Emergency management - approach level[PDF]

Introduction

ASSIST is a simple set of acronyms which may make it easier for controllers to remember the immediate actions, or sequence of actions, to be followed on initial notification in the event of an unusual/emergency situation:
  • Acknowledge the call. Make sure you understand the nature of the emergency.
  • Separate the aircraft from other traffic. Give it room to manoeuvre. Do not forget to maintain separation all the time.
  • Silence on your control frequency if necessary. Do not disturb urgent cockpit actions by unnecessary radio transmissions.
  • Inform those who need to know and those who can help; inform others as appropriate
  • Support the pilots in any way possible - Start to think of alternative routings, etc.
  • Time - Give the pilots time to collect their thoughts, do not harass them for information. Time produces good decisions
Many organizations successfully adopted the ASSIST principle pioneered by the Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH (DFS) entrusted with controlling the air traffic in Germany
Pay attention during emergencies, the controller shall maintain necessary communication with the flight crew if possible and of course, in function of the situation. The air traffic controller shall avoid frequency change if he can continue to manage the traffic even outside of his responsibility area. Radar contact shall be maintained during the emergency activation period.

Emergency declared in departure or approach area

Smoke or fire in the cockpit

Situation:
  • Smoke or fire in the cockpit is one of the most important dangers for the flight crew.
Fire in the air is one of the most hazardous situations that a flight crew can be faced with. A fire can lead to the catastrophic loss of that aircraft within a very short period of time.

The controller shall anticipate the following consequences:

  • Flight crew are facing high stress in the cockpit
  • Flight crew will ask to land on the next suitable aerodrome or return to the departure aerodrome after take-off (opposite landing possible)
  • Find shortest high-speed vector to land to the nearest suitable aerodrome
  • Poor or loss of radio transmission (due to high stress, oxygen mask or failure)
  • Expect passenger evacuation after landing
  • Expect runway blocked after landing
The actions for the controller shall be:
  • Follow the ASSIST procedure
  • Ask if there are dangerous goods on board, the number of persons on board
  • Coordinate with the landing aerodrome controller if connected
  • Avoid go-around due to bad decisions and anticipation
  • Clear the runway when the aircraft is 20NM final

The controller shall inform the pilot about:

  • The track to touchdown of the next suitable aerodrome
  • Availability of automatic approach when following low visibility procedure
  • Aerodrome details as soon as possible including the runway in use, the length, the elevation and all navigation aids available around the airfield.
  • Weather information of the landing aerodrome including wind, visibility, ceiling and QNH
A Acknowledge the emergency, inform the crew if fire/smoke is observed from the undercarriage area
S Separate the aircraft and if necessary prioritize it for landing, allow long final if requested, keep the active runway clear of departures, arrivals
S Silence the non-urgent calls (as required) and use a separate frequency if possible (not applicable for IVAO)
I Inform the airport emergency services and inform the adjacent ATC units if the aircraft is approaching or is near to their areas of responsibility
S Support the flight by providing any information requested and necessary such as type of approach, runway length and aerodrome details, etc.
T Provide time for the crew to assess the situation. Do not press them with non-urgent matters

Electrical problems

Situation:
  • Electrical problems are some of the random failures in an aircraft. The consequence can be minor or major depending on the nature of failure and the number of instruments and/or systems out of order.
  • A complete black out can occur through loss of all generators before switching the battery
  • Partial loss of some instrument sor systems (loss of communication, loss of navigation instruments or systems (FMC), loss of flight instruments or a combination of many factors).

The controller shall anticipate the following consequences:

  • Flight crew are facing high stress in the cockpit
  • Navigation instrument failures are common (FMC, VOR,NDB can be out of order)
  • Flight instruments and compass can be impacted.
  • With the loss of all generators, aircraft have only the battery power to supply the aircraft. Autonomy is only about 20min flying time (without using RAT).
  • Transponder can be deactivated to save energy
  • Communication failure can occur or flight crew can limit read back time to save energy
  • Due to navigation failure, aircraft should maintain VMC. Expect level change request or new heading and relative vectoring.
  • Expect manual gear extension or RAT (remote air turbine) extension.
  • Approach and landing without landing lights
The actions for the controller shall be:
  • Follow the ASSIST procedure
  • Inform landing aerodrome possibilities
  • Help flight crew using vectors to the landing aerodrome

The controller shall inform the pilot about:

  • The track to touchdown of the next suitable aerodrome and aircraft position, course and/or altitude information
  • Aerodrome details as soon as possible including the runway in use, the length, the elevation, landmarks around
  • Weather information of the landing aerodrome including wind, visibility, ceiling and QNH
  • Avoiding IMC
A Acknowledge the emergency and provide position information and suitable vectors if navigational problems are reported
S Separate the aircraft as necessary, expect the aircraft to request level change in order to maintain VMC
S Silence the non-urgent calls (as required) and use a separate frequency if possible
I Inform the airport emergency services and inform the adjacent ATC units if the aircraft is approaching or is near to their areas of responsibility
S Support the flight by providing any information requested and necessary such as type of approach, runway length and aerodrome details, etc
T Provide time for the crew to assess the situation. Do not press them with non-urgent matters

Hydraulic problems

Situation:
  • Hydraulic problems are some of the random failures in an aircraft. The consequence can be minor or major depending on the failure and the number of instrument and/or system out of order
  • The situation could be dramatic with complete or partial failure of flight controls
  • Gear can be locked in extension or cannot be unlocked from docking position
  • Braking efficiency can be impacted
  • Flaps can be blocked in position (extended or not, in function of the flight)
  • Nose wheel steering may not work

The controller shall anticipate the following consequences:

  • Flight crew could have gear problems (see gear problem chapter) with manual gear extension procedure or no retraction possible.
  • Aircraft could have limited manoeuvrability (partial control over different control surfaces)
  • Aircraft could have limited flaps settings or only one setting possible
  • Aircraft could have limited bank angle due to bad manoeuvrability
  • Flight crew can ask holding patterns for necessary check, extended final, higher approach speed
  • Poor braking problems (see braking problem chapter)
  • Runway could be blocked after landing
  • Lack of auto pilot and manual flying
The actions for the controller shall be:
  • Follow the ASSIST procedure
  • Provide increased separation between the affected aircraft and all others. Expect non-routine manoeuvres
  • Inform landing aerodrome possibilities
  • Help flight crew using vectors and assign level blocks
  • Ask about dangerous goods on board and the number of persons on board (POB)
  • Avoid go-around due to bad decisions and anticipation
  • Clear the runway when the aircraft is 20NM final

The controller shall inform the pilot about:

  • Next suitable aerodrome
  • Aerodrome details as soon as possible including the runway in use, the length, the elevation, and all navigation aids available around the airfield.
  • Weather information of landing aerodrome including wind, visibility, ceiling and QNH
A Acknowledge the hydraulics problem. Ask for the crew’s intentions when the situation permits, and establish whether the crew is able to control the aircraft
S Separate the aircraft and if necessary prioritize it for landing, allow long final if requested, keep the active runway clear of departures, arrivals and vehicles
S Silence the non-urgent calls (as required) and use a separate frequency if possible (not applicable for IVAO)
I Inform the airport emergency services and inform the adjacent ATC units if the aircraft is approaching or is near to their areas of responsibility
S Support the flight by providing any information requested and necessary such as type of approach, runway length and aerodrome details, etc.
T Provide time for the crew to assess the situation. Do not press them with non-urgent matters

Engine failure for multi engine aircraft

Situation:
  • Engine failure can occur during take-off or when flying
  • A bird strike can provoke engine failure
  • Engine failure can imply an engine shutdown
  • Engine failure cannot be a complete engine shutdown
  • Engine on fire

The controller shall anticipate the following consequences:

  • Engine could be on fire (see engine fire chapter)
  • Flight crew are facing high stress in the cockpit and heavy workload.
  • Aircraft engine(s) can shut down as a first consequence
  • Aircraft could lose altitude in order to re-gain performance
  • Aircraft speed could decrease
  • Aircraft can deviate from cleared route, departure or arrival
  • Flight crew can ask to land on the next suitable aerodrome or return to the departure aerodrome after take-off
  • Flight crew could ask descent due to maintain aircraft stability and flight conditions, or avoid pressurisation problems
  • Long and high speed approach and landing due to performance limitations attributed to the engine failure which is the result of a non-stabilised approach
  • The turn rate is expected to be slow if it is executed on the inoperative engine side
The actions for the controller shall be:
  • Follow the ASSIST procedure
  • Coordinate with the landing aerodrome controller if connected
  • Avoid go-around due to bad decisions and anticipation
  • Clear the runway when the aircraft is 20NM final
  • Offer flight crew extended final
  • In case of an emergency landing, record last known position and time.

The controller shall inform all pilots about:

  • The closest and suitable aerodrome considering aircraft situation and all navigation aids available around the airfield.
  • Selected landing aerodrome details as soon as possible including runway in use, length, elevation
A Acknowledge the problem. Ask for the flight crew’s intentions when the situation permits
S Separate the aircraft from other traffic and allow room to manoeuvre
S Silence the non-urgent calls (as required) and use a separate frequency if possible (not applicable for IVAO)
I Inform the airport emergency services and inform the adjacent ATC units if the aircraft is approaching or is near to their areas of responsibility
S Support the flight by providing any information requested and necessary such as type of approach, runway length and aerodrome details, etc.
T Provide time for the crew to assess the situation. Do not press them with non-urgent matters

Low oil pressure

Situation:
  • Low oil pressure can be a consequence of engine failure (single or multi).
  • Low oil pressure can be a consequence of outside landing

The controller shall anticipate the following consequences:

  • Flight crew can ask to land on the next suitable aerodrome or return to the departure aerodrome after take-off (opposite landing possible)
  • Flight crew can precautionary shutdown one engine
The action for the controller shall be:
  • Follow the ASSIST procedure
  • Coordinate with the landing aerodrome controller if connected
  • Avoid go-around due to bad decisions and anticipation
  • Clear the runway when the aircraft is 20NM final
  • In case of an emergency landing, record last known position and time.
A Acknowledge the problem. Ask for the flight crew’s intentions when the situation permits
S Separate the aircraft from other traffic and allow room to manoeuvre
S Silence the non-urgent calls (as required) and use a separate frequency if possible (not applicable for IVAO)
I Inform the airport emergency services and inform the adjacent ATC units if the aircraft is approaching or is near to their areas of responsibility
S Support the flight by providing any information requested and necessary such as type of approach, runway length and aerodrome details, etc.
T Provide time for the crew to assess the situation. Do not press them with non-urgent matters

Fuel problems

Fuel problems can be caused by the following situations:
  • One engine failure
  • Multi engine failure
  • Outside landing
  • Permanent gear extension
  • Fuel circuit failure (fuel leakage)
  • Too long holding (more than 30min)

The controller shall anticipate the following consequences:

  • Flight crew can declare MAYDAY Low Fuel when facing a low fuel emergency with imminent danger to the aircraft
  • Flight crew can declare PAN minimum FUEL which means priority handling but with no immediate danger.
  • Other improper use of other phraseology forcing the controller to verify the actual fuel status with the flight crew (emergency or not, minimum fuel or not, minimum diversion fuel…)
The actions for the controller shall be:
  • Follow the ASSIST procedure
  • Keep aircraft at high altitude as much as possible (save fuel)
  • Ask if there are dangerous goods on board, the number of persons on board
  • Avoid go-around due to bad decisions and anticipation
  • Clear the runway when the aircraft is 20NM final
  • In case of an emergency landing, record last known position and time.

The controller shall inform all pilots about:

  • The closest and suitable aerodrome considering aircraft situation and all navigation aids available around the airfield.
  • Selected landing aerodrome details as soon as possible including runway in use, length, elevation
  • Weather information of landing aerodrome including wind, visibility, ceiling and QNH
A Acknowledge the problem. Ask for the flight crew’s intentions when the situation permits
S Separate the aircraft from other traffic and allow room to manoeuvre
S Silence the non-urgent calls (as required) and use a separate frequency if possible (not applicable for IVAO)
I Inform the airport emergency services and inform the adjacent ATC units if the aircraft is approaching or is near to their areas of responsibility
S Support the flight by providing any information requested and necessary such as type of approach, runway length and aerodrome details, etc.
T Provide time for the crew to assess the situation. Do not press them with non-urgent matters

Fuel Dumping

Situation:
  • Fuel dumping is necessary when the current mass of the aircraft is greater than the maximum landing weight

The controller shall anticipate the following consequences:

  • Dumping without approval in case of engine failure after take-off to reduce weight
  • Possibility of no radio transmission during dumping procedure
  • Assignment of a fuel dumping area with avoiding densely populated areas
The actions for the controller shall be:
  • Follow the ASSIST procedure
  • If fuel dumping takes place at or below FL150, make a general broadcast
  • Separation shall be made horizontal and vertical during the entire dumping operation

The controller should inform all pilots about:

  • Dumping area and altitude when necessary
A Acknowledge the problem. Ask for the flight crew’s intentions when the situation permits
S Separate the aircraft from other traffic and allow room to manoeuvre
S Silence the non-urgent calls (as required) and use a separate frequency if possible (not applicable for IVAO)
I Inform the airport emergency services and inform the adjacent ATC units if the aircraft is approaching or is near to their areas of responsibility
S Support the flight by providing any information requested and necessary such as type of approach, runway length and aerodrome details, etc.
T Provide time for the crew to assess the situation. Do not press them with non-urgent matters

Icing

Situation:
  • When crossing a cloud at specific conditions (temperature), icing may occur on the aircraft (wings, propeller).
Controllers should stay alert for any extraordinary climb/descent. They should be ready to provide climb/descent to affected traffic and allow space for horizontal manoeuvres. The aircraft, experiencing severe icing would certainly need increased separation as its flying characteristics will be degraded.

The controller shall anticipate the following consequences:

  • Aircraft can change flight level and heading due to icing
  • Aircraft could have some limited performance in terms of rate of climb and descent.
  • Aircraft speed can be modified.
  • Aircraft stalling speed shall be increased (Adverse Aerodynamic Effects)
  • Higher approach/landing speed due to increase of stalling speed
  • Blockage of pitot tubes and static vents
The actions for the controller shall be:
  • Follow the ASSIST procedure
  • Avoid holding
  • Enable continuous climb after departure

The controller should inform all pilots about:

  • Check anti-icing and de-icing system
  • Check pitot, carburettor, prop, windshield heating
  • Higher approach and landing speed due to increase of stalling speed
A Acknowledge the problem. Ask for the flight crew’s intentions when the situation permits
S Separate the aircraft from other traffic and allow room to manoeuvre
S Silence the non-urgent calls (as required) and use a separate frequency if possible (not applicable for IVAO)
I Inform the airport emergency services and inform the adjacent ATC units if the aircraft is approaching or is near to their areas of responsibility
S Support the flight by providing any information requested and necessary such as type of approach, runway length and aerodrome details, etc.
T Provide time for the crew to assess the situation. Do not press them with non-urgent matters

See also

Reference

  • None

Author

  • VID 150259 - Creation
  • VID 200696 - Update
  • VID 531824 - Wiki Integration

DATE OF SUBMISSION

  • 17:04, 13 May 2021

COPYRIGHT

  • This documentation is copyrighted as part of the intellectual property of the International Virtual Aviation Organisation.

DISCLAIMER

  • The content of this documentation is intended for aviation simulation only and must not be used for real aviation operations.