I need to declare an emergency.


I need to declare an emergency ~Guest Blogger Ernst Gebhardt

I wish Private Pilot training would include (in the first five hours) specifically saying the words “I need to declare an emergency.” Simply say it to the instructor. Maybe use the push to talk button when the radios are off.

There are so many crash investigations that come with a comment that the pilot should have asked for all the help available by “declaring an emergency.” The pilot’s reluctance to declare an emergency caused delays that made the situation worse.

That comes from fear. A pilot may have the fear that they will be seen as weak or less worthy. A student will follow instructions very well. You want me to do plane donuts over here in the run-up area? Sure. You want me to keep pulling the stick after hearing the stall horn? Sure. You want me to say the words “I need to declare an emergency?” Sure.

Once they have said them, the words won’t be the boogeyman to be feared any longer. If you said it in training it won’t be as intimidating. This could save lives. Let’s start.


Ernst GebheartErnst Gebhardt
NAFI #228687






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