough meals onboard and some of the passengers wanted Little Caesars. Why they would want Little Caesars, I don't know...

  • I love this channel! Captain Joe is a great instructor!

  • me wondering why I keep hearing the slo mo guys slo mo sounds in the background.

  • “Mayday” means “Attention everyone, I have an emergency!” “Pan Pan” means “Everyone on this frequency shut up, I have something important to say!”

    • "stand by" means "I'm a little busy right now"

    • But in a mayday call, everyone else on the channel must also shut up.

  • Well said, well done Joe!

  • In the maritime community we pronounce it "papon papon papon".

  • I prefer Tora Tora Tora!!!

  • 6:18 "*puff puff puff etc" Who wrote the captions?

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  • Why do pilots say “OH SHIT WE’RE GOING DOWN?”

  • Cap Joe. what does “Heavy” means ? Heard this word often in communication with tower?

    • Heavy indicates a large aircraft like 747 or 777. The crew will say their flight number followed by the word "heavy".

  • You call yourself captain, but the three strips would suggest first officer no? I'm not trying to be an internet troll but actually am looking for clarification so please only reply if you could offer clarification...

  • The lucky seaplane intuitively refuse because jump counterintuitively attend abaft a slow sarah. calm, workable drum

  • QSY... Quit Seeing You.

  • Why you need to be so formal. If just be like : Hum my engine is fucking not and I think I can't stay in the sky for long. Spinning this bitch round and coming back

  • 🖖

  • DoesEventuallyLeaveTheAirport

  • In the maritime environment it’s taught that you use the words to describe the danger, ie Mayday = imminent AND life threatening PanPan = imminent OR life threatening

  • Flight Hours : 0 piloting tutorials on youtube :~> i believe i can land a mayday call now... hold my beer.

  • #British

  • This just came up in my ground school!

  • "MayDay MayDay Mayday" forgot to like Captain Joe's this video

  • Can’t planes with 2 or more engines fly with 1? As a safety feature or is that only certain planes

    • @ZK-APA that is exactly what I was trying to say thank you 😂😂 I struggle with phrasing things

    • You can sorta rephrase that as all multi engine aircraft can fly with one engine inoperative. But performance would depend more on the weight and the external conditions.

  • I bet every pilot would want to scream mayday at the atc atleast once in their career

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  • Mr Joe there are three categories, May day, Pan Pan and securite securite.

  • and prior to 'SOS' was the signal 'CQD', which was replaced by 'SOS' and the international emergency signal.

  • so Frederick was tasked to come up with a new term because ‘help’ is used too often... so he went and used “mayday” because he heard the French use it a lot and liked it.

  • Little boy with laser, get a life 😁😁

  • My dad works for the railway and he is required to have a torch the size of a big 2 litre bottle equipped with him for his night shifts. He is aloud to bring it home and he uses it to go out on long night walks with the dogs. Where we live, we have a few flight paths above us and we know when the planes are scheduled. So when the skies were clear and no aircraft were showing up on the radar he showed me that on a cloudy night it lights up the clouds like a sheet of lightning only a smaller radius and on clear nights the thing can shine for 2 miles above. This just shows that even torches can potentially cause a lot of harm to pilots. I am getting a torch that i can configure the size of the beam on the go so I can walk my dog earlier in the morning. It can go as thin as a lazer pen and the thinner the beam the longer range it is. One thing I will not do is shine it up to a plane. It makes me rlly pissed off when m friend did it once. Stuff like that can potentially cause a crash.

  • My wife: calling me and saying she will be home an hour early. Me to my friends whom I called in without her permission: panpan! panpan! panpan!

  • Airplane:cost millions Bird: I'm gonna sacrifice myself

  • Spare me about how British airlines is so by the book. They used to fly that nightmare of a plane concord.

  • "Attitude determines altitude" Can you explain that pls?

  • 1:35 Actually "M'aider" is incorrect. The french verb "to help" is: "aider". "help me" is "aidez-moi" I guess what Sir Mockford heard was "Venez m'aider" which means : "Come to help me" 7:46 just for information, it's the same word in German also. ;) Great video! thank you!

    • @Raving Cyclist what I meant to say is : the formulation "M'aider" alone doesn't mean anything in french (hence "incorrect") There must have been some sort of confusion to think it means "help!" Or "help me!" Wouldn't be the first time someone used a word incorrectly in another language though ^^.

    • Both are correct. Using "moi" just gives more emphasis on "me".

  • pan is bread in spanish so to us spanis speakers is funny to hear pan pan Paan cause it is like he wants bread really bad

  • Very informative. However, one thing confuses me... Is "Captain" Joe actually a F.O.?

  • Pilot: Standy Atc: roger Flight attendant: thank you for holding, your call is very importsnt to us, a pilot will be with you shortly *elevator music starts*

  • Captain Joe: People used “help” in a normal conversation Me: Seriously?

  • Anyone caught shining a laser beam at an aircraft should be charged with endangering an aircraft and be jailed END OF

  • And in the Maritime environment, we have "Securite" (say cure eh tay), which is behind Pan Pan ... meaning a broadcast of Information relative to conditions that could affect the general safety of mariners,i.e. a navigation buoy is missing

  • when english guy says help me nobody bat an eye but when a french guy says m'aidez everyone loses their mind

  • Why isn’t there a Mayday call of the toilet being clogged

  • Right at the beginning of this presentation you give a (faulty) version of the 'morse' distress signal. You say it is 'S O S' and that is what you give in sound "... ___ ..." The proper distress signal is continuous 'SOS' without any spaces. That is "...---...". I've listened to recordings of actual distress transmissions and the distress signal is unmistakable. There are no other 'morse signals' that long. OTOH 'S O S' sounds like ordinary traffic. May you never need to know this, or have reason to send it. PeteS de M0PTB

    • And the 'Morse' equivalent of 'Pan Pan, Pan Pan, Pan Pan' is 'X X X' "-..- -..- -..-" (notice the spacing!) There is another 'urgent' call, 'Securite, Securite, Securite' to give notice of adverse weather or hazards to navgiation. In 'morse' that is 'T T T', "- - -". Important, NOT "---", letter 'O'. Used for sea navigation, mainly for severe weather forecasts. Selonce finee de M0PTB

  • Pan pan originates from panne, meaning breakdown *BREAKDOWN BREAKDOWN*

  • Yo what kind of lazer did they use? Did the pilot melt?


  • If a pilot declares an emergency, they get priorioty and can fly over any airspace, even restricted.

  • Thankfully a plane can fly on one engine so a skilled pilot can get you somewhere safely on one engine but if close to a airport he should and and try to get it checked out

  • Didn't know a laser pointer can reach that distance wow. Still a bad move, kid

  • Who else heard Kennedy Steve in there? LEGEND------wait for it------DARY!

  • Well, Mayday tells the passengers when the gate hold will be released and Pan Pan tells the passengers the best time to get good pictures with their smartphones.

  • Vatican Cameos!

  • I'm french 😇 And it's reallyyyyy strange : M'aidezzz m'aidezzz 😂😂 !! This is not the correct conjugaison 😂 But really cool vidéo 👍👍👍 (i wanna ne pilot 😖)