What Is a “Pan Pan” in Aviation?
Pan pan is an aircraft industry phrase used to indicate in radio communications that there is a situation of urgency but that the situation isn’t an emergency that is an immediate danger, which would require the use of a mayday call instead. Pan pan is used to alert air traffic control, other aircraft, and/or emergency services that there is a safety issue and that assistance may be required. The most common uses of pan pan are if a pilot is lost, or if the aircraft has experienced a failure that has required the pilot to immediately change either altitude or route.
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