A109. AIRCRAFT EMERGENCIES UNDER IFR
This section is designed to assist you in the development of good headwork when considering an
appropriate course of action should you encounter an emergency situation while operating under
IFR. Although NATOPS provides procedural guidance in the event of specific emergency
situations, it does not provide precise guidance for all situations. As a pilot, you must develop
your ability to recognize and analyze emergency situations and then determine a course of
action, which will ensure the safety of your crew and aircraft while considering specifics of the
Remember the golden rule: "Aviate, Navigate, Communicate." If in holding, or on an approach
continue to perform your flying duties while executing the Emergency Procedures in a timely
manner. Determine the nature of the emergency, the urgency with which you should land, devise
a plan and execute it. Notify ATC by "declaring an emergency," then advise them of your
intended action requesting priority handling (assistance) as necessary. The following factors will
influence your decision: weather conditions, fuel remaining, aircraft status and position, airfield
proximity, approach availability, and terrain. If lost, state your last known position, time, and
heading since that position.
In an emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule or
regulation as necessary to the extent required to safely handle the emergency. If this emergency
authority is exercised to deviate from the provisions of an ATC clearance, the pilot in command
must notify ATC as soon as possible and obtain an amended clearance.
Emergencies are generally classified under two categories:
DISTRESS A condition of being threatened by serious and/or imminent danger and of
requiring immediate assistance.
URGENCY A condition of being concerned about safety and of requiring timely but not
immediate assistance; the potential for a distress situation exists.
Continue squawking the assigned transponder code if in radio
contact with ATC. If unable to immediately establish twoway
radio communications with ATC, squawk code 7700.
VMC Remain VMC if possible while executing the appropriate Emergency Procedures.
Notify ATC of the nature of your emergency and your intended action. It is the aircraft
commander's decision whether to continue flight or land as soon as possible. When
communicating with ATC, consider your terminology. ATC will probably be unfamiliar
with the term "PEL"; however, they will certainly understand the request for a "precautionary
approach" or an "emergency landing." See Figure A1.
A-4 SUPPLEMENTARY FLIGHT PROCEDURES AND EMERGENCY ROCEDURES